Spring cleaning season is in full swing, so slap on some gloves, open the closet door and get ready to dig, trash and clean long-forgotten items. But before tossing unwanted items in the trash, think secondhand.
Consider these DIY ideas and spring cleaning tips to help you earn a little bit of cash and maybe even save on future gifts and do-it-yourself home projects.
10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Making and Saving Money
1. Resell Name Brand Clothing
Have a closet full of last year’s clothing trends? If your clothes are in gently used condition, less than three years old and have tags emblazoned with the hottest name brands, you can make a pretty penny selling to specialty clothes stores like Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor.
Gather freshly-laundered items and fold them neatly in a basket or box — and don’t forget accessory items like shoes, belts and handbags. Bring your clothes to the store to have a cashier sort through them; they’ll give you cash for items they want to put up for sale.
ThredUP offers a similar service online, except you mail in your clothes to have it sold online.
2. Sell on eBay or Craigslist
Need a catch-all resale option for everything from ski pants to antique furniture? Both eBay and Craigslist provide low- to no-cost opportunities to sell nearly anything online. On eBay, sell items that can be shipped without hassle and for cheap. For larger items, like a ladder or used appliance, try Craigslist to sell to local buyers who can pay in cash and pick up at your convenience.
3. Swap Unused Gift Cards for Cash
While spring cleaning and rifling through desk drawers, you’re liable to encounter unused gift cards. These can be sold online or in stores for cash.
Websites like CardCash.com will pay up to 92 percent of the value of a gift card. Use the site’s online selling tool to enter gift card information and then select a method to receive payment. If opting for cash, a check will arrive a few weeks after you mail in the gift card.
4. Turn Bottles and Containers Into Cash
Create a designated space in the garage or kitchen to store containers, then redeem them for cash during your spring clean, and going forward. Residents in states with container deposit laws can turn in used soda bottles, cans and containers for cash. Earn anywhere from 2 cents to 15 cents per container.
5. Have a Garage Sale
Hosting a garage or yard sale is a traditional but lucrative option to sell used and unwanted belongings. Spring is the prime time to have a sale. Advertise the yard sale on Craigslist and in the local newspaper. Ask neighbors to participate the same day to draw in more shoppers.
6. Participate in a Kids Resale
Spring is a popular time for rummage sales, including children’s resale events. Check in with local parent-teacher associations for details. Many will host a spring and fall event. For a nominal fee, parents can set up a table and sell used baby and children’s items.
7. Host a Virtual Yard Sale on Facebook
Not up for the hassle of organizing and manning a garage sale all day? Host a virtual garage sale. Search Facebook with the terms “garage sale,” “yard sale” or “resale” along with the names of surrounding cities to find virtual resale groups. Take photos of the items you want to sell and write a brief description and asking price. Be open to haggling virtually. Some groups allow users to cross-post items in other groups as well.
8. Sell to Consignment Shops
From Once Upon A Child, which specializes in baby and children’s items, to Play It Again Sports, which specializes in new and used sporting equipment, there are a variety of consignment shops that will purchase gently-used items.
Local shops are another option. Often run by charities and non-profit organizations, these shops can take anything from upscale clothing to furniture and home decor. Some will purchase items on the spot. Others might ask sellers to rent space. Check with each shop for rules and guidelines.
9. Trade in Old Video Games, DVDs and Books
Stores like GameStop will accept used video games and some electronics, like iPods. These stores will offer you more in store credit than in cash, so if you have a gamer or movie fan in the family, consider saving the store credit for future gifts.
For books, DVDs and CDs, Half Price Books is a good option with locations nationwide. Gazelle.com is a competitive option for getting cash for used smartphones.
10. Donate Clothes and Old Electronics for a Tax Break
When all else fails, donate items to charity for a tax deduction. Thrift shops like Goodwill will take clothing, housewares, furniture and more. Simply pack the items and drop them off in person. A store employee will offer to write out a receipt for the estimated value of the items. Save this receipt and save money by claiming a tax deduction next year.