Selling Ten Things A Day


I’ve talked about it before, this burning resentment I have towards having a mortgage. Those of you who follow me have heard me say how I wish I could sell every single thing I own just to be out of debt. I finally did go through every room in our house making an inventory of every piece of furniture and appliance that we own. Unfortunately, by my estimations, if we sold it all it still wouldn’t be enough to pay off half of our mortgage.

Incredibly frustrating.

But I’m not giving up. I’ve decided I am just going to chip away at it a little at a time. Honestly, it would be depressing to walk through our beautiful home and see no furniture, no microwave, no washing machine, and still have a house payment due every month. It would be much easier to start by selling off the small things that we hardly notice anyways.

So that’s what I’m doing, starting today. Every day I will be going through the house and picking out 10 items to list on ebay or Craigslist for sale. I’m going to put the money I earn in an envelope, and every time it reaches $500, I will put it towards our mortgage. I’ll do this until I run out of things to sell. And then I’ll donate plasma. Just kidding 😉

Today, I listed some of baby Xia’s nursery decor for sale. It’s cute and all, and looks great in her room, but does she really need a sheer curtain panel and a valence on her window? Does she really need a diaper stacker when I can store her diapers in the baskets on her changing table? Do we really need the butterfly decorations on her wall, or the mobile hanging over her crib? These are things we can live without, so this is where I am starting. I also listed a bunch of books on Craigslist, baby equipment, a wall mirror, and some software.

I’m praying that the Lord will bless my efforts, and I will be able to sell a lot of stuff quickly. We will probably do a yard sale eventually, but you can make more money by selling online.

I wonder if I can make some sort of chart for my sidebar to show how much money we’ve raised? It would be kinda neat to see how it grows, and how our debt shrinks. I’m just so anxious to get out of this mess, to not be a slave any longer, to not have to worry that somebody can come and take our home away. I want it to be ours, free and clear.

*Sigh* It’s gonna take me forever.

Oh, and speaking of “forever”, some of you might be happy to know that I’ve been working on a book. It, too, is taking me forever! I have so much to share, so much to write, it’s just not something I can whip out in a weekend. But the book is also part of my plan to get out of debt. Anything to bring in some extra income! Don’t hold your breath on this one though… it will be a while.

Anyways, just felt like sharing my new goal with you guys. What do you think? Wanna join me? Have you already been doing something like this?

How far would you go to get out of debt?


Kendra
About Kendra 1104 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

35 Comments

  1. Hi Kendra!
    It has been about four years, I was curious if you’ve already gotten out of debt? I often feel the same way and was wondering how you are doing so many years later.

    • Hi Becca,

      Gosh… I wish I could say we’re totally out of debt. But the truth is we still owe on our house. Not a ton compared to what most people probably owe, but it’s still a burden we are working on freeing ourselves from. Thanks for checking in! We just do the best we can, one day at a time. 🙂

  2. Looking forward to your book and praying for your endeavor. Definitely keep us posted on the release. We too are going to start selling off things since we’re no longer going to live here and will be moving. We’d collected things and they always get used but now they need to go to lighten the load so’s to speak. How is this working out for you?

    • Well, Susan, LOL, I quickly ran out of things to sell online. Now I have a huge stack of boxes of yard sale stuff sitting next to me here in my office. I keep finding more things to add to the pile. Definitely need to have a yard sale soon. I’ve made almost $400 so far selling odds and ends. Unfortunately, I’ve had to use that money to pay bills when my husband has not had any work. It’s so frustrating trying to get ahead, and feeling like you just keep falling behind 🙁

      • I have no mortgage on my 1/2 acre and my home, BUT, between property taxes and high insurance, because I live so far from a fire house, I still need at least 275 dollars each month to live in MY OWN HOME! That currently is almost 1/3 of my monthly income. Thankfully my only utility bill is electricity. I may own my home, but in this state, the state can actually take the land, seemingly paid for or not. Lovely isn’t it? No I won’t name the state, nor can I name ‘their’ law giving them this prerogative, because I can’t remember what it’s called. Paid off or not, OUR property will never be completely ours. My dad said that in the 20’s, small farmers didn’t have to worry about losing their land, as there were no property taxes back then. Not true now.

