Empty your waste and earn money too

Cleaning up the clutter in your home is a great way to start spring cleaning. But before you start throwing things away, you should consider the potential value of unwanted items. With a few more steps, you can give your clutter a second life and earn money doing it.

Here are seven ways to make the most of your spring cleaning project.

1. Consignment shops

If you have unwanted clothes and fashion accessories that are still in good condition, consider taking them to a consignment store. These stores will take care of reselling your clothes and give you a share of the profits, saving you the hassle of selling or donating the items yourself. And if you don’t live near a local consignment store, you can send your clothes directly to an online consignment store like thredUP.

2. Pawn shops

Pawn shops will buy items or give you a loan in exchange for just about anything with monetary value, including jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, etc. To get your things back, you will need to repay the loan within a predetermined time frame. Or, you can just walk away, pocket the money, and let the pawnshop claim your stuff.

Keep in mind that any loan you get from a pawnshop is likely to be a fraction of the item’s actual value.

See: The horrible truth: no one will want your parents’ things

3. Electronics recyclers

Throwing away old electronics is not a green or cost-effective disposal method. Instead, you can take your old cellphones, televisions, computers, and more to a business that recycles them. Some companies like Best Buy BBY,
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and TGT target,
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will give you store credit for old electronics, while others like Gazelle or BuyBackWorld offer cash. Either way, you’ll be helping the environment and profiting from your unused technology.

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4. Garage sales

Bargain hunters will be delighted to go hunting for treasure among your old belongings. You can sign up for the next community garage sale or just pick a weekend to use your front yard as a market (be sure to put up signs around the neighborhood a few days in advance). When cleaning up your clutter, be sure to sort the items into categories and give each a fair price. You can always give away what you don’t sell, which brings us to our next tip …

5. Charitable donations

You can donate old clothes, furniture, and other items to local charities or national organizations like the Salvation Army. Although you don’t get cash, you can request receipts for your donations. During tax season, you can use these receipts to track your itemized donations and reduce your taxable income, giving you a larger tax refund or reduced liability. Save your receipts!

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6. Online ads

It might be worth selling your bigger tickets online. For example, old collectibles can be sold cheaply on websites like eBay or Craigslist.

7. Exchanges

Many stores will sell your clothes, books, video games, and more. Even when retailers don’t pay cash for exchange materials, they will likely offer store credit. Keep an eye out for trade-in materials that can be exchanged for cash or store credit.

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