American Dream

4 Ways to Turn Spring Cleaning Into Spring Savings

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As the weather heats up and flowers start to bloom, it’s time to put away those winter coats and get the house ready for spring. Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to clear out the house of unnecessary items, but it is also a great chance to earn a little extra on the side. Here are four ways to turn your spring cleaning into spring savings.

1. Consign Quality Items

Once you’ve determined which clothes and other goods you no longer want, look for quality items in that bundle that might have good resale value. Designer or name-brand clothing, shoes, handbags in like-new condition, and children’s clothing without holes or stains can be consigned at a number of brick and mortar stores or with online consignment sites. Many consignment stores also accept furniture, tools, toys, or other household goods.

Consignment is one of the easiest ways to make money. Your job simply involves dropping your chosen items off at the store. Some stores may be picky about what they accept, however, so be sure to ask them beforehand. Remember that the consignor will keep a percentage of the proceeds, so it pays to check the rules before signing over your stuff.

2. Host a Yard Sale

Yard or garage sales are a great way to get rid of large quantities of unwanted items that are too good to donate or throw away but that don’t make the grade for consignment. You’ll need a good location, some signage, and lots of small bills and change. Depending on where you live, you may also need a permit from the local government.

Yard sales tend to draw more traffic if multiple families are involved or if you can schedule the date to coincide with a local festival or neighborhood yard sale. Another way to boost profits is to sell bottled water or baked goods. Buying a 24-pack of water for $3.99 and selling each bottle for a dollar is a great return on investment, especially on hot days. However, you may not want to make a profit from everything you sell, because your capital gains could be subject to income tax. While you shouldn’t expect to get rich from a yard sale, a few hours of work can generate several hundred dollars of spring savings.

3. Donate Items for a Tax Deduction

Another way to produce spring savings is to donate items to charity. Donations to any nonprofit that has a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service are tax deductible. Deductions are based on fair market value, meaning that the sofa you paid $1,000 for 10 years ago would only be deductible based on how much it’s worth today. Make sure the charity you choose provides a receipt with the type of goods and the donation’s determined value.

4. Organize Seasonal Items

Reusing seasonal items is a great way to keep more money in your pocket. How many times have you gone out to buy a holiday or seasonal item, only to come home and realize you that already have one in the back of a drawer or closet? To prevent this, store birthday candles, holiday decorations, and other seasonal items together, or list them as part of a written inventory. Seasonal clothing or sports equipment should also be stored somewhere that can be easily searched when a particular time of year rolls around.

A change of season brings the perfect opportunity to generate extra money or tax deductions while making your home more tidy. Before throwing stuff away, take a bit of time to see if you can collect some spring savings.

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Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist by day and financial writer/blogger by night. She lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband and daughter who all share a love of travel, the outdoors, and finding ways to earn passive income to retire early. Her writing has been featured on Business Insider, Life Hacker,  Mint, and Livestrong.com.