  3. We have not been doing that, but we sure need to. We are in your same boat of truly longing to not have a mortgage. 🙁 We are just longing to buy a piece of land that we can pay off in 5 years or so and start from scratch, but we are just stuck in this house with this economy. *sigh*….I just ….BLEH! lol! Listening to your latest show while writing you! 😀 Love it! These are all awesome girl!!! So proud of you!! ;D

    • Lorie,

      Okay… so at first it was good. But then it was taking a whole lot of time to list 10 things a day, so it went to 5 a day. Then I ran out of things to sell. Go figure. I’m not having much luck though, so I just keep re-listing things on Craigslist and Ebay. I’ve made about $200 so far. It’s a start 🙂

  4. While I salute your ideas and efforts–I would like to make a suggestion–as an experienced mom and daycare provider–those mobiles are great for entertaining fussy babies–and also encourage eye-hand development. Also, colors and soothing figures are good for babies development. You might try drawing on the walls or putting up prints from pretty calendars or magazines. Of course, the mobile will have to come down when baby can reach it–just my thoughts.

  5. What awesome goals you have Kendra! Even if you make a little traction in your debt, it is doing something so don’t get discouraged. I went through our house awhile back and did the same thing and was able to make $500 in a week. I also seriously cut back our budget and was amazed at how much we saved. It helped us through a really lean time. I can’t wait to see how this works for you, and know that I am cheering you on!

  6. Good Luck Kendra! I hope this really works for you. I’ve been trying to help my husband with the whole getting out of debt thing. We don’t have a whole lot of stuff to sell, but I’m trying to work on an etsy site or ebay. My worst problem is laziness 🙁 I get really mad at myself and then depressed that I’m not helping more and then nothing gets done! SO I’m working on having a better attitude. Course my energy is fairly low right now since I’m pregnant with our third child:) But come the end of January, the baby will be born and a couple of weeks old (or so) and hopefully I’ll be able to jump back at it! I would LOVE to be debt free. It is so depressing and crushing. We got into some credit card trouble (through our own fault we will be the first to admit!) and are now working our way out of that. Once that is gone, we will be able to hopefully get rid of the rest. Praying for you Kendra! Now to get off the computer and get some work done….:)

  7. I love this idea- I’ve been trying to do regular “flings” like the Flylady says to do as a way to cut down on clutter (I’m guilty of stopping at every garage sale I see, buying too many “treasures”). This idea of yours could lead to more money AND a less cluttered home.(if you’re someone like me who struggles with clutter) Also, I got rid of some valances and extraneous decorations from my daughter’s room that were getting really dusty and cobwebby and weren’t really washable. Now she has plain curtains that can be washed and dryed without destroying them,and that keeps the dust mites at bay. we’ve had major improvements in allergy symptoms just getting rid of dust collectors. Good luck with this new endeavor- it’s a fantastic idea.

  8. I feel EXACTLY like this. It’s like I look around at my house everyday, and I get mad about the clutter and unneeded stuff that we have. I can spend a whole day planning on how to get rid of our debt, but it’s not quite that easy. I’d love to hear how this works for you and if you are satisfied with Craigslist. Do you just meet people somewhere when they are interested in something you are selling? I feel funny having them come to our house.

    Keep at it! You are an inspiration! 🙂

  9. I’m not a blogger, but I love to read blogs… from what I’ve read, you can make a bit of money by selling e-books if you have the right readership/market. This may be one way to use your writing to make money before a “real” book could be finished.

  10. You don’t know how many times I have thought of doing this! At my house, this thought can be overwhelming. But, I like how you’ve decided to do 5 items per day-I could possibly do that. The only problem is I’ve already gotten in trouble for selling stuff that my husband and kids don’t need (but think they do) at garage sales :o)

  11. I have been feeling like this a lot lately too…we don’t even have a mortgage…it’s still those darn student loans! SIX years now we have been working at paying off our debt…we did it Dave Ramsey hard core for the first handful of years, then got exhausted, then we changed to healthier food for my health (it would be nice to be alive to see us get debt free!) and that pretty much took up the rest of our extra $.
    Sigh.
    I know the Lord doesn’t want me to give up on this, so I’m praying about it all to see where He wants us to work on our budget and stuff. It is hard not to get discouraged isn’t it??? I think I get most discouraged when I start looking at how quickly others get debt free, but I forget how large our family is and how small our income is.
    I love that you are trying something different-I’m excited to see how it goes…maybe I’ll try selling one thing each day. I did go through all the baby clothes this weekend to wean out doubles or stuff we don’t use so that I can take the rest to the consignment store…I guess that is a start and I didn’t even think about it! =)
    How’s the hubby on the job situation? praying for you all!
    blessings!
    tarena

