Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Swedes have a word for it....

OK everyone, time to fess up!  Hands up if your cars never get parked in the garage because the garage is full of stuff.  Hands up again if you rent storage space because you no longer have room left in the garage.  How many of you bought a copy of Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" but can't find it under the pile of books beside your bed?

Our generation has spent a significant amount of our income buying, housing, maintaining and storing our stuff.  For many of us our basements, attics and garages are full of stuff that we paid credit card interest to acquire.  On top of that many of us have inherited even more stuff from our parents.

Also as recent events, the devastating hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and fires in northern California, have shown, a lifetime of processions can wind up a water soaked mess or a pile of ashes in a blink of an eye.

If anyone is hanging on to this stuff to pass on to their children, well brace yourselves, your kids don't want it.  They don't want your china and crystal (sorry Martha Stewart but who does formal entertaining these days).  They don't want your hobby collections (sorry Tom Hanks but your kids don't want your collection of 200 typewriters).  They don't want your books (that what Kindles are for).  Give up any illusions of passing on your cherished belongings to your children.  The bulk of this stuff will wind up being donated, in the dumpster or being listed on eBay.

There is even a National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) whose members will orchestrate the decluttering of your home and will arrange the sale of your belongings when seniors begin the process of downsizing.  Their services don't come cheap and can range from $40 to $200 an hour depending on the location.

Perhaps the better alternative would be to follow the Swedish example as described in the recent book "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson.  The 80+ year old author motivates the reader to declutter so as not to burden their families when the eventual happens. Swedes even have a word fulskap meaning the "cupboard full of gifts you can't stand to look at, and which are impossible to regift."

As an Encore Hustler you should be looking at the stuff that has accumulated as a resource rather than a burden. Rather than paying someone to declutter your life make it a DYI project and put all the profits in your pocket.  Take the challenge and start looking for items to sell.  I know from experience that getting rid of processions can be difficult but you can start with baby steps.  Take a 360 around your home and find something that is low hanging fruit ripe for sale.  Thanks to the internet you should have multiple platforms available to list items for sale:

  • eBay for clothing
  • Amazon or Swappa for electronics
  • BookScouter for books
  • Craigslist or Kijiji for furniture
  • Facebook for everything else
When you have cleaned out your closets, emptied your garage and cancelled your storage unit contract you should be a seasoned seller.  Now you should consider how this experience can be levered into an Encore Hustle:
  • Visit garage sales and estate sales looking for undervalued items that can be flipped for a profit, especially if you can focus on items that you might have specialized knowledge or interest.
  • List items for others on the internet on a consignment basis.  This would appeal to people who do not have the time, skills or interest in listing themselves and as the consignor you can typically charge 40% of the sales price.
  • Consider joining NASMM and becoming a Senior Move Manager yourself.
I would love to hear your flipping tips.  Please contact me at Mr. EH@encorehustle.com

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