Who couldn't use a little extra cash? I know I can. After moving to the very expensive city of Chicago, I realized my 9 to 5 just wasn't cutting it, so I started vigorously searching for ways to make a little extra cash on the side. Picking up a second job like waitressing or bar tending crossed my mind, but I wanted to keep a flexible schedule, and not have to sacrifice my beloved weekends.
My day job requires that I drive all over the city, and I started noticing how a lot of the garbage people were throwing out didn't look like garbage at all. In fact, I saw things I wanted for my own apartment. I started thinking, "People would pay for this stuff!" I had to try it out. I found my first dresser in an alley near my house. The top drawer had a split piece of wood, the metal track to help the drawer slide in and out was coming off, and there were a few green marker scribbles on the top. Easy fix.
If you know basic-I mean very basic-maintenance skills, you can do this kind of work. Know how to use a screwdriver, sandpaper and a paint brush, and you're good to go. For instance, to fix the dresser mentioned above, I simply applied woodglue to the split wood, added a screw to secure the metal track, and sanded off the green marker that wouldn't come off with cleaner.
After about 30 minutes of work, I put the dresser (see picture) on Craigslist using my smart phone. I wanted to start with an over-exaggerated price to see what people were willing to pay, so I started the price at $100. Instantly I had numerous replies, all willing to pay the requested $100. I sold the furniture with little effort within a few days, after negotiating delivery plans. Needless to say, I was hooked. I started collecting various pieces of furniture with potential and sold them as quickly as possible. Within a short period of time, I had racked up almost $500 in extra spending cash.
If you are interested in doing this quick fix up work, here are some suggestions of the basic tools you might want to keep on hand: hammer, screwdriver, various screws/nails, woodglue, and sandpaper (multiple grit sizes). I also keep stain and varnish on hand for when I want to refinish a piece to look fresh and new. I wish you the best of luck on your trash to cash adventures!