We've all got clutter, and sometimes selling that stuff is a great way to make a bit of extra money. But, as Unclutterer notes, sometimes it's just a time suck—and you don't get as much back as you thought.
So, they recommend setting a dollar limit to the stuff you're willing to sell:
I’ve set a dollar limit for myself; anything that I don’t think I can sell for that amount or more gets donated rather than sold.
I also tend to sell in the ways that are easiest for me. For example, I’ll sell used electronics through services such as Gazelle and GreenCitizen, which offer a fixed price. I could make more money, perhaps, using eBay — but I find eBay to be difficult for a very infrequent seller like me. For items other than electronics, I’ve sometimes used Craigslist.
. . .Another consideration: Depending on your tax situation, getting a tax deduction for a donation may remove some of the sting of not getting cash in hand from a sale, if you decide against going to sales route.
I used to think selling stuff for $20 or $30 was worth it, but between the time to sell it, the hassle of buying packing materials and dealing with the Post Office (or UPS, or whoever), I've found that my limit is a little higher than it used to be. Find where your sweet spot is and remember it—you'll probably save yourself a lot of hassle in the future. Hit the link for more tips on selling your old stuff.
When you type something into Chrome's address bar, you get everything from search suggestions to bookmarks and browsing history. If you only want to see search suggestions, you can do so with a simple question mark.
Google Operating System discovers that you can just add a question mark (?) to the beginning of any query in Chrome's omnibox. When you do, it'll only show search suggestions, instead of all the other stuff.
Amid news that nearly 20% of Yelp reviews are "suspicious" (and Yelp's response that they automatically filter those ones out), it's easy to wonder how to tell a good review from a bad one, or how to make sure yours stands out as actual good advice. The Consumerist shares a few tips to better craft your review.
Of course, the rule with sites like Yelp is to take the general sentiment of the reviews with the understanding that the strangely glowing ones are probably staff or management, while the particularly nasty and vitriolic ones are probably self-entitled people who like to hear themselves complain. Look for trends, not specific episodes, as it were. When you're crafting a Yelp review, your best bet is to try to avoid both extremes.
The Consumerist suggests you make sure you're being completely honest in your review—without resorting to hyperbole like "Best/Worst EVER," since those can trigger Yelp's automatic filters (not to mention most people's BS filters). If you do want to praise or decry a specific experience, make sure to include details like what exactly you ate that was the best ever, or why you had a bad experience. Craft your review in a tone that's genuinely helpful and informative to a potential reader, not like someone penning a complaint or a compliment to an unseen manager:
In the case of a positive write-up, don’t just trot out some exclamation points and vague terms like “amazing” and “yummy.” And when you’re angry, don’t just use the availability of Yelp to vent your frustration. Provide information that would be of use to a potential customer. What items did you eat? What in particular did you enjoy about them? At what point did the evening turn sour? How was the service, cleanliness, atmosphere? Simply saying a place has “f-ing rad pizza!” is of no real use to anyone but the pizzeria.
Finally, they suggest something that goes without saying: If you're really angry and had a bad experience, sleep on it. Your rage should have dulled by the morning, and you'll be able to more clearly articulate why you're upset in a way that will help future customers avoid the same experience (or make the business understand you had a real issue and you're not just blowing off steam). Hit the link below for more review writing tips, and check out our guide to writing genuinely helpful online reviews for more suggestions.
How To Make Sure Your Yelp Restaurant Reviews Aren’t Completely Worthless | The Consumerist
In the mood to travel? Wait, scratch that—in the mood to travel for free? Boarding a plane and jet setting off to a new country is notoriously expensive, but thanks to the wonder of frequent flyer miles, you can do it for next to nothing. I know what you're thinking: don't you have to fly a lot and buy expensive tickets in order to rack up miles?
This is a guest post by Chris Guillebeau.
Not necessarily. With a few simple travel hacking tips and tricks, you can earn miles without actually buying a ticket. The key? Strategic credit card spending and non-travel promotions. Time to earn and burn!
Airline Dining Programs
Many airlines have programs that give you extra miles if you dine out at their preferred list of restaurants in your area. You simply register for the dining program online and link one of your credit cards to the account. Every time you use that card, you’ll earn 3-5 miles per dollar spent (the more you dine, the more your points will increase). I rack up my dining miles in the American dining program and http://aa.rewardsnetwork.com/.
