Tag: minimalism

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Whether you need more money now, or to stash in your retirement savings for later, one quick way to to get cash is to find easy things to make and sell for money.

1. Making Printables For Downloading

For this first one, you will need a little bit of technical skill and creativity. However, anyone of any age that has just a little bit of both, can quickly make money with printables.

What are we talking about? Printables are anything that you create and deliver in a downloadable format over the internet that provides a valuble product to your customer. For example, you can set-up an Etsy (the makers market) store and sell crafty downloadable items such as:

  • Sewing Patterns & Other Craft Patterns
  • Checklists, Calendars & Organizing Sheets
  • Coloring Books
  • Note Cards & Invitations
  • Business Cards
  • Workbooks
  • How to eBooks
  • Meal Planners
  • Pictures and Graphics
Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money Pin

Printables are very popular! I have downloaded many helpful ones myself. As a result, there are endless amounts of websites that will teach you the step by step process to starting a printable business. Just Google “printables business” or go onto Pinterest and search for “how to sell printables” to start.

These websites will give you tips on how to find easy ways to create these printables, even if you do not have a graphic design background. There are services, like Canva, that make designing something very easy for just about anyone. Just remember to do a little research on what is trending and what is always a popular search, before you start the creation process.

Keep it Easy

If you are looking for quick and easy in this area, then stick with Etsy. If you want to turn your printables business into something bigger, you can look into starting your own Shopify store, or selling on your very own website. Just know that path will require much more customer service. Customer service has a habit of taking the “easy” out of an idea.

2. Selling Photos

It has never been easier to sell photos than now. Online publishing (this blog included) has created a never-ending need for unique, quality stock photography. As a result, there are many market places that need photographers to provide photos to sell. You will need to have a good camera for this one. Moreover, you need to know a little bit about taking a good photo.

However, there is a lot of information out there to get started with for free, so we include this option in our easy things to make and sell for money list.

3. Easy, Trending Crafts to Make and Sell for Money

This is another route where you can sell on Etsy, or you can find in-person craft fairs and markets in your local area to sell things quickly.

Popular & Trending Craft Sale Ideas:

  • Jewelry – This is always a top selling category in any craft market space. There is a buyer for just about anything. Friends and family are often supportive of your creative expressions too. I have had friends that have sold jewelry at yoga studios and small businesses around town in addition to their online sales.
  • Bath Bombs / Soaps / Lotion Bars – Make these pretty, colorful and appealing and they will sell easily, especially around the Holidays! Bath Bombs are easier to make than soaps and lotions. However, all of them are a great idea, and you can find very good, organic recipes online for just about anything these days.
  • Clothing – Here are a few ideas with clothing.
    • Screen Printing: At one point, I joined a little creative art studio in town that rented access to their screen printing. I took lessons from them, and then made my own screen printed clothing to sell. I made several thousand dollars over that year selling these items. Moreover, it was a ton of fun! If you want to screen print – baby and kids clothes with cute prints sell well!
    • Knitting / Crocheting: If I can knit, you can too. I seem to have very little finger dexterity, even with years of piano lessons and hours and hours of typing each day! However, I can knit, and I enjoy it. It is therapeutic even! My mom taught me, and she does not do a lot of fancy knitting, but she has sold scarves and hats over the years. When she wears her creations, people see them and ask where she got them – easy sales for her.
  • Toys – Sticking with the kids and babies theme, people are often coming up with easy to make kids and baby items to sell. This is an area where Printables are big too (see above).
  • Stickers, Vinyls and Transfers – You can either make these and ship them, or you can create downloadable items for people to create themselves.

4. Sell Your Stuff

Next, it is time to embrace the Minimalism Trend and sell your stuff! This idea is not technically in the “make category.” However, you can still use your creativity and maker-skills with your current possessions.

Perhaps you have stuff you could refurbish and sell. Ideas for refurbishing include furniture, watches, jewelry, antiques, clothing items and accessories. You can also just sell things “as-is.” That is easy for sure.

Easy Places to Sell Your Stuff You Made for Money:

  • Ebay
  • Etsy
  • Craigslist
  • Local Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade Groups – search in your local area.
  • Mercari – A new one, but gaining popularity.
  • ThredUp – (for clothes and accessories)
  • eBid
  • Bonanza – I like their tag “Find everything but the ordinary.”

There are others, just look around and see what market place fits your items best.

5. Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money from the Homestead

If you like getting your hands dirty, then this idea will be easy for you. I personally do not think gardening is easy. However, I have a lot of friends and family that tell me I am wrong, and that gardening is very easy! Then, if you can grow it, people will buy it.