  12. Yeah for you, Kendra!! I’m right there, too. I’ve been doing our local community rummage sale as often as I can to purge our home of more STUFF. And because I do it where there are lots of people selling, you get more traffic and buyers. Each time I’ve made nearly $1000.

    Recently we pulled money from our retirement (not our IRA’s but other miscellaneous investments) to put toward our mortgage and we refinanced from a 20 year 5% loan to a 15 at 3.75%. It’ saving us nearly $600 a month on the payment which we are planning to apply to the principal to pay it off even faster (in other words, we won’t use the $600 to ease our lifestyle; we’ll stay on our strict budget). Hopefully we’ll be done in 7 years or less if the Lord provides additional cash to put toward it.

    Our “sacred cow” is our giving. We don’t touch that, but everything else is game. I have found that sometimes I’ve struggled with selling something only to gladly part with it months or a year later. So keep going back through your house regularly.

    Also, while we kept out of any other kind of debt, we didn’t always use cash. Switching to a cash envelope system has caused us to be MUCH more careful how we spent our money. I would say we increased our monthly cash reserves just be this one principal. You may already be doing that, but perhaps some of your readers could benefit from knowing that you spend up to 30% less when you pay with cash in the form of dollar bills!

    Finally, I helped my 12 year old start a pet and plant care business and she is making REALLY good money! If I had known how good it was going to be, I would have done it for my family! And although we spend about $12 for 100 professional business cards at businesscards24.com she has not really even had to advertise except to friends! We’ve held off “going big” because of the amount of business she currently has. In the spring, my 8 year old will be starting a flower business where we raise cut flowers and sell them by the bundle. I plan to have a plant sale several times in the spring. I’m going to buy seeds, start them indoors, and then sell them at a profit. It will be a small boost, but every bit adds up!

    Here is a post of my other “kid job ideas” that you might do yourself!
    http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2010/06/small-homestead-businesses-for-kids.html

    Let us know when you celebrate your mortgage burning!

  13. Kendra, I would advise when you have $100. to pay it on the mortgage. There are several reasons. Make sure that when you pay this is going to the principal on your loan. Some places they will just show extra money as paid early on the next payment. Get a chart from your bank showing what each payment is on the principal and on interest. Each $100 paid will save you interest and show you how much closer you are to paying one full payment. It will encourage you. If you save until you have $500. that could be a long time and you are not saving any interest. Also it would easier to have to use the money for another emergency. If it has been paid on your mortgage , you cant use it for anything else. Barbara

  14. We are debt free except for our mortgage….I am determined to pay it off in 5 years even though on paper it seems ridiculous. I know that God is bigger than numbers and I’m going to do my part.

    We are on an all cash budget and every little extra goes towards the mortgage. I have one like-minded friend-that helps.

    We recently sold some stuff on Craig’s list-I don’t have much extra stuff around and I was still able to find some things to sell. Stick with it-don’t get discouraged.
    Jana

