They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.

“Hi, I’m Leigh-Ann, and I’m a stuff-o-holic”!

Annnnnd right about now, I’m also feeling like a hypocrite!!

For all the speaking engagements, articles, and TV segments I’ve done over the years about conquering clutter, I’ve somehow managed to hypocritically amass an enormous amount of “stuff” in a forgotten corner of our home that is now known as the “STUFF ROOM”!


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We’ve been renovating our entire home for what seems like an eternity, and because of the major overhaul, our “stuff” has been buried in bins and displaced throughout the house.  Life looks (and feels) chaotic on the best of days, and subsequently, I’ve managed to comfortably wear blinders to the ever-growing piles around us.

But with our renovation finish line now in sight, I’ve started to relentlessly scrutinize every item in our home by asking myself three simple questions:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Can I live without it?

Which brings me back to the “STUFF ROOM”!

For items that I’ve answered “NO” to all of the above, they’ve been mindlessly filed in the “STUFF ROOM” a.k.a. “the room where things go that I don’t want, don’t know what to do with, and don’t feel like dealing with right now”.

Er mah gerd.  How did this even happen?  THIS? HOW?


Over the years, the room has been a quaint guest bedroom and a functional home office, but recently, it’s become a hoarder’s paradise!  And with all of the other reno business happening, it hasn’t been high on the priority list …or in the budget.

Cue the lightbulb moment!           

I always say that great style has little to do with how much money you have, but rather how creative you can be with your budget, and since my budget it essentially ZERO, I’ve had to get realllllly creative!

I’ve decided to tackle a seemingly IMPOSSIBLE challenge.


I’m planning to renovate the entire space without spending a dime.

“And how on earth do you plan to do that, Ms. Hypocrite?”

Well, I’m so glad you asked! Three words…


Let me explain…

I’ve been a huge supporter of the second-hand economy for as long as I can remember, and love finding great pre-loved treasures with upcycle potential!  So as I stare at my mounds of STUFF, I know that there are others out there that will give my unwanted items a great new home and save them from ending up in a landfill.

Although I have no use for the menagerie anymore, everything is in great condition, and some items are even brand new, so my goal is to turn my piles of STUFF into piles of CASH to fund my room makeover!

Here’s how my “Break Even Challenge” is going to work…


  • I’m going to spend the next few days categorizing, cleaning, and snapping quality pics of all my sale items, and then I plan to post everything with detailed descriptions on Kijiji.


  • As I connect with online buyers and sell each item, I’ll tabulate the total profit, and that money will be my only working budget to renovate the space. I’m pretty darn encouraged considering that Kijiji’s recent 2017 Second-Hand Economy Index found that Canadians earned an average of $1,037 last year by selling their stuff instead of kicking it to the curb. That’s one sweet little side hustle! What’s also impressive is the number of Canadians who participated in the second-hand economy last year – 82% of us!


  • Although it’s a modest space, I have aspirations to turn it into a multi-purpose guest bedroom / homework station for my boys / meditation space for me.  I know I can work some serious magic with at least a few hundred, and once I calculate my total earnings from the selling stage, I’ll devise a design plan for how and where to allocate the budget.


  • To stretch my dollars as much as possible, I’ll be tapping back into the second-hand economy by shopping Kijiji for unique and affordable items that will help turn my design plan into a reality. Last year, Canadians saved an average of nearly $850 by buying second-hand, and for this project, the more I can save per item means the more I can do within the space.


  • When I’m shopping online, I’ll be searching for items with great DIY potential to transform with good ‘ole fashion upcycling elbow grease. It’s amazing how something as simple and affordable as a fresh coat of paint can revitalize a thrifty find and create a bespoke look, and I plan to customize the room by doing exactly that.

My ultimate goal is to come as close to breaking even as possible… and I’m TOTALLY up to the challenge!

I’ll be posting about my selling, planning, buying, and DIY-ing adventures in the coming weeks, so make sure to swing back here, and following the fun on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to see what #KijijiFind I scoop up along the way.  And of course, the big reveal of the budget AND the space!!!  Eeeek…I’m so excited to get started!

Who wants to hop on the “Break Even Challenge” train with me?  Follow my #breakevenchallege and tag me to your projects and posts!

Ready, set, LET’S SELL!


Disclosure: This blog post is in partnership with Kijiji Canada. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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