Spring is one of my favorite seasons. Days are longer, weather is warmer, and the sun shines. I also love spring because it means spring cleaning. It’s a chance to get organized, reduce clutter and chaos, and it’s also a way to make extra money by selling items you’re not using anymore. Personally, spring cleaning also helps me from spending money. Reducing clutter helps me realize what I already have so I can avoid the statement “I have nothing to wear.” Also, putting things in a more organized order will avoid misplacing them and buying a duplicate item. Here are some tips for spring cleaning.

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Photo Courtesy: Kristen

How to do a Productive Spring Cleaning

  • Attack every room of the house separately and one at a time. It makes it easier to deal with one at a time than to keep bouncing around. I like to start with simple rooms without a lot of items to go through, like the bathroom.
  • When you enter each room, have a clear place you are putting items you want to sell and a clear place for garbage or recyclables.
  • While going through items, be realistic. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit properly or you haven’t worn in a while. Books and movies you won’t watch or read again can go, too. Toys your children don’t play with or anything else that has run its course can be sold or donated.
  • Keeping that in mind, don’t go overboard. Sometimes the idea of getting rid of clutter and the possibility of making money from it can make you sell things you can still use. For clothing, if an item is just a little big or a little small, but you love it, hang onto it as your size can easily fluctuate a bit.
  • Get the entire family involved. Your spouse and kids will know better what they wear and don’t wear and what else they can get rid of.
  • Don’t forget other areas for spring cleaning like your car, especially the trunk, a garage or shed, or even your office at work.
  • Before you head out to the store to buy cleaning products, check online for coupons.
  • Compare the ingredients of your favorite brand name cleaning supplies to generic. Chances are, they are very similar but for a lower cost.
  • Use soft cloths instead of paper towels. They’re reusable, so they are better for the environment and your wallet.
  • Limit how much cleaning solution you are actually using. In most cases, a little goes a long way so you’re not wasting and throwing money down the drain. Also, check out ways to stretch the life of a sponge in 9 Tips to Stretch the Life of Common Household Items.

How to Earn Money With Spring Cleaning

Once you’ve done your spring cleaning and you’ve determined what you want to sell, it’s time to get to it. Here’s how:

  • Sell items online. There is a good chance that anything you’re looking to get rid of you can sell online. You can sell most items on Ebay or Craigslist. Also, you can decide to sell certain items on specific websites. Textbooks, other books, electronics and more can be sold on Amazon.com. There are also specialized sites for selling your wedding dress, and there are sites just for selling cell phones and other electronics. Wherever you decide to sell your belongings, be sure to write detailed descriptions and take pictures that show the product.
  • Bring your stuff to a consignment or resale shop. For more expensive items or higher quality things, you can bring them to a consignment shop. If you have any designer clothes or accessories or formal wear, that has a good chance of selling. The same is true for antiques, furniture, or other collectibles. There are some stores that accept all clothes, not just more high end items. Plato’s Closet accepts used clothing from a variety of different stores. Before you bring it in, take a look to make sure it’s in acceptable condition. Items with rips, strains, or excessive signs of use are probably not going to sell, so don’t waste your time. Besides clothes, you can bring in jewelry, purses, shoes, and other accessories like scarves, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Have a yard or garage sale. Having a yard sale or garage sale is a great alternative to selling online because you don’t have to worry about shipping items, especially big things like furniture or delicate items such as glass picture frames. When I was growing up, my family always hung signs around the neighborhood, posted on community boards, and put an ad in the paper. While all of those ideas are still great, use the internet, too. Post on Craigslist and post on Facebook and Twitter if you’re comfortable with letting people know where you live.
  • Swap with friends. Even if you can’t sell items, you can swap with your friends, family members, or neighbors. My best friend and I always exchange purses and jewelry to change things up without spending the money for new stuff. A few years back when I was moving to a bigger place and my cousin was moving to a smaller place, we ended up swapping kitchen sets. You can do this for furniture, clothes and accessories, book, movies, or anything else you’re comfortable exchanging.
  • Donate the rest. Anything leftover that you cannot sell online, at a consignment shop, or at a yard sale, be sure to donate it to those who need it instead of just throwing it away. Besides helping those who are less fortunate, you can claim your donation as a tax deduction on your taxes when you are filing next year. Keep track of an estimated worth of what you are donating and be sure to keep the receipts. If you are unsure of a good place to donate, check with your community center or a local church for guidance on a reputable place to donate your belongings.
  • Check the pockets. Sounds simple, but this is easy to forget. Before you donate or sell anything, be sure to thoroughly check the item. Pockets, hidden pockets, inside zippers in purses, and anywhere else could have something valuable in it you wouldn’t want to give away.

How do you save on cleaning supplies during spring cleaning? What is your favorite spring cleaning tip?

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