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Thursday, June 9, 2011

How I Made Money to take my family to Disneyland.

After I had my 3rd child in 2005, I had some weight to lose.  
I’ve always been self-conscious about my weight, but it took being 25 pounds over weight to realize I should’ve appreciated what I had when I had it.  All those years I thought I was fat, I really wasn’t.  

So before I even started dieting, I was already burned out, but I knew I had to do something.  I had read that if you eat grapefruit first thing in the morning, it can really boost your metabolism, burn fat and reduce your appetite.  With 10 full-grown grapefruit trees in my yard, I thought I’d give this grapefruit thing a try.  
To my delight, I lost a couple of pounds the first week.  It only takes a little success for me to stay motivated, so I thought I’d do yoga everyday as well.  I found a Gaiam Yoga DVD at a yard sale for .50 cents and I was ready to get started.  
The instructor, on the beach in Hawaii at sunrise, walked me through a 30 minute full-body stretch workout.  It felt so good, but after the first week my body ached.  
How could such simple stretches that felt so good actually make me sore?  
The motions seemed so gentle, but they really worked my body out.  I memorized the yoga workout and continued to do it every day for six months and lost all my weight.  In the summer heat, my grapefruits had dried up and I slowly stopped doing yoga.  At this point, the workout was so easy; it almost didn’t seem worth my time.
Fast forward a few years. 
My 5th child just turned one and once again, I need to lose some weight, so I broke out that old yoga DVD, thinking I’d just pick up where I left off.
I was wrong.
I’m so sore; I look like I’ve been riding on horseback for the last week.  Not to mention, when I start I have a three-year old little boy jumping on me any chance he gets.
Sometimes something that seems so easy is only easy because we’ve practiced and over time have become really good at it.
That’s how selling trash has become to me.  
What once was hard, what once made me dizzy, what once I questioned as something that could make me serious money is now something I look forward to everyday.  It's so easy for me to stay motivated because I have success along the way.
I recently went to Disneyland.  The vacation, which I will post about tomorrow, was amazing, but so was earning the money before we left.  I loved the whole process.  It was so much fun.
Some of my best sales I had while earning money for Disneyland are as follows:
I found this beat up credenza at the thrift store.  
It's huge and over 70 inches long.  
Because of the condition it was in, I almost didn't buy it, but I'm taking more risks and my buying confidence has really grown.  I have an electric sander and some dark stain.  It took about 20 minutes to sand down and re-stain. It sold before I had the chance to take the after-photo of it.  The person who purchased it from me loved it and even emailed me later to say it fit perfect in her home as a window seat.  
I just love a happy customer.  
When I saw this piece of furniture, I knew I had to have it.  The woodwork is amazing.
To say this thing is rustic is an understatement.  It looks like it should be in a cathedral.
It sold to a woman who drove all the way up from Tucson. That's a two-hour drive.  Not only did she by this buffet, but she also say this trunk in my garage and purchased it as well.
This rocking chair was in bad shape when I brought it home, but for a $10.00 purchase price I knew I could flip it for a profit.
It didn't sell when it looked like this-
So I painted it like this!
After sanding it down and spraying in black, it sold right away.
I took a chance with this entry/sofa table.
It's solid wood and has amazing woodwork, but it looks like something hot spilled and burned into it.
This was a job for my sander.  A little black paint and it sold within a few days for a great profit.

I think the biggest obstacle that comes with selling trash is storage.  I have to move furniture fast or I run out of space.  I keep my prices low so I can move my inventory fast.
This cubby shelf is made by Jonti-Craft.  After looking this company up on-line, I realized I had a really nice item.  It took some creative marketing because I don't know who's looking for a cubby shelf on craigslist.  I listed it under bookshelf/rack.  It took a few weeks, but it finally sold to a very excited mother looking for some extra storage.
Buying trash is a mind game, like with this rustic Mexican chandelier.  I wasn't sure if I could find a buyer, but the price was right so I bought it.  When I find something cheap enough, it's worth the risk.  I know vintage chandeliers with the diamond tear-drop glass are all the rave, but what about rustic?  I listed it and had multiple calls.  That was easy and now I know!
I've already been thrifting today looking for my next big find.  Now, I’m off to do more yoga, that is if I can stand up from this computer chair!
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock


  1. Seeing your transformations is inspiring!

  2. Oh my gosh. That rustic chandelier is to die for. I need to start thrift shopping more often!! =)

  3. I'm so happy to see you posting! I have missed you so much!

  4. I am so impressed with your transformations of those pieces. My goal this summer is to work out everyday. If your not sore, your not working hard enough. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Way to go - I loved this upbeat post, and learned something about you. I like your spirit of enterprise.

  6. I love your trash to cash posts....we have sold a few things on ebay. Need to ramp it up a bit!!!

  7. Your success stories are always so motivating! I've just started gathering trash and have some projects planned. Do you recommend Craigslist selling for a newbie?

  8. I really enjoy craigslist and have never had a bad experience. I wrote about the pros and cons of craigslist a few months ago. I've learned if you have a great product, you will find a buyer. I know you'll have great success.

  9. Awesome! What a blessing! First you motivated me to resell clothing, and now you're motivating me to sell on craiglist. Love your posts! Looking foward to reading about your Disneyland vacation. My son works at Disneyland and he took me & my BFF there as his guests yesterday. We had a blast!

  10. How did you get that finish on the black coffee table? Turned out great!!!

  11. I do yoga a few times a week! We should get together sometimes this summer and join forces. :) I've been doing it for years and I love it!

  12. How awesome! I really want to move to selling furniture but first...i need a truck so slowly i'm saving up for one through my ebay sales!

  13. I love your transformations. I get you on the storage, though. I've been doing quite a bit of furniture painting lately and things are getting crowded. I keep telling my husband I need a studio but I suspect I would fill that up in a hurry, too!

    Good luck on the yoga. It about killed me!

    Thanks for the great link this week.