  15. I agree with Gardenatrix and find it hard to wrap my head around the idea that selling even a whole household full of “stuff” would contribute that much to your debt. Perhaps it is because I have always lived so frugally anyway, but most of my “stuff” comes from the thrift store and didn’t cost that much in the first place. (Curtains are like $3, a bread machine $10) I understand the need to feel like you are doing something, but I think there are probably more profitable, less uncomfortable ways to spend your energy. A friend and I who both live on farms were discussing his “market garden” the other day. It brings in $300 a week, which he noted with a lifetime of experience is a great deal for part-time seasonal farming. It is not very big, he sells “gourmet” veggies (started with top dollar seeds) to a woman who in turn goes to the city and sells them to high end restaurants. Perhaps something like that could be done on a tiny piece of your father’s property or another neighbor in trade for some of the produce? Or like someone else suggested making up a baked specialty to sell at the farmer’s market? If reselling is what really appeals to you, learning what to get from thrift stores and re-sell on ebay or craig’s list is probably a more profitable route than selling your own belongings. I used to own a consignment store and had a few regular customers who did just that. It would require some research to know what really sells high that you might come across. Childcare is almost always a money maker for a stay at home mom and you have the opportunity to share your maternal skills with children who may not be so blessed.
    Often it seems Christians and others feel a need to deprive or discipline themselves and their families, which in turn causes a greater sense of eventual accomplishment, when realistically the deprivation contributes little but in fact may cause stress that adversely affects other areas. Be careful in your impatience for the larger blessing of financial autonomy that you do not nurture and appreciate the smaller blessings of today.
    If the matching nursery brings a smile to you or your baby’s face every morning, don’t devalue that blessing since you already have it. I on the other hand love the “look” of a functional/comfortable house with little decoration, but I would have never put up the curtains in the first place. Move in the direction of austere decor if it pleases you, but it is very easy to decorate cheaply if you are willing to put forth the effort. The intangible rewards to your family will likely far outweigh the money you could get for selling them. Above all I think the Lord wants you to find joy in what you do to live the way he has called you, not sacrificial deprivation to live someone else’s path. Converting a diesel car to a veggie oil car is something I have longed to do, but is not within our families expertise. I met a man at church who has done just that and so saves $$$ on gas using free discarded oil from a local restaurant. The ways to save are endless if you want to put forth the effort, but you must try to be satisfied with what the Lord provides for you to do.

  16. Great plan! Good for you for doing everything possible to work on getting out of debt! We finally have no mortgage and own our home and land “free and clear” so to speak…however, here in Indiana, we have property tax payments due every six months. If you are delinquent on your taxes, your house can be sold right out from under you in the annual “tax sale.” Once your property is sold to a bidder, you then have six months to come up with what you owe in taxes, along with interest/late fees. If you can do that, then you retain your property. If you can’t, the the person who bought your house at the tax sale is the new legal owner of the property–they pay your back taxes and assume your mortgage and it’s legally now theirs, and your own nothing anymore. I don’t know how the property taxes work in your state, but around here, people never really feel like they own their home and land “free and clear” anymore, even when the mortgage is gone, because of how the property tax laws work. I hope it’s not like that in every state…I don’t know.

  17. I’ve been wanting to do that too! Decorative items and things in storage go first. Really I’m trying to be all about functionality. Does our decorative tree in the living room serve ANY purpose? No, except I guess we could burn it for warmth. So good for you!

  18. You can do anything you set your mind to, Kendra. It sounds like you have the big picture in mind, so you will be sucessful! We live simply. I don’t need stuff to make me happy. It’s hardest on our son, but we are sure he will understand in the long run. I wish you the best. With God, all things are possible.

  19. I think it’s a great idea, and I totally agree with you. I went through a kind of purge like this around this time last year and did well. I had a ton ( I mean and embarrassing amount) of Stampin Up stuff for making cards and scrapbooks, and it all went on ebay. It took me several weeks to list everything and then to ship it and all but I made over $400 just on my stamps and scrapbook stuff! I haven’t missed it at all, and we put that money towards our debt. That inspired us to do more and it’s really helpng.
    Good for you, I wish you all the best!

  20. I struggle with this, too. What I find, over and over, is that the depreciation value on ‘stuff’ is far worse than the depreciation value on cars. Yes, it may help to sell some ‘stuff’ — and I do. But what I need far more than that is to go back 15 year in time and convince my then-self to have never bought it . . .

    I think of these things as going through the “narrow place” or straits — which you may recognize as the English for the Hebrew word mizraim, or Egypt.

    Sigh. Stick with it. It remains worth it. It won’t take us 40 years to do this walk — if we are lucky.

