spring clean for lots of reasons. After a winter of being stuck indoors, it’s a great time to reorganize, declutter and deep clean your home before spring and summer hit.
But did you also know that spring cleaning does more than improve your living space — it can also be a way to make and save
money? Here are five hacks that can make spring cleaning a moneymaker — or at least a money-saver — for you and your family.
Declutter your space: One of the things that makes people want to move to a larger living space is when the amount of stuff they’ve accumulated exceeds available storage. This can lead people to believe that they need more space when, in fact, what they need is less stuff. Spring cleaning is a great time to address this issue.
One method of decluttering that can help with this is the KonMari method. Named for Japanese decluttering expert and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” the KonMari method involves dividing all your material possessions into five piles — clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental items — then holding each in your hand to determine which items still “spark joy” in you.
If you’re like most people, you own a whole lot of items that aren’t sparking joy in your life. Kondo recommends parting with those items. You can do it the Kondo way, which involves verbally saying goodbye to those items. Or you can do it the moneymaking way. Here’s how:
(AP Photo/ M. Design Interiors, Justin Officer)
AP Photo/ M. Design Interiors, Justin Officer
Sell: Once you’ve identified the items you won’t be keeping, it’s time to figure out how to get rid of them all. The goal here is to balance the need to quickly get excess stuff out of your life with the desire to put more dollars in your pocket.
To begin, divide your unwanted belongings into two piles: personal items, which likely have no value to anyone other than yourself, and items that someone else might be able to use. Items others might want can be sold through a variety of channels, from a garage sale to Craigslist or other websites.
Here are some ideas of where to sell those items, by type:
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Replacements.com: If you’re getting rid of old china, crystal or silverware, check out Replacements.com to see if there is a market for the pattern or style. You might be surprised at the prices some of these old items can command. Crystal stems, for instance, can sell for $35 per stem or more, depending on supply and demand.
(AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)
AP Photo/Rogelio Solis
eBay: This site can be a great place to sell antiques and collectibles that are higher in value, such as brand-name furniture, period pieces and cars. The items that do best on eBay are those that are unique and high in value.
(AP Photo/Sang Tan)
AP Photo/Sang Tan
Online consignment: If your “no joy” pile contains designer clothes, an online consignment site, such as ThredUP or Swap, can be a good way to get a decent price for the item.
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Craigslist: Craigslist is targeted toward buyers in your area. This makes it a good and fast way to get rid of some of those lower value items — think less valuable antiques or home furnishings, kids clothing, et cetera. For clothing, bundle by size, season and create outfits to command more buyer interest.
Remember: Pictures of the items for sale and an accurate description are essential to command top dollar and maximum interest.
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, FILE)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, FILE
Donate to charity: One trouble spot that can come up is when you’re trying to sell these items, but no one wants to buy them, so they sit in your garage all summer. Avoid this by giving yourself a set period of time to sell these items, say, four to six weeks. If they don’t sell by then, donate them to charity. Get a receipt, so you can claim the deduction on your taxes.
(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
AP Photo/Toby Talbot
Pay off debt: If you spent a little more than you should have over the winter, spring is the time to pay off those debts you’ve accumulated. Take that money you earned from selling off your unneeded items and invest it in paying off credit card and other debt balances. This will save you money over the long term.
(AP Photo/CX Matiash)
AP Photo/CX Matiash
Do-it-yourself cleaning supplies: Once you’ve decluttered, the next step of spring cleaning is to deep clean your space and the things you will be keeping. Many people think they need to spend a lot of money on cleaning supplies, but nothing could be further from the truth. All you really need is a few common household materials to make everything in your place sparkle and shine.
Those supplies include:
(Amy Sussman/AP Images)
Amy Sussman/AP Images
Vinegar: Common white vinegar is one of the best cleaning supplies around. It’s cheap, nontoxic and effective. Vinegar works well as a degreaser and deodorizer, so it’s great for general cleaning in kitchens and bathrooms. Put a mixture of half water, half vinegar and a few drops of dish soap or Murphy’s Oil Soap into an empty spray bottle to create your own cleaning spray. Spray on and wipe off with a soft cloth.
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
Baking soda: Baking soda is also effective at deodorization in the home, plus it is mildly abrasive, so it makes a great scouring powder. Sprinkle a little in the toilet or in the bathtub and give it a quick scrub. For hard-to-clean items, sprinkle on baking soda, then add vinegar to make your own foaming cleaner.
(AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz
Bleach: Spring cleaning can involve some pretty gross jobs where you need maximum germ-killing power, and nothing kills nasty germs like bleach. Wear gloves and pour bleach directly on whatever you’re trying to disinfect, or mix it with water to create a milder cleaning solution. But remember that bleach is poison and should be kept out of reach of children and rinsed off with water to reduce the toxins in your home. It’s also highly reactive with other chemicals, so don’t mix it with anything else.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne
Cleaning rags: Over the years, the cleaning rags your grandmother used to use have given way to products like paper towels and cleaning wipes. But all of these types of products are wasteful. If you’re using homemade cleaning supplies, cleaning rags are the best way to apply them. They are better for the environment and cheap or free. The best cleaning rags are old T-shirts or microfiber cleaning rags that are marketed in automotive stores.
There are a few other household items that make great cleaning supplies as well. Hydrogen peroxide removes stains from porous stone surfaces like marble, as well as from your clothes. Rubbing alcohol mixed with water is great for cleaning windows. Knowing a few cleaning hacks like these can save you hundreds on expensive, specialty cleaning products.
Taking the time to spring clean and organize your home and
finances can not only make your living space more pleasant, but can reduce the burden of excess stuff and debt that prevents us from really enjoying the things that are most important to us. By following these tips, you’ll ease that burden and be prepared to enjoy life more as the seasons change.
[See: Spring Cleaning: What Items Are Ideal for Donating, Selling and Tossing?]
[See: 10 Foolproof Ways to Reach Your Money Goals.]
[See: 12 Ways to Be a More Mindful Spender.]
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5 Ways to Make and Save Money with Spring Cleaning originally appeared on usnews.com