• Selling on eBay: Choosing What to Sell

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    If you’ve ever looked at all the things you have in your storage unit and thought, “I could sell this stuff…” then today is a great day to get started. If you want to make money on eBay, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of getting top dollar for your items.

    The easy way to sell items on eBay can be broken down into three steps: (1) choose what you want to sell; (2) learn as much as you can about each item you’re selling so you can set the starting price appropriately; and (3) take great photos.

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  • 7 Tips on How to Lower the Electric Bill in Your Apartment

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    When you’re trying to live on a budget, expenses that fluctuate up and down, like your electric bill, can easily take a bigger bite out of your resources than you’d like. But unlike fixed expenses like rent and garbage pick up, this is one that you have some control over. With a few proactive changes, you can keep that portion of your utilities at a reasonable minimum. (more…)

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  • Selling on eBay: Choosing a Sale Price

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    Congratulations! You’ve chosen a bunch of things to sell on eBay. This is a great way to clear out your clutter, downsize your storage unit, or get ready to move. Now that you’ve got your “To Sell” box of stuff, it’s time to set the best price for each and every item.

    Of course, you’ll want to choose the starting price on eBay that’s most likely to garner a few bids and get the highest closing price possible. You don’t want to start too low and end up selling your prized possessions for a dollar (imagine the heartbreak!), and you probably don’t want to start too high and spend your days and nights waiting for at least one bid that never happens. Not to worry: there are some smart moves you can make before you list your item that will help you set the right starting price.

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  • Thoughtful Housewarming Gift Ideas

    34008449_lIt happens with alarming regularity and always out of the blue—your friend moves into a new house, apartment, or extended-stay motel and you receive the dreaded housewarming invitation. What on earth do you get for the guy who hoards everything?

    You suspect his monthly moves have something to do with that nice photo of him hanging on the wall at the post office, or maybe it’s just his way of getting new stuff whenever his household items break down, but whatever the reason, you’re going to have to think outside the moving box for some thoughtful housewarming gift ideas.

    Brown Cardboard Boxes

    Your first instinct may be to simply wrap up your unused juicer (damn you, As Seen On TV store!!), but the law of the universe states that the day after you give away something, you will need it. Besides, if, like many people, your friend’s house is filled to the brim with items such as a treadmill (and its free accompanying gift, the Ab Rocket), a bread maker, Crocs in every available color, the one-click stick butter cutter, a closet full of linen suits, a unicycle, and several copies of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, then the perfect gift might be a stack of brown cardboard boxes. Well, they don’t even have to be brown. Glue colored construction paper to them! The point is, the best presents are both beautiful and useful. Or at least useful. And if this dude has been on the move more frequently than Dr. Richard Kimble, then you’re doing him a favor by helping him downsize.

    IKEA Replacement Parts 

    Speaking of useful, nothing is more pragmatic than giving a good buddy a box of spare IKEA Allen wrenches. We all think we have Ziploc baggies full of these Z-shaped miracle tools, but when we need to tighten the screws on the bed posts (no, that’s not a euphemism; okay, yes it is), suddenly these little guys are no where to be found. They, along with all the bolts, brackets and pegs, always seem to mysteriously disappear into the Bermuda Triangle of kitchen drawers. 

    Decluttering Tips

    You don’t have to be a bona fide hoarder to have more material goods than all the Third World countries combined. Between a society that encourages spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need to fill a house you can’t afford and a psychological block about letting go of anything, chances are your pal would be better off with Letting Go: The Dao of Decluttering than a collection of Star Wars action figures (even if it includes the rare Vinyl Cape Jawa). A gift certificate to The Container Store might be a good idea—so long as your friend isn’t addicted to addiction-relieving gadgets.

    Okay, so maybe a more accurate title for this post would be “Housewarming Gift Ideas For People You Don’t Really Like,” but still, I think you’ll find that if you imbibe just the right amount of Peach Schnapps you’ll be able to come up with plenty of thoughtful housewarming gift ideas for that friend who seems to move all the time. And if not, perhaps a hastily-written address on the picture in the post office is in order….

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  • Spruce Up Your Bathroom by Grouting

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    Is your bathroom looking a little drab? There’s an easy way to fix that, and it’s called grouting. If you have tiles in the bath, adding a fresh application of grout works like magic to make things look like new.

    I like grouting because it provides a relatively straightforward DIY project. There’s a definite start and finish—and the time between the two is usually a few hours or less. Some home improvement projects require power tools and watching endless hours of how-to videos. Not so with grouting! It’s inexpensive, quick and the results are nothing short of amazing.

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  • Running an Effective Garage Sale: Setting the Stage for Sales!

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    Sometimes you simply have too many things. This happens to all of us, as a good chunk of life is getting more possessions. Whether it’s that new furniture you’ve been saving up for, an ever-expanding collection of collectibles from your hobby, or you simply have too much of everything while moving from a large home to a smaller place. A rummage sale could be a great way to not only get rid of a lot of old items that you don’t need anymore, but to get some solid cash on the side, as well. However, running a quality garage sale involves a lot more than just choosing a date and setting up some tables! Read on to learn the right way to set up a sale and get you the best sale results!

    Make Sure to Advertise Well in Advance!

    You need to make sure that you give as many people as possible the chance to see your sale. This means putting up fliers around the neighborhood, as well as major roads close by. If you live in a larger town, consider putting fliers up at coffee shops or other local gathering spots. In the morning on the day of the sale you may want to put up yard signs at major road intersections and street corners that point towards your sale.

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  • How Many Shoes Do You Really Need?

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    In the spirit of “less is more,” could you get by with only five pairs of shoes? I have a friend who has 125 pairs—and I love her dearly—and another friend who goes barefoot 90% of the time, and I think that’s pretty cool, too. There’s nothing wrong with either approach.

    As I was packing yet another box (this time, it was an entire box of red shoes) into my storage unit, I wondered just how many pairs of shoes a person really needs. After giving it some thought, I think the magic number is five.

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  • Clean Your Stove & Oven the Easy Way

    30 April 2015 by
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    A dinner party? Well, it sounded like a fine idea until you took a closer look at where you would be cooking.

    If your stovetop and oven need attention, you are not alone. I truly believe that the only perfectly clean stovetops in the world exist in magazines. And as far as ovens go… who has the time for a three-hour “self-cleaning” cycle or the disposition to handle those fumes? There has got to be a better way.

    Oh, thank goodness, there is.

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  • A Junk Drawer for Every Room

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    I remember reading that every home should have a junk drawer. Let’s take that to the next level, shall we? A junk drawer for every room!

    Junk drawers are the busy person’s answer to ultimate organization. After all, what is organization but putting things where they go? Some people use “zones” and some rely on the feng shui bagua. For me, the easiest way to stay on top of being organized is a junk drawer.

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  • A Needle in the Haystack of Your Storage Unit

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    You need it, and you need it now. And it’s in your storage unit… somewhere.

    I’ve been there: desperate for that one thing that I know is in my storage unit, in one of the many boxes (plus those duffel bags I decided to use when I ran out of boxes), safe and sound. I remember putting it there and thinking, “Yes, if I ever need this, I’ll know exactly where to find it.”

    That one thing is somewhere inside a box, or bag, or a box inside a bag. So what’s the best way to find a needle in the haystack that is your storage unit?

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