Monday Five: Put More Money in Your Pocket with Spring Cleaning
The grass is starting to turn green, it’s opening day for some of your favorite baseball teams, and it’s time for a bit of spring cleaning. But spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean throwing everything away. Here are a few ways to spruce up those closets and turn it into income.
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!” – Mary Poppins
1. Amazon. We’re all familiar with one-click shopping, but that could work foryou too. In earlier years we’ve set up a sellers account and started listing a few old textbooks ($80), best sellers ($20), and even my old Super Nintendo! We were very surprised at how much money we recouped through this method. Amazon takes a percentage of the sale, but in the end it’s still money in your pocket! Know that not everything you have can turn a profit. You’ll see that some books and CDs go for as little as a few cents. (Keep an eye out to make sure you keep shipping costs down, because it eats into your profits.)
2. Craigslist. Not limited to “Missed Connections” and old copies of Playboy for free. In the last year, we’ve sold bigger items like a love seat, bedroom dresser, and extra bed for nearly the price we bought them at (if not a little more in one case…) and that money turned into an upgrade that fit our style and space better.
3. Bulletin Boards. Public library, telephone poles, coffee shop, breakroom at work. This is great for single items. Kitchen wares, bicycles, seedlings, and extra craft supplies. One flyer could be the difference between having extra room in your office or fixing the cascade of tupperware falling at you everyday.
4. Carmax. I bet you have a couple of Cadillacs in the linen closet, don’t you? Well, maybe not. But last year, we realized that based on insurance, taxes, gasoline, an extra parking space and the fact that we were living in a location where I could walk to work, it just didn’t make sense to keep the second car that we had needed in years prior. In less than 90 minutes I had a very reasonable quote, (which helped me make my decision) then a large check, and a clean slate. No hassle. This isn’t an option for everyone, but since it is one of the biggest items most people own, it could make a huge difference in your purchase power this summer. Vacation, first home, special project? It’s up to you!
5. Goodwill. For everything else! Now you won’t necessarily end up with cash in your pocket, but you’re helping yourself and your community. The donation will be tax-deductible if you itemize, but make sure to keep your receipts somewhere safe for next Spring, or they’re useless. Also, Goodwill has provided countless jobs in cities and towns around the nation to those who have had the hardest time getting back on their feet. And I certainly put a value on that.
What other ways have you been able to turn your stuff into flexible spending?
University of Michigan (both authors attended-Stephanie & Eric)