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When big corporations are looking to lower debt and boost profits, one of their primary strategies is to sell assets. They sell divisions, product lines, inventory, equipment. You can do the same on a smaller scale. What possessions do you have that might be valuable on the open market? Which could you part with if it meant financial security? Your boat? Second car? Second home? Time share? Art or jewelry?

To get the most for whatever you're selling, you need to know what it's worth. If it's truly valuable (think $5,000 or more) you should have it appraised for your sake and for tax purposes. If it's a household item that's not worth having appraised, you can get an accurate idea of fair market value by seeing what similar items are selling for through classified advertisements or on eBay.

If you find you have nothing big of value but lots of little things to sell, there's a solution as American as apple pie...

Have a great garage sale.
  • Don't just throw your junk in a pile and expect it to fly out of your garage or your yard. Approach it methodically and you'll clean up financially—and clean up your garage.
  • Pick a date at least a few weeks out. Saturdays are best.
  • Then, go through your house and decide what goes. If you haven't used an item in two years, you can live without it.
  • Next, organize the merchandise—putting like with like—so buyers can find what they're looking for. If you're selling clothing, put it on a rack or string up a clothesline and hang it for people to see.
  • If you're not sure you have enough to fill your yard, collaborate with a few families. In order to keep track of who's earned what, put different color price tags on each family's items. Then make sure whoever's minding the register knows the code.
  • Don't forget to advertise by running ads in local papers and on the Internet (there are lots of free yard and garage sale sites).
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

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