Produce

It is a very popular and happy trend that people prefer, fresh, local produce. Just put a notice up on Facebook that you have tomatoes to sell, and you will easily sell them. Same with chicken eggs and dairy items. I have purchased eggs from neighbors, and I have even purchased chickens.

Poultry and Dairy

There are places that will pluck and package chickens for you if you want to raise and sell them for meat. I had a friend do this too, and she informed me it was not expensive to get the chickens ready to sell with a local butcher she found. I live in the Midwest. However, I think this is a trend everywhere, so I add even “chicken raising” to the easy money category.

Plants

Growing plants to sell can also be easy, but I would not say fast. Plants are certainly trending though. So, if you have a little more time and a green thumb, growing and selling plants and starter plants is a great idea. You could focus on house plants, outdoor flowers, or even vegetable garden plants.

Gardening Tools & Planters

Are you a Crafty Homesteader? Then there are lots of easy things to make and sell for money here. Here are a few ideas:

  • Decorated Planters & Pots
  • Garden Markers for Outdoor Plants & Smaller Ones for Herb Gardens
  • Gardening tools such as knee pads
  • Plant Hangers – Wood and Cloth (Macrame is back!)
  • Seed Packets
  • Compost – I make my own. I don’t sell mine, but you could! People want good compost. I use this tumbler, and recommend it as a good starter for making compost.

6. Your Plasma

Yep, there is always this option for a fast, easy way to make money. Technically, you make it, and you can sell it. Just find a plasma center near you. Then, make sure you qualify to sell your plasma before showing up.

7. Your Opinions

You also make your own opinions. So, we will give brief nod to Survey Companies in our easy things to make and sell for money. Just do these in your spare time to make a little extra cash.

I used to participate in Pinecone Research, and I actually did make some good extra cash with them! It was enjoyable too, but then I aged into a not as needed age category and my survey options shrunk. Eventually, I didn’t find it worth my time. However, every survey company is different and has different clients, so you can find one good for you to make some spending money.

Take a look at this article that reviews the top survey companies. It does a pretty good job of breaking it all down.

Conclusions on Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Both online and in person, there has never been an easier time to find easy things to make and sell for money. Everything we presented here has very little investment money to get started. Mostly, your costs will be any materials needed to make your items to sell.

Simply, find what inspires you and get to it!

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Minimalist Living

Minimalist Living

Minimalist Living

Minimalist Living

Minimalist Living, Minimalism, Conscious Consumerism, Simple Living, The Joy of Less, Decluttering, Downsizing… Perhaps you have encountered these words recently and realized this is a movement spreading across America. Minimalist living is nothing new, but weary Americans coming off the consumerism roller-coaster, are discovering it again.

Minimalism Across Generations

Millennial Minimalism

Minimalism is appealing across generations, but it seems to be most appealing to the Millennial Generation. The Millennial generation (born 1981-1996) grew up with the high spending of the 1990’s and the bubble bursts of the 2000’s. Exiting school with a poor job market and lots of debt shaped the way Millennials see the world. Moreover, the highlighted effects of climate change from global consumerism are concerning to this generation which will most likely live to see the effects of our changing weather.

According to Forbes, 78% of Millenials would rather spend money of experiences than on stuff. (59% of Baby boomers say the same thing.) Millennials are opting for smaller house, smaller carbon footprints, and sharing cars/tools/etc. They are decluttering and donating the remnants of their early spending, and the mainstream is taking notice.

Baby Boomer Minimalism

Can baby boomers be minimalists

The Baby Boomers are noticing too. As we mentioned, over half of the Boomers said they would rather spend money on experiences than things. However, this number is far below the Millennial count, and Boomers have a much more complicated relationship with things.

The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) grew up with rapid U.S. economy growth, the rise of the suburbs, and the marketing of the “American Dream.” As a result, Boomers were the generation of accumulation. Generation X (born 1965-1981) was not far behind in picking up where the boomers left off in consumption of stuff.

Now, the Baby Boomers are entering retirement in droves (10,000 Boomers each day reach retirement age) and sometime after this (hopefully a long time after this) they will pass. What happens to all their stuff?

Unloading Your Stuff for Minimalist Living

Minimalist Living by Generation

Here is the new reality: the generations after you do not want your “stuff.” Heirlooms to one generation are now the junk of the next generation. This is not to say that nothing is precious. You might have a few very special objects that can be confidently passed down. However all the china, crystal and large pieces of furniture that were once considered essential and now considered (heavy) burdens.