  21. Kendra, I think what you and your husband are doing is great. This country is so sickening with our need for materialism. Why do people need all this junk? That’s really truly what it is. Now I can’t say that my heart has always had this conviction but the Lord has been showing me that I basically need very little to get by. Alot of it comes down to being content with what the Lord has already blessed you with. I wish that I had realized this years ago. My husband and I have been going through a very complicated situation these last 3 1/2 years because of this. We basically live in a house we can’t stand that is too big with a 900.00 per month payment to go along with it. We have no other debt, but that sucks up a lot every month. We’ve always been lucky cuz my husband has always had a really good paying job and about 6 monthes ago I got totally fed up and we went on a strict budget. It’s hard especially on my husband but it makes us feel like we are on a plan. Now we’re just waiting for the Lord to guide us in whether or not we should move or stay put. But your post gave me some ideas to get our mtg paid off sooner too although it seems like even paying extra we’re going to be paying on this baby forever. God Bless you Kendra I will pray that your stuff sells quickly. P.S. Has your hubby had any luck at a job yet?

    • Jenn,

      It seems to me that moving would be the best option. Unfortunately, the way the housing market is right now I just don’t know how successful selling would be? Definitely pray about it. It wouldn’t hurt just to get it on the market and see what happens. It is definitely a buyers market, so if you can get a good price on your home, you can really score a good deal on a smaller, more affordable place. I wish you the best in whatever you do!

      And thanks for asking about my husband. Actually, he started training for a new job just this past Friday. I don’t know how long it will last. He’ll be assembling bicycles for Walmarts. It’s full time, for now. BUT we are truly, truly thankful that the Lord has brought SOMETHING our way!! Right now is not the time to be picky, we’ll take anything we can get. Please say a prayer for us that this job works out, and is enough to pay the bills!

  22. I’m so happy for you! Recently, I’ve been making cinnamon rolls on Fridays to make a little cash. It’s $20 to $40 to help us get by until the next week.

  23. We’ve been clearing out the house of extraneous items (selling some of the stuff that’s worth more than a few bucks, and giving the rest to friends/fundraisers/Goodwill). Shopping frugally/used for what we need, and working on a 5-6 year plan to get completely out of debt.

    I’m so, so, so excited to have a mortgage burning party by the time one of us turns 40yo. 😀 I’ve mentioned it to many friends, and all but 3 have no idea what I’m talking about.

  24. Hi,

    You might want to look into http://www.smartypig.com/. It is actually an online savings account (with a decent interest rate) but in addition to having a widget you can add to your webpage people can contribute gifts to your goal. When you reach your goal (or anytime before) you can have the money transfered to your bank account or placed on various gift cards Smarty Pig is partnered with (such as amazon.com and Target). Anyway, you should check it out, hopefully it helps.

  25. In 1995 (you all were probably still in diapers), I told my husband that I wanted to quit work. As a Registered Nurse, I was making $200/day and that income would be greatly missed. My husband said we wouldn’t make it one month if I came home.

    Fast forward 15 years. I’m happy to report I’ve been retired this entire time and WE MADE IT! We’ve been debt free for 8 years or so.

    So how did that happen? We read Larry Burkett’s book, “Debt Free Living, How to Get out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt”…followed by his book, “Women Leaving the Workplace”.

    When I came home, hubby handed me $120 and said this was grocery money for 2 weeks. I learned to coupon shop. All eating out stopped. We fixed up our in-town house (paint and sweat) and sold it for a profit (before “flipping” was the catch word). We bought another dump on land and fixed it up a bit at a time.

    We had garage sales. We put extra money toward the little student loan payment. When that was paid off, we applied that payment to the BIG student loan payment. When that was done, we piled what use to be those payments onto the car payment. We lived like misers and really started seeing progress and in the end all that was left was the house payment, and we were able to make double payments each month in the end because we had paid off everything else.

    It hurt to live this tight! No one else we knew was doing this. In fact, everyone was care free and vacationing. It was so unfair, or so I thought. If it had been easy, we would have been stupid and gotten into debt again.

    In the 6th year 10th month, we were approached about selling an acre to a church. We could not believe what they were willing to pay!!! After taxes, it was EXACTLY what we needed to pay off the house and be debt free. If you will do all that you can…God will do what you can not do so that you finish strong! God is for you!

    Did it ever occur to you that it could be God prompting you to get out of debt? Commit your honorable plans to the Lord and they will not fail! He is no respecter of persons. What He did for us He will do for you. God bless you with wisdom and success in the days ahead.

  26. Good for you! You are being proactive and doing something concrete to chip away at the mortgage.

    However, sometimes patience is also required because otherwise your life becomes tinged with resentment that things aren’t moving more quickly.

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