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Earn Cash Spring Cleaning Your Home!

May 1, 2021


The days are longer, the temperatures are becoming pleasant and our energy levels are up as we begin to stretch out of our winter hibernation - spring is here! Time to harness some of the new energy and get the spring cleaning out of the way. Although some demigods may have immaculate households and not heed this tradition, most of us do have a bit (or more) of collected clutter and dust around the home. Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to remove dust, mold, toxins and clutter from our households. And as we clean, we notice a pile emerge of unused and unwanted "stuff."  This gathered hoard of old décor, books, electronics, clothes, exercise gadgets, etc. should not be squirreled away for another year! Instead, incorporate into your spring cleaning the determination to get this "stuff" out the door by donating it, having a garage sale, or selling it online.

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning for most households is a family tradition. According to the contributors to Wikipedia, evidence of spring cleaning can be seen in ancient civilizations - from the Jewish tradition of cleaning the house before Passover to the Iranian "khooneh tekouni" or "shaking the house." Many Americans grew up in households where there was a yearly purge of dust and "bad air" from the winter months. This too comes from earlier times when fires of coal and wood were the primary source of heat, and rural households sometimes bundled down with the livestock indoors. For this reason, some argue that spring cleaning is not a necessity with our modern furnaces, solid windows, and cleaner spaces. Consider this a time, then, to do the very best cleaning of all your living spaces, appliances, and work areas. We all skimp on cleaning out the fridge or stove, so now is the time to hit these areas thoroughly. And don't forget to go through your attic, closets, storage areas, and basement and purge unused, unneeded, and unwanted belongings.

Common Spring Cleaning Tasks:

  • Dust ceilings, walls, corners, light fixtures, base boards, vents, and furniture.
  • Wipe down walls, light-switches, outlets, doorknobs, and handles.
  • Clean blinds, curtains, drapes, window sills, and windows.
  • Clean doormats, bathmats, and area rugs.
  • Shampoo the carpets.
  • Clean the hardwoods and vinyl.
  • Dust and wipe down furniture, cabinets, shelves, and countertops.
  • Clear the clutter and get items back where they belong.
  • Consider items for a garage sale, to sell online, to donate, or even to re-gift!

Other important items (while you're at it):

  • Update important documents in the safe or safety deposit box.
  • Update emergency plans and contact numbers.
  • Review emergency plans with family members.
  • Review all medications in your household for expirations.
  • Review first aid kits - these don't last forever, and you may need to replace some items or the whole kit Also review any other emergency kits.
  • Test and change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Spring Cleaning Bounty

Now that you have cleaned your house, you have gathered "stuff" that you no longer use, need or want, which may include:

  • Clothes
  • Toys / Board Games
  • Furniture / Lamps
  • Wall Art / Mirrors / Clocks
  • CDs / DVDs / Games
  • Books / Magazines / Comics
  • Collectibles
  • Dishes / Glasses / Cups
  • Kitchen Gadgets / Small Appliances
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Craft Goods
  • Small Electronics

Now what?

You'll want to have an organized plan of action to determine what to sell or donate. Here are some basic guidelines as you take inventory of your miscellaneous items:

  1. Be firm on your choices: If you haven't used an item in a year, there's a very good chance you won't use it again. Let go of any emotional attachments to items - even if your mother gave you that clock, which you never use, you can let it go. Instead, keep the more personalized items, such as photos or handmade objects. Every gift is not a treasure! Remember - it was the thought that counted - not the unworn tie!
  2. Consider items for donation: If you have some highly valued items, such as gently used winter coats or clothing, consider giving these to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a local charity. You may prefer to try to sell your items and then donate what doesn't sell. However, don't use your charity of choice as a dump - be realistic and donate only usable items and not broken toys, games with missing pieces, appliances that don't work, etc.
  3. Consider items for a garage sale: List the items as you place them in boxes to temporarily store until the weather is nice for a garage sale. Organizing items ahead of time when you do your spring cleaning will save time on the day of the garage sale.
    • a) Set a date and time: Choose a day when you can rest well the night before and commit your full energy to the day of the sale. Keep the time reasonable - if you aren't a morning person - don't open a garage sale at 8am. With the right advertising, you should be able to set your hours and stick to them.
    • b) Know the going rate: Review other garage sales in your area to see how similar items are being priced. Check online for prices on trade sites such as eBay.
    • c) Showcase your items: Hang clothes, put small items in baggies, etc. Keeping your selection clean and neat and visible will help buyers decide quickly and will lessen the need for items to be handled too much. Also, clearly mark each item with a price label. One or two boxes of "25 cents each" may be okay, but try to keep most items individually priced with a label.
    • d) Advertise and make signs: These days, advertising a garage sale shouldn't only be done in the print version of your local newspaper. It can be posted online, as well. Even most Penny Savers have an online option.  You should also post announcements to online localized sites, such as Craigslist, and post the sale on social media.  Finally, when you make signs for the sale, keep the print clear, big, and simple. Make certain to take them down as soon as your sale is over.
    • e) Change from the bank: Before the day of the garage sale, make sure to get some change for the cashbox. Decide beforehand if you will accept checks or cash app payments, and under what conditions or for which particular items.
    • f) Prep your sales table: Besides your cashbox, prep your sales table with bags, boxes, newspaper to wrap fragile items, paper and pens, calculator (if you don't want to use your cell phone), maybe a few good munchies, definitely a beverage to keep hydrated, and something to keep you entertained during the slow periods (if you don't want to drain your cell phone battery).
  4. Consider items to sell online: Perhaps you have items left over from your garage sale, or maybe a garage sale doesn't appeal to you and you'd rather sell things from the comfort and convenience of your home office, kitchen table, or sofa?  Either way, you still have stuff that needs to be sold.  Just keep in mind that selling items online will require more time as you write detailed descriptions and take clear photos of each item to be posted. In addition, you'll spend time checking online to see if anything has been purchased, packaging items that have sold, and shipping them off to their new homes.  If you have the patience or enjoy the idea of a virtual garage sale, these sites will help you get your unwanted items moving out the door!
  •      Amazon Marketplace: If you're a bit of a bibliophile and need to thin out your collection, Amazon Marketplace is a great option to sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and more. To list is free, but there are fees when an item sells.
  •      Craigslist: A mishmash of services, used goods, and announcements. You can find used items for cheap prices. It can be the ordinary, like used furniture, to the not so common. For example, I found someone who had new pavers left over from a patio project. They were willing to sell at a discount just to get them off their lawn. You may also find bargain services, such as yard work done cheaply. However, be careful; there are no regulations and you should take precautions when working with anyone on this list. This site definitely has a mixed history of great successes and terrible wrongs.
  •      eBAY: One of the most popular and well known online auction sites, eBay has been around since 1995.  It's the biggest garage sale online.
  •      Etsy: Buy unique, creative pieces or sell your imaginative, handmade items.  A great source for crafters and home artisans of all medias.

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