Spring has officially begun! April showers bring May flowers, but they also leave quite a mess. By doing some spring cleaning, you can clean up all the mud you’re tracking around and renovate, refresh and re-energize your home. Instead of thinking of spring cleaning as a chore, think of it as a way of finding hidden cash in your home. It’s time to look around and really think about what you need and what needs to go. I’ve got some tips to help you cash in on the process!
Donate to Charity
While cleaning your home, sort and categorize your items. Make a pile of items to throw away, another to sell and one to donate. Giving away items that you no longer need to a nonprofit or local charity will make you feel good and free up space in your home. You can also write off your donations on your taxes, so make sure you get receipts for your records. Make sure you itemize your deductions and donate to qualified organizations. If you’re not sure if an organization is qualified, ask to see their letter from the Internal Revenue Service or check on the IRS website.
Hold a Yard Sale (and Shop One)
After you’ve made your donations, take all of those clothes and electronics that you’d normally throw away and hold a yard sale instead. Gather your items, price them and spread the word. Put an advertisement in the newspaper, on craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace. You can make some extra money, clear some space and even meet neighbors and community members who stop to take a look. After you’ve sold your unwanted items, you can use your earnings to shop at someone else’s yard sale and buy some discounted items that you do need.
If you need large equipment for substantial cleaning projects, consider renting. If you won’t be using the equipment regularly, renting can be the cheaper option. You can rent equipment such as sanders, polishers and carpet cleaners from home improvement stores and local equipment rental companies. If possible, borrow equipment from a friend, family member or neighbor for potentially more savings. If you do end up renting, make sure you return the equipment on time to avoid any fees.
Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
Making a mess is easy, but cleaning up isn’t as simple. Not only does it take time, but it also costs money. Instead of buying cleaning products, you can try making your own with items you might already have. If you need glass cleaner, simply mix 2 cups of water, a 1/2 cup of vinegar and a 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol. Those dirty windows and mirrors don’t stand a chance! If you tend to ignore using a coaster, a mix of toothpaste and baking soda will remove any water rings. If you’re wondering what else you can clean with items you already own, Today has a nice list!
Save Your Profits
After you’ve cashed in on your spring cleaning earnings, consider putting that money aside instead of spending it. Put the money in your emergency fund to help you prepare for when those unexpected expenses pop up, or add it to a savings account at your local credit union. Just because you have some extra money, it doesn’t mean that you should spend it right away. Having a nice little nest egg tucked away can decrease stress and give you peace of mind.
Have you started your spring cleaning yet? I’d love to know!