Turn your clutter into cash and make money decorating your bedroom.

This is not a joke, folks. It's quite possible to decorate your bedroom and put money in your pocket at the same time, and I'll tell you how.

What's the first thing you ought to do when beginning a decorating project? Clear the clutter! It's so much easier to create a beautiful room when you don't have to deal with years of stuff and nonsense hanging around. If you haven't used it or worn it in a year, it goes into the "bye-bye" pile. Now of course, if we're talking sentimental keepsakes or one of those outfits that are supposed to be an incentive to drop some pounds (you don't have one of those?), and the thought of tossing your treasure makes you break out in hives, hang on to it. Hives are no fun.

But for the most part, we can eliminate a large percentage of the items stuffing the closets and dresser drawers. Be ruthless. Once the excess is banished, the decorating can begin.

Where's the money, though? It's in all that stuff we just eliminated. The idea is to turn your clutter into cash. Then turn the cash into an increase in your decorating budget.

It's amazing what other people will buy. I have a box of old 33 1/3 records that I've hauled around the country on my many moves, and I've finally decided that it's time to let go. Someone out there will love these vinyl disks, and I'll love the money and the extra room. Clothes, pictures, craft items, toys, furniture, bedding, books - if you can't use it, don't want it, won't store it, then sell it.

Flea markets, yard or garage sales, classified ads in the local paper -all are effective at reaching those people who want what you need to get rid of, only they don't know it yet. And let's not forget the on-line auction sites (dare I say eBay?) if you want to reach a huge customer base. Setting up an auction is easy and quick, fun to track, and can be surprisingly profitable. A word of warning, though. These on-line auctions can be addictive; you find yourself looking at all your possessions with the thought, "I wonder what I can get for this?"

Here's more on clutter:

Effects of Clutter