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Mission to Minimalism | Week 3

September 20, 2016

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As a professional Interior Designer, when I start a project with a new client that already has a furnished home, I almost inevitably get asked, “What should I do with all my old stuff?”  I often give a long sigh because I personally know how overwhelming it can be to have a room full of furniture that you no longer need, but feel your heart break thinking of just setting it out at the end of your driveway with a “FREE” sign on top of it.  I mean, even if it was starter furniture or pieces that worked great in your old home that just don’t fit into your new space its nice to get something for your past life furniture and decor! Now, if its a beer stained, cat scratched, POS you’ve had since your fraternity days, the street corner will do just fine.

As I’ve been digging through each room, storage space, and you know… Those nooks and crannies that things just seem to pile up in, I realize that same position my clients are always in. Therefore, I get to do exactly what I advise my clients to do… Craigslist that shizz.  And yep, it is, in fact a daunting task.  I know that in order to get it done successfully and profitably, you do have to be committed to doing it right.  So, I thought this would be an excellent time to share some of my best tips with you!

1. Take EXCELLENT photos. Seems lame, right?  You’re getting rid of it!  It’s possibly even hanging out in your garage or storage shed, but dusting that bad boy off and putting it in some good lighting will pay off in the end.  I like the make sure the items look “staged.”  Think of a home being staged in order to get top dollar.  Your furniture or decor items will do best if you treat them the same way.

2. Give great detail. Don’t hesitate to be wordy.  You can mention where and when you bought it, but avoid mentioning what you paid for it.  I find that it often backfires, so I avoid it all together.  I always think its a great idea to let people know why you’re selling it too. All to often, people assume that items are broken, damaged, or undesirable if you’re selling it.  My coffee table looks like a death trap for my new tiny human, so I put that simple detail in my posting so that people can relate and assume that if I didn’t have a little one running around, I’d be happy to keep it!

3. Be HONEST.  Don’t get yourself into trouble by saying that your item is in great condition thinking you’ll get more bang for your buck.  You’ll probably have to deal with a lot more potential buyers and wind up being disappointed with zero cash in hand.  People should wind up knowing exactly what they’ll be getting when they arrive so that the price is already finalized before they arrive.  No surprises please!

4. Keywords! Keywords! Keywords!  Think of the words that your potential buyer is going to be looking for.  Vintage. Retro. Mid Century. Rustic. Tufted. Drexel. West Elm. DWR.  Think about what makes the piece noteworthy and throw it in BOTH your title and body of your listing.  You can search for keywords on Google pertaining to your particular item if you’re creativity just isn’t working on that particular day.

5. Create a “Garage Sale” feel in your posting.  I like to list the other items that I’m selling in each individual posting!  Why not, right?  If someone is in the market for an end table and coffee table and they see that I do have both in the same posting, I may have just sold two pieces much easier than all the items individually.   After I do my write up on the item that I’m listing, I’ll but a note at the bottom that says something like this, “Also selling, matching vintage nightstand, two West Elm Ottomans, Brass Schoolhouse Electric Lamp, and a glass top contemporary coffee table.”  People can search you as the seller and then see all the items that you’re selling.

6. Price Fairly. Yes, people are going to try to negotiate with  you, but that doesn’t mean you should start your price so high that you don’t get a single hit.  Take a quick peek at what others are selling similar items at and price accordingly.  If you feel your item should sell at a higher dollar mark, just be sure to share why its priced higher.

7. Delivery.  Obviously, if you’re willing to deliver, it helps A LOT.  But, to be honest, I don’t do that anymore as my vehicle size has shrunk!

8. Posting Time.  My most successful time to post is on Friday evenings.  When people are willing to run around on the weekend to look at items or pick them up, they are generally the most available on the weekends.  So, Friday when people are getting home from work or Saturday mornings when they might be feeling fresh is the time to make your move.

9. Be Clear.  If YOU’RE only available on the weekends, say so.  If you only want cash, share that info.  It often helps to weed out scammers anyway.  Let your potential buyers know what your expectations are for having the item(s) off your hands.  If you don’t feel like dealing with a bunch of emails, you can be straight forward and let people know that only serious calls welcomed.

10. Lastly and most important. BE SAFE.  I only allow people to come pick up large items from me when my husband is home.  Even if I’m meeting someone on neutral ground (very public place), I bring someone with me.  Call me paranoid, but better safe than sorry.

Now that I’ve gathered up quite a few of the items I’m looking to sell, I’ll be making a big Craigslist Ad this weekend.  Here is an example of what one of my post will look like.


  •  faux velvet chairs
  • armless
  • tufted
  • brown fabric
  • dark brown legs
  • 28″ wide x 28″ deep x 30″ tall
  • $100

I bought these two chairs about 5 years ago from Target when I was living in a smaller apartment.  I’ve loved them and they have moved with me between 4 homes now!  I have decided that it is now time for me to get a pair of chairs that have arms since the scale will suit my current living room more appropriately.  They are a really nice dark, chocolate brown and the fabric is super soft to the touch.  I have two dogs now, but they have spent a lot of time without pets or children and therefore are in great condition! I’ve always paired them with a mid-century sofa, but they also have a classic feel too. I’m only selling them as a set and am only willing to take cash.  Their replacements will be here within two weeks, so I’m looking to have them gone before hand.

I am also selling 2 nightstands, 2 gourd lamps, 1 gold lamp, 2 coffee tables (1 contemporary and 1 rustic), 2 large area rugs and a baby changing tray.

Keywords – pair, tufted, mid-century, armless, small-scale, apartment furniture

Hope you find some of these tips helpful! To read more about my Mission to Minimalism, click here.

Happy Designing!


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