How to Make Extra Money from Cleaning

Annual cleaning such as spring-cleaning is a popular ritual for many households, giving everyone an opportunity to purge what they don’t need and get organized. But, spring cleaning can be about more than a fresh start, it can actually help you earn extra money. To see how you can turn your discarded items into quick cash, here are some tips to make the most money from your spring cleaning activities.

Don’t Just Start with a Garage Sale
While a garage sale can be an excellent way to get some cash quickly, it isn’t necessarily the best choice for all of your items. Big ticket items, like electronics and furniture, may be better sold through other outlets, instead of taking a place on your lawn, if you want to get the most money for them.

Before you add them to your yard sale pile, look into specialty services designed specifically to handle those items, like Gazelle if you have a smartphone or two, or consider placing an ad on sites like Craigslist. Amazon can also be a great place for selling used electronics and books, and you can often get information about appropriate pricing with ease. There are also numerous apps available that connect sellers with local buyers, allowing you to quickly access people who may be interested, and there are options on many social media sites too.

However, if you place an ad and the item doesn’t sell, feel free to add it to your next garage sale. Just make sure you give them ad enough time to reach potential buyers before you default to the yard sale option.

Consider Consignment
Consignment stores are also an excellent option for more valuable pieces, especially for brand-name, high fashion clothing or children items. These stores will sell your items for you, often for a percentage fee based on the sale price, and give you the rest once the items sell. In some cases, the stores also list available goods online, allowing you to access a larger audience through a professional retailer.

Just like other advertising options, there are no guarantees the item will sell. However, it does give you the option to list the item for a higher price than a garage sale may support, and you can always reclaim your items if they don’t sell.

The Go-To Garage Sale
Once you’ve checked into your other options or if you have smaller items that don’t need special treatment, holding a garage sale is ideal. You may need to invest some time (and maybe money) into advertising, including signs to point out your location and classified ads giving the “when” and “where” information to potential buyers. You can also list some of the more interesting pieces that will be available at the sale in your ad to try and generate more interest.

When the day of the sale comes close, make sure you have a suitable amount of cash on site to serve as change. You’ll probably want a few rolls of quarters and lots of $1 bills. Make sure to have some $5 and $10 bills as well, as many people will likely be shopping with $20 bills, as this is what is most commonly dispensed at ATMs. You also want to invest in a way to secure the money during the sale, such as a lockbox, and make sure it is with you or another person helping with the sale at all times.

After following the tips above, you should be able to bring in a decent amount of cash from items you may have otherwise thrown away. And, if certain items don’t sell, feel free to donate them and see if you might have enough to qualify for a tax deduction.

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