The First Step to Effective Decluttering

As I’ve talked about in a previous post, I’m a recovering hoarder. Okay, perhaps recovering is too strong a word. Let’s say that I’ve finally realized what’s wrong with me, and I’m trying to work through it. Being a hoarder is not easy, and breaking the habit of hoarding is the hardest thing to do, even more difficult than getting rid of what you already have.

To me, the first step to effective decluttering is to staunch the inbound flow of clutter, so that you can start thinking clearly about the stuff you already own and that is creating all that pressure and stress..

First things first: stop accumulating stuff!

Try the one One Month Challenge! Simply don’t buy anything except food for a month. It’s a lot harder than it looks, because there will be times when you think that you absolutely need something, and you MUST buy it! Unless it relates to your health or employability, simply put it off. Tell yourself you’ll buy it next month, when the challenge is over. Think of it as a firearms waiting period, except for stuff; chances are, you’ll realize you didn’t need it in the first place or just forget about it. In any case, it stays in the store and not in your home.

Even reducing the inward flow of things in your living space, rather than stopping it completely, can make a huge difference on your health and well-being. Being conscious of what you’re doing, of every single item that comes in your living space, will provoke thoughts. You’ll start visualizing new items after they’ve been in your house for years, untouched, useless and gathering dust. You’ll think twice and consider each purchase more carefully.

This first step to effective decluttering is simply to stop accumulating; once you’ve mastered this, you can move on to eliminating the overflow that’s already around!

Are you a hoarder, or have hoarding tendencies? What are the techniques you use to keep yourself in check? Share in the comments below!

eBay Selling

How to Sell Music CDs on eBay

Selling music Compact Discs (CDs) on eBay can be challenging, but when done properly, can be a really good source of revenue over the long term. I’ve had some success selling CDs on eBay, so I’ll share with you my experiences so hopefully you can replicate my success. There are no magic bullets here, and it’s a lot of hard work, but if that’s what you need to do to help declutter your house and make some money, then go for it!

Sell those CDs on eBay and make a few bucks!

Before we get into the details of what to do to sell successfully, here are a few points to consider before you get started selling used or new music CDs on eBay.

  • There is lots of competition! Unless you have some really unique and rare stuff, you can expect to be selling your music CDs for not much money – only a few dollars – so this is why it it’s important to get them for as cheap as possible!
  • The CD is a format that is in major decline. It hasn’t hit rock-bottom yet, mostly because so many people are invested with the format, however it hasn’t shown the same kind of resurgence that vinyls and cassettes, to a lesser extent. The pool of people buying CDs is dwindling every day, but thankfully it is still enormous and has a ways to go.
  • Shipping costs are a major problem when selling CDs online. For example, within Canada they can be shipped as a letter for about $5, but shipping to the US is very expensive, almost $9 (Canadian). This is why you are sometimes better off selling CDs as lots rather than individually so the shipping costs can be amortized.

These are the major challenges you will face when trying to get rid of your CDs online; that being said, you should not let that discourage you, there’s still a lot of money to be made!

  • One of the coolest things about CDs is that these days you can buy them for extremely cheap. Never pay more than $1 each, and in many cases you can have them for cheaper than that. You can even find them on the side of the road when people are clearing out their garages, if that’s your thing.
  • Because the acquisition cost is so low, the potential for profit is enormous, but it does require some investment on your time, mainly time and a little money every month, for the eBay listing fees.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your merchandise doesn’t sell at the beginning! The more inventory and listings you add, the greater your chances are at monster profit! Someone might come along that was unwilling to buy one CD from you (let’s say because of shipping) but he’ll buy 20 and spread the shipping costs – but only if you have what he or she wants!

Here is the process I follow when I have a batch of CDs to sell (and boy, do I!):

  • Take good pictures; a minimum of three pictures per CD. I take the pictures with my Google Pixel 2 XL mobile device; they are uploaded to Google Photos automatically, and are easily available when the time comes to create the listings. Take pictures in batches, not one CD at a time, otherwise it’s not worth your time!
  • Do a little bit of research; I check on eBay how much the CD I have has sold for in the past. Don’t be greedy and push for higher, or it might not sell. Price your stuff cheaper than the average, and determine a bottom price under which you will not sell. For example, my bottom price is $9.99, but I’ll accept offers a low as $5.
  • Be honest. If there are cracks in the jewel case, say so, unless you are planning on switching it out before shipping, and even then, make sure you mention it in your listing. Same goes for any other physical defect.
  • Working with two screens and a bunch of windows open, listing a music CD on eBay can take me as little as 5-6 minutes, including taking the picture, assuming I don’t take the pictures one CD at a time. Even if the CD takes a few months to sell, it’s still a good hourly rate.
  • Make sure you use the proper titles and keywords; this is where your research comes in. Don’t be shy about copying, word for word, the title of something that sold well, assuming you have the exact same product. Don’t copy the description or the photos, that’s just lame, but the title is fair game!

When a CD sells, I put it in an envelope if I’m shipping to Canada, or the lightest, smallest box I can find if shipping anywhere else, bring it to the post office and off it goes! It’s okay to be flexible on price, but it’s never okay to lose money on shipping. If you do, you make sure you make it up somewhere else, such as in the selling price. You are not responsible for shipping rates, even though they may hurt your business.

This, in a nutshell, is what I do to sell music CDs on eBay. There more you list, the more you sell, the more you will learn about what works for you and what doesn’t. Some types of music are more popular, some CDs always sell and some never do. Even the ones that don’t sell are part of the mix, as they contribute to bringing people to your listings. Eventually, you may want to list all the ones that don’t sell in a single batch for $1 each, or whatever, and clear them out of your house, making room for something else. I’m a little bit of a work-in-progress hoarder, so making room in the house is important for my family and me.

Please share your comments and success stories in the comments below!