The key to making money while spring cleaning, I think, is to be an expert organizer when you are decluttering your stuff, and sort out whatever you are getting rid of. To do that, you can categorize each item according to whether you plan to consign it, Craigslist it, clothes swap it, garage sale it, or donating it.
I used to be an avid consignment store junkie. I loved collecting my money at the end of the season, sometimes I would get $70 to $100. I used to bring bags and bags of clothes to consign. Nowadays it has been difficult getting my clothes consigned again. Either people have much nicer clothes they want to get rid of in comparison to me (very likely) or I don’t have as much clothing as I used to as I have curbed my shopaholic tendencies.
Consignment stores take around 50-60% off the item they price it at. Not great, but not bad considering they have to pay rent and hire staff to sell your clothes. Often, if they can’t sell the item during the season, they will donate your item to charity at the end of it anyway. You can consign clothes, furniture, jewelry, children’s clothes… the list goes on!
I’m a huge fan of Craigslist (well, it has its limitations, like the flaky no-show-ers or the people who want to low ball you or those who text you endless questions and waste your time only to not want the item in the end) because it has helped me get rid of a lot of stuff. Sometimes I feel a bit shady meeting random people in public places but I am often quite satisfied with the proceeds of extra cash I get when I sell something! Craigslist was a great supporter in getting me a Dyson vacuum for $100.
Clothes Swap It
Although this category doesn’t necessarily net you more money, you may be able to curb your craving and temptation for shopping by organizing a clothes swap with the clothes you don’t want to wear anymore. Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Clothes swaps are great for those clothes that wouldn’t get accepted easily at Consignment stores (think clothes from Forever 21, or The Gap) but you don’t want to donate.
If you’re still unconvinced that a clothes swap may be for you, check out why you should organize a clothes swap.
Garage Sale It
I’m a huge fan of garage sales too despite not ever hosting one myself. I did a multi-family garage sale in the summer last year and we were able to gain $800 in cash, which is pretty amazing considering it only took about 4-5 hours of standing around and organizing the items. You would be amazed and how many people enjoy heading to garage sales on a Saturday morning with their families! The one downside of garage sales is that people literally try and nickle and dime you, but that’s the nature of the garage sale beast, unfortunately.
Finally, after you have exhausted the possibilities of making money out of your spring cleaning, it would be a great idea to donate your items to a charity. Oftentimes there are clothing donation bins (so you don’t have to schedule a pick up and can donate on your own terms) scattered around your city. You can also check out Value Village’s website to find out where you can donate to charity.
Of course, spring cleaning is something that you likely should embark upon yourself in order to take full advantage of the critical thinking involved when you want to decide between consignment, Craigslist, clothes swap, garage sale, or donate. Obviously, a housekeeper who is doing your spring cleaning likely wouldn’t be able to make that decision for you. If you’re looking for more ways to cash in on spring cleaning, check out Bankrate’s post.
Readers, do you usually spring clean and take advantage of the opportunity to make some extra cash?