A while back, I showed you how I made $286 in one week just by tidying up our home. If you missed that post, you can read it here. As I was writing that, it got me thinking about all of the ways I’ve made money in the past just by tidying up.
I’ve always been of the mindset of living with less. Holding on to fewer material things keeps our home more organized – which makes them easier to clean – and it helps our environment by not generating more. More manufactured products… more waste.
When I think about how much is in a single-family home and multiply that by the number of families in the world, the thought is overwhelming and makes me want to never buy anything again! And, actually I rarely do. Of course I purchase necessities – food, clothes, toiletries, laundry detergents, etc.; but when it comes to larger household items like furniture, I’m usually of the mindset to re-use and recyle. It’s one of the reasons why I got into refinishing older pieces of furniture.
Being of this mindset and being an organization-freak has worked to my benefit over the years. It means I don’t hold onto things after they’ve served their useful purpose. I rarely get attached to material items.
Even when it comes to the furniture pieces that I’ve labored over and loved how they turned out so much that I ended up keeping them for my own home. In the end, I realize these can be replaced should I ever decide I need to do a cleaning out and sell them. I made them once, I can do it again if I need to.
I don’t usually do “Spring cleanings” or “mass clean-outs”. Instead, I make it a point to have a continuous cycle of things that leave the house so I’m never really overwhelmed with the amount of cleaning out that has to be done. As a result, I found creative ways to make a little spending cash from some of these items.
Here are some quick ways to make money just by tidying up around your house:
Returns: If you come across items in your home that were never used and still have the tags on them, return them to the store. If you have a receipt, you’ll likely be able to get cash or credit back on your credit card. If you don’t have a receipt, most stores will still give you store credit which you can use later.
Consign: Gather the new and like-new clothing, toys, household décor, and furniture that you’re no longer using and bring them to a local consignment shop. Most consignment stores will pay you 50% of the sales price once the items sell.
CraigsList & Facebook Yard Sale Pages: These sites make it so easy to sell items of any size online – from small lamps to large furniture pieces.
Ebay: If you prefer to ship items to buyers, Ebay is a great place to sell. I suggest starting out with smaller items that fit in an envelope or shipping box – video games, phone accessories, like-new clothes sold individually, and imitation jewelry. Here’s a detailed tutorial I put together on How to Sell on Ebay.
Jewelry: Jewelry pieces made with real gold or silver or that have real gems, can be brought to most local jewelry stores and they’ll buy them on the spot. They melt down the gold to make new pieces.
Clothing: You can sell clothing on Ebay and CraigsList, but another online option for higher end items is Poshmark. There are also sites dedicated to selling specific soft goods such as Rebagg for designer handbags.
Books. While I have sold a few books on Ebay, I prefer to bring my used books to the Used Book Superstore where they offer either cash or store credit for used books.
Donate: Cash back on your annual tax return is the same as cash in your pocket. Keep a detailed list of every item you donate and always get a signed receipt from the charitable organization. Claim the donations on your annual tax return to get approximately one-third of the thrift-store value back on your tax return (may vary, consult your tax advisor).
Garage Sale: Clean out your garage and have a yard sale. Keep in mind that buyers who attend yard sales are looking for rock-bottom prices, so don’t expect to make a ton of money on a single day. If you’re of the mindset that anything placed in the yard sale, doesn’t go back into the house, this is a great way to do a quick mass-cleaning. Anything remaining after the yard sale can be donated. Read this article on how to successfully advertise a yard sale.
Coupons: Couponing takes quite a bit of time, but the small amounts you save on a weekly basis can add up to big savings. While I’ve never quite been able to crack the code of how super-couponers get $800 worth of groceries for $6.00, I have been able to save a few dollars each week at the grocery store. The site, How to Shop For Free, even offers weekly details on exactly how to get items for free.
Recycle: Before you put your recycle bin out, check for glass and plastic bottles you can return to the recycling center for cash.
Magazines & Ads: You can find just about anything for sale on Ebay, including vintage magazines and full-page magazine ads they people can frame for artwork. Or, frame them yourself with a frame from the dollar store and sell them framed.?
Gift Cards: Do you have giftcards that you don’t think you’ll ever get around to using? Sell them on Ebay for a bit under cash value.
Furniture: Finally, clear your house of pieces of furniture you don’t need anymore. Sell them as is, or clean them up with a coat of paint and some new hardware to increase its value. You’ll be amazed at how just by removing a single piece of furniture from your home, can make it feel much more open.