It's never a good idea to purchase some random product just to get the miles, but many airlines have deals with stores you may already shop at. Target, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Safeway are just a few of the huge retailers where you can earn miles. Who knew buying toilet paper could pay for your next trip? Nearly all airlines and hotel programs offer a shopping portal. You can find out which program is offering the biggest shopping bonus by checking out http://evreward.com/.
Credit Card Signup Bonuses
Opening credit cards is the fastest and most lucrative way to accrue miles—just make sure to manage your accounts responsibly and obviously don't go into debt. Sign up for credit cards that provide a good mileage bonus (25,000+ upon opening the account), and one mile per dollar at the least. The more credit cards you open, the more miles you'll get—and you can always close them out once the fee kicks in. (Check out this post on my personal blog or a complete listing on CardsforTravel.com for information on specific cards and how to use them.)
Another way to cash in on big miles for shopping is to get a business credit card that gives you 5x points at an office supply card and buy gift cards there for the stores you patronize. I load up the Starbucks app on my phone and my online Amazon account with gift cards that I buy at office stores using my Chase Ink Plus card—this gives me 5x more points than normal for things that I already buy. (You don’t have to have a business to get a business credit card—you just use your Social Security Number instead of an EIN number when you apply.)
If you have a few extra dollars sitting around earning little to no interest, consider banking it in a new account just for the miles. Many financial companies offer miles to get your money into their systems, and you can always close the account once you redeem your rewards. Fidelity accounts require more than pocket change to start out—but they’ll give you up to 50,000 miles for a new account.
Despite the fact that credit cards are the best way to rack up miles, the Delta Suntrust Debit Card offers 1 mile per dollar spent, as well as 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. The card also has a signup bonus of 5,000 SkyMiles. Not too shabby! The Delta debit card is especially great for paying taxes, since there is only a $3.49 fee instead of the percentage fee you get hit with when using credit cards for taxes.
Got the time to answer a few questions? e-rewards.com and emiles.com are survey websites that will give you miles in exchange for answering questionnaires. The sites deposit the miles into your account every few months, and you can use multiple email addresses to get rewards with more than one partner.
Chances are you already binge-watch television shows and movies on Netflix, but if you don't, signing up for a trial membership automatically gives you 2,000 United miles. If you're already a member, just cancel your membership and sign up again.
Test Drive a Crazy Promotion
Believe it or not, you can earn miles for things like swinging by an Acura lot, hopping into a car, and giving it a test drive. I’ve personally earned miles by testing Bose headphones and visiting a clinic for a hair loss consultation (and I’m not even balding). These deals come and go, so keep your eye out and hop on them whenever you get a chance!
You can easily earn miles on Facebook, and all you have to do is click the "like" button. Many airlines and hotels are willing to dish out many as 500 miles in exchange for a simple "like" on a page or a post which is a great deal.
A few chain hotels allow you to transfer hotel points to partner airlines, and some even let you choose airline miles instead of hotel points when you stay. Better still are the hotels that let you "double dip," meaning you can get both hotel points and miles. Co-branded hotel credit cards also commonly offer bonuses in the way of free nights every year or free elite status. There's nothing better than taking a free flight and having a free place to crash—with lounge access!
Chrome: Whether you're inordinately loquacious or just really love gargantuan words, chances are you could use a dictionary on hand. Dictionary Bubble makes it as easy as possible, providing definitions with a double click.
When you double-click a word with this extension activated, a definition bubble will appear right above the word. If you'd still like to be able to select words with a double-click without getting a definition, you can choose a trigger key in the extension's options.
Double-Click Words To Instantly View Their Definitions & Synonyms In Chrome | Addictive Tips
Nobody wants to walk up a flight of stairs to put away every little thing. Craft blog Sew Many Ways suggests giving every member of your family a "crap basket" to put their stuff in.
The idea is so simple it seems obvious once you think about it. Each person is responsible for their own basket and they just carry it upstairs whenever they go. It also helps teach everyone to get in the habit of keeping things clutter-free by taking something with them when they leave.
If you spend a little extra cash on a nice wood cutting board, you want it to last for a long time. As The Kitchn points out, the best way to do that is to regularly maintain your cutting board with a bit of oil.
As far as general maintenance is concerned, The Kitchn suggests keeping up your daily cleaning with a bit of soap and water. Beyond that, they recommend you scrub your cutting board down with a lemon and salt mix once a month, let it dry, and then rub it down with mineral oil (or another food-grade oil). Let the oil soak in overnight, and then remove the excess oil the next morning. That should maintain your cutting board for years to come.