Turn Trash Into Cash: Six Simple Ways To Make Extra Money From Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning can help you feel refreshed and renewed, and with the seasons already changing, and the warmer days approaching, now is perhaps the right time to start planning your spring cleaning schedule, and begin clearing out old things that are taking up space in and around your house.

For some people, cleaning out and throwing away might be a disheartening activity, however, the majority of Americans are spending hundreds, and even thousands of dollars each month on paying for storage rental units.

One-fifth of Americans, nearly 21 percent, are currently renting self-storage space, costing them on average $1,000 per year, according to one estimate.

Looking around your home, it’s possible to begin uncovering dozens of things that can be either donated, re-used, or better yet, scrapped or sold for a bit of extra spending money. Considering that only 15 percent of Americans are currently making more than $1,000 from their side hustles, it’s time to get creative and start looking at how you can turn your trash into cash this spring.

Tips For Spring Cleaning For Resale Purposes

Before you start digging around your closets and throwing out old toys, shoes, and clothes, here are a few things you need to look at when thinking of selling some of your old stuff.

The condition of items: Make sure that the things you’re throwing out are still in good or fair working condition. Not many people will pay a lot of money for something that’s broken, isn’t properly working, or is missing pieces. Consider each item carefully when pricing.

Quality of clothing and shoes: Some clothing items have a high resale value, although this depends on the condition of these items and the overall quality of the materials. You’re going to have a hard time selling an old pair of expensive shoes that haven’t been cleaned, buffed, or well-maintained.

Fair value: Don’t try and mark up the prices of things you know aren’t as valuable. Many times people will try and sell older items for a higher price than what it might cost to buy some brand new. Yes, older, vintage items tend to be priced higher, however, make sure to look at the broader demand for these items and fair market value.

Demand for certain items: Selling a box of cassette tapes is going to be a lot harder compared to original vintage records, something that has seen a strong comeback in recent years. Many things will often see a higher demand compared to other products, so make sure to leverage this opportunity where you can and price items accordingly.

Know an item’s weight in gold: Not everything you uncover during your spring cleaning can be sold. Make sure to carefully evaluate the demand, quality, and condition of something before putting a price on something. While one person’s trash is another’s treasure, be sure that you are selling items that carry actual value, and are not better off being sent to a recycling center.

How to make money from spring cleaning

Once you’ve managed to rummage through everything, and have decided what you’ll be selling, donating, or simply tossing out, it’s time to start planning how you will be getting rid of everything but still turn a small profit.

Sell clothing and furniture to a consignment store

Some consignment stores allow you to sell things like clothing or furniture while keeping a small percentage of the profits. When selling to a consignment store, buyers will either offer you a smaller purchase price, or perhaps in-store credit.

Things such as furniture, household appliances, clothing, and books are usually the most sought-after items that are bought by a consignment store. Before selling to anyone, make sure to know the actual value of something. You can also visit multiple stores to see who will offer you the best price.

If you realize that it’s possible to make more money by selling these items yourself, consider joining a social media marketplace or online sellers group to see whether you can turn a higher profit on a specific item.

Sell on an online marketplace

Another option could be to start advertising your items via an online marketplace, such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Decluttr. These platforms allow you to upload a few images of an item, provide a description, and communicate with potential buyers all within the platform.

A few things to know before selling online:

  • Your competition may be higher, however, you do have the opportunity to advertise to a wider audience, including residents and those living further away.

  • Your price needs to be competitive, meaning you will need to keep a close eye on what other people are selling, and if they’re selling similar items, how much are they asking for it, and whether you can offer a better price.

  • Only use clear high-quality images that clearly show the condition of the item you’re selling. No buyer wants to decipher the quality of a product, especially for second-hand items.

  • Give clear descriptions, and provide as much information as possible. This includes things such as make, model, year, and color. You can even include other descriptions such as the working conditions for electronics, storage capacity, battery health, and whether there are any scratches or dents visible on the item.

  • Be open to negotiating the price of something. There are a lot of people willing to purchase something, but don’t necessarily feel that paying a higher price for something that’s already been used is worth their time or money.

  • Always meet up with a buyer in a public location, and never provide your address or allow anyone to meet up with you when you’re alone. Your safety is worth a lot more than a couple of dollars, so try to be vigilant, and if something about a sale feels off, try to call off the sale.

Hold a yard sale

Yard sales are one of the most traditional ways of selling old household items, especially appliances, tools, toys, clothing, and furniture.

Before hosting a yard sale, see whether you can advertise the date and time on a community website or blog. Try to inform people about the various items you’re selling, and create some traction for your yard sale, especially in instances where you’ll have a lot of items up for sale.

When hosting a yard sale, make sure to have all items clearly labeled with their individual prices, or have categories on tables for things that are priced the same.

Make sure to clean off the things you’re selling, as it’s easier for people to overlook things that look old, outdated, and dirty. Give those things you feel are valuable a new life and make them look a bit more attractive to buyers.

Have another payment option available besides cash. Nowadays it’s a lot easier and faster for people to pay for goods using instant payments through a digital banking application.

Participate in a car trunk sale

A car trunk sale is fairly similar to that of a market, although the event involves you selling most of your smaller items either from the trunk of your car or having a small stand nearby. Usually, these events take place over a weekend and have been arranged by a community organizer.

Keep in mind that with a car trunk sale, there will most likely be other sellers and traders as well, and some of these people may have better and more valuable items to sell.

Nonetheless, this shouldn’t discourage you, as the opportunity provides you with a chance to reach a lot more customers at once as the event would’ve most likely been advertised by the organizers or community event coordinators.

Create a social media page for your stuff

For serious sellers who are looking to move a lot of their old stuff, try and set up a social media page dedicated to everything you are selling. A social media page can be a great way to create a lot of online traffic and visibility for certain things, especially rare, vintage, or hard-to-come-by items.

A social media page is easy to create and remove once you’ve sold everything, however, keep in mind that there might be other people doing the same thing, so make sure to scout out the competition beforehand.

Another thing to remember is that not everything you’re selling will require a solely dedicated social media page, instead, you can rather opt to sell items through an online marketplace, such as Facebook Marketplace or a dedicated social media group.

As we said, a social media page can help create a lot of attention, although you will need to be serious about your products and customer interactions. Make use of clear, high-quality images, and good descriptions for each item, and stay on top of all your messages and customer queries.

Sell or trade in old devices

Some businesses will buy your old technology, including some older and more modern appliances. These businesses will purchase old digital tools for spare parts, so make sure that whatever you have stored on an old phone or computer has been erased, backed up, or removed before handing over your devices.

Some buyers will purchase an item based on the condition, make, model, and physical demand for the spare parts. You can imagine that the parts used in a computer from the early 2000s are less likely to be compatible with newer devices and equipment.

You can also sell older phones, tablets, and computers to authorized resellers. Businesses such as Back Market is one of the largest resellers of high-quality second-hand technology, including Apple devices.

Some companies have also started offering customers the option to trade in old devices and pay them with in-store credit or a discount when buying a new device. Try to see whether your cellular provider, or even the manufacturer offers such a program and whether you are more likely to benefit from it.

Final Thoughts

The warmer months can bring a lot of change, and for some of us, it can be a time to clean out our closets and cupboards and start the new season feeling refreshed. While spring cleaning this year, start thinking of how you can potentially turn those things around your house, which you haven’t used in months or even years into a profit.

1 Like

thank you for the great information i will share this with my grown children