Step number one will always be – STOP buying more stuff! Once you have accepted this concept as more than theory, it is easier to move on to step two – minimizing your stuff.

Traditional Downsizing and the Rise of Sweedish Death Cleaning

Let’s say you are a Baby Boomer (as an example, this applies to all ages), with a average to above average living space and perhaps even a storage unit. You have accumulated many things in a large amount of categories including clothes, shoes, accessories, kitchen wares, furniture, decor, outdoor tools, camping gear, exercise equipment, beauty supplies, cars, holiday decorations, etc.

How does the responsibility of this amount of stuff make you feel? Moreover, who will inherit this responsibility when you are gone?

There are several ways to look at this situation that fall along the spectrum of minimalist living:

The 4 Phases of Minimalist Living
  • Organizing
  • Decluttering
  • Downsizing
  • Minimalist Living

Let’s look at each step on the journey:

Organizing

Organizing is not minimizing. It is taking what you have, sorting it out and putting into a manageable system so you can use it and enjoy it effectively. It can be helpful to you, and those that have to sort through your stuff later, but it does not take away any of the burden of material things.

Organizing will always have a place in the process of minimizing. You will need to organize what you have at every step in the minimalist journey. In addition, organizing will get easier as you let go of more and purchase less.

Decluttering

Decluttering is the first step in embracing minimalist living. It involves not only a physical shift of letting go, but also a mental shift into what it means to live more with less.

Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, brought decluttering into the spotlight in 2014. (As did her Netflix special a few years later.) It is still a great book to start you on your journey of letting go and learning to find the joy of living with less. Are you unfamiliar with this book? The premise is to only allow things to exist in you life that “spark joy.”

For example if a pair of shoes does not bring you joy – get rid of them. If you have 10 shirts in your closet, but only 2 shirts make you feel good and look good (i.e. bring you joy) then you have 8 shirts too many. Kondo also has a very effective system of gathering, sorting and deciding what stuff stays and what goes.

Downsizing

Minimalism by Generation

Downsizing goes beyond decluttering and challenges us to face our mark on this world and what we might leave behind. In this way, we consider how our current living situation is affecting our own happiness and the happiness of those around us.

For example, consider the size of your living space. How much space you live in affects your comfort level, but it also dictates the amount of responsibility (or burden) you have. Your space size decides how much time you spend cleaning and maintaining and how much money you spend doing these activities. It also affects those around you by the amount of energy you use (your carbon footprint) and the amount of resources you use to maintain your home.

When you pass, your responsibility (burden) for all of your things becomes someone else’s responsibility (burden). The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is a very recent book on an old subject. It is dedicated to helping people unload their stuff now, so their loved ones will not have to when they pass.

When done in the Swedish fashion, downsizing and decluttering becomes an act of love. Moreover, it becomes a journey that allows you to share experiences and meanings behind objects and heirlooms, before you part with them.

Minimalist Living

Finally, after you have organized, decluttered, and downsized, you may just be ready to embrace a minimalist life. Minimalism asks you to let go of anything that does not serve you or bring you happiness. It favors quality over quantity, and conservation over consumerism.

More than any of the other step, minimalism is a lifestyle. You get to define what simple living means to you. Maybe it means only owning 30 items of clothing or letting go of a large house or an extra car. Minimalism can free up your cash now that you have stepped off the consumer wheel. Maybe that means you can retire early – or even retire at all!

Above all, minimalism can give you freedom. It is amazing how much stress and pressure comes from our accumulation and maintenance of our stuff. If you are looking for a guide to start you on your path to minimalist living, then I have a few recommendations:

  • The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own. This book by Joshua Becker is an excellent starting point for any curious reader. It was one of the first minimalist books I read, and it reached me right where I was at – in my suburban home with a crowded garage.
  • Project 333. For those of you that want to create a minimalist life, but would like to start smaller, Project 333 will help you minimize your wardrobe. This is a website/blog that will challenge you to evaluate what you really need in regards to clothes, shoes and accessories.
  • The Minimalists. This website will lead you to articles, podcasts, movies and other resources that will help you discover more about minimalism and the people that practice it.

Going Forward with Minimalist Living

Whatever stage of life you are in, it is good to know that it is not to late to minimize! It is just going to be a lot harder for some. Starting small with one specific area or project will help. As will understanding that letting go of stuff is a journey. We are never really done, and choosing a minimal lifestyle is an everyday process. However, it is worth is when you consider all the benefits: time freed up, money saved, resources conserved, and stress relieved.

the four phases of minimalist living
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