Spring Cleaning with a Purpose: How to Clear the Clutter While Beefing Up Your Bank Account

For people who like to save money and actually enjoy cleaning (yes, they do exist … and on this planet, no less), the spring season is like a dream come true! They already know a truth that others might not realize: Spring cleaning means you can make some good money, clear the clutter, relieve stress, and protect the environment all at the same time. As you’re organizing your home this spring, remember that nearly everything can be reused, sold, or recycled. Almost everything. Think about it: 1. Clothing, shoes, handbags, and outerwear Start with the obvious: your closets and drawers. Make sure you have a few hours and take everything out of the closet. Seriously … just dump everything on the bed. Then, go through them one by one and neatly replace the items you used that week or regularly use during the month. In addition to being a smart way to reorganize and tidy up, you can identify which items you don’t use as often. Chances are, you will have a ton left over. If any of those items are in decent shape, take a picture of them and sell them online or take them to a consignment shop. For everything else that’s left over, do this … in this order … right away — not tomorrow, not next week. Right now. … Throw them all in boxes or trash bags. Seal the boxes or bags. Place the boxes or bags into your car. Take your keys out of your pocket or your purse. Insert the key into the ignition. Drive to a donation center or kiosk. Place the donations into the bin. Go back home. Start on the next closet or bureau. Why are we so insistent on this urgency? Well, because it can be difficult to resist the temptation to take things out of those bags. Just don’t do it. If you haven’t used a piece of clothing in weeks or months, you don’t need it. It’s probably out of style anyway. 2. Outdated technology There are many possibilities when it comes to your old cellphones, tablets, and obsolete music or gaming equipment.
  • Donate them to schools, veterans’ organizations, low-income communities, children’s hospitals, or other nonprofit organizations that could use them.
  • Sell them online.
  • Give them to someone in your family who doesn’t need the newest models.
  • Take them to a facility that recycles old technology. (Do not simply discard them. Computers, batteries, and other technological devices contain heavy metals, such as lead and toxic chemicals, that pollute soil and contaminate groundwater. These devices also won’t fully break down, so they will sit in landfills indefinitely.)
3. Still handy hand-me-downs Do you have little ones who aren’t so little anymore? We know it’s hard to part with those sentimental clothing and shoes, but you can do it. Family members or friends who still have little ones can use them! Of course, you can keep one or two as souvenirs. 4. Jewelry for sale You can make a good amount of change by selling jewelry that no longer suits your style. Try a few different places to make sure you’re getting the best value for your goods. 5. Timeless books Whether they’re textbooks or novels, you may be able to sell your books for a few dollars. If you happen to have valuable classics, they may be worth a lot more than that, too. If nothing else, gather those books you no longer need and donate them to a local library or school just to clear the clutter in your apartment. 6. Antiques You know those antiques around your home that you’re keeping “just in case they’re worth something in the future”? It’s time to have them appraised! You can find many antique appraisal companies in the area, and there are three scenarios:
  • If you find the item is valuable now but likely won’t increase in value in the future, then bid it farewell, take your money, and move on.
  • If it’s going to gain value, you may be wiser to keep it.
  • If it’s worth nothing, well, then you can get a good laugh out of it and then send it to a recycling center.
  • 7. Musical instruments and sports gear If you’re a parent, you’re likely well aware of how much musical instruments and sports gear cost. In many cases, your children only use them for one season or one music lesson and then never again, especially if they happen not to enjoy that particular activity. Sell them to used sports stores or online for someone else to use.