Selling Unused Stuff Can Be a Golden Opportunity for Cash

Short on cash? How about turning some of your trash into treasure?

Every time I start complaining that I don't have enough living space, I clean my closet and realize that it's me, not my house, that's the problem. And unless you're a neat freak, I bet you've got a stash of unused stuff somewhere, too.

But purging your junk doesn't just free up more space. It can also free up cash - especially handy now that the holidays are upon us (read on for a more permanent way to free up money).

Take your old jewelry, for instance. Gold is going for a record $1,119 per ounce as investors buy up the precious metal in hopes of protecting themselves against a falling dollar. Have some of your mom's gold jewelry from 20 years ago, maybe something that doesn't carry much sentimental value? You can get a pretty penny for it - and clear out some space in your jewelry box at the same time. (Word to the wise, though - get it appraised by a professional, not a pawn shop or someone in a TV ad, to get your fair share.)

How about those clothes that don't fit, those duplicate kitchen utensils or your old cell phones? Sell the threads on eBay, the kitchen stuff on Craigslist, and the phones on electronics buyer Then of course, there's always the old-fashioned yard sale.

And there's one more benefit to a good housecleaning. The last time I cleared out my closet, I kept thinking about how much of the stuff I was selling on eBay or giving to the Goodwill was actually purchased with my credit card. Those clothes probably went to a good home, but I'm still paying for them. It's made me think a little more carefully about what I buy - and about how much I'm willing to give up to creditors.

If you're still being haunted by purchases of Christmases past, maybe it's time to do something about that debt burden you're carrying around. Bankruptcy can reduce your debt obligation -- meaning all that money you were paying to creditors will now be yours to keep (or at least to pay the bills with). Wondering if bankruptcy is right for you? Sign up for a free personal debt analysis with one of our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers. Just think - you can have a clean financial slate to go with that freshly cleaned closet.

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