It’s spring time! Well, almost. Punxsutawney Phil (a.k.a. the famous Groundhog Day groundhog in Pennsylvania) has predicted a few more weeks of winter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for warmer weather. Spring is only a short weeks away, and that means it’s time for a good ol’ fashion spring cleaning.
Cleaning. Sounds… fun?
Well, it actually can be. Clearing out those closets, sorting through your seasonal wardrobe and cleaning up the house doesn’t have to be a springtime drag. In fact, you could find some extra cash this time of year (and I don’t mean in the pocket of the shorts you haven’t worn since August).
Here are three simple ways to earn money through some spring cleaning:
Plug the energy leaks. One of the easiest and longest-lasting ways to save money is to examine the energy efficiency in your home. Is there a draft under the door that you’ve always been meaning to fix? Do your leaky windows cause you to lose lots of heat in the winter? A little weatherization around the crevices in your house can go a long way to helping reduce your heating and air conditioning bills. Similarly, be sure to check on the energy of your larger appliances, including your washer, dryer, dishwasher and even your hot water tank. Your older equipment could be sucking up a lot of energy and causing your energy bills to spike. Finally, be sure to check for any “electricity leaks” in the house. Replacing a few lightbulbs with energy efficient versions or unplugging unused electronics during the day can help you reduce your electric bill in any season.
Sell unwanted, seasonal clothes. If you’re unpacking your warmer weather clothing and wondering why you still own those shorts or that ill-fitting t-shirt, it may mean a trip to the consignment shop is in your near future. Spring cleaning is one of the best times of year to drop off clothes at the consignment stores; they’re always looking for in-season clothing to stock their racks. You may also have more luck than other times of the year selling spring and summer clothing online.
Take stock in the furniture or gadgets you haven’t used much. That grill sitting in the back of the garage? You only used it once last summer (and that was only because your other Fourth of July plans fell through). If you’re cleaning and reorganizing your home, take note of the appliances, furniture or other knick-knacks that you haven’t used much of in the past year. Sporting equipment, electronics, small appliances – if it hasn’t seen much use in the past 365 days, it may be time to sell it. Try selling locally on websites like Craigslist; it’s usually easier to find a local buyer for these types of items, especially if they’re seasonal.
Examine what you own, be grateful and buy less! Spring cleaning is the ideal time to purge what you don’t need. It’s also a great time to take a moment to be grateful for the things you do plan to keep. You may spend less money once you realize how many things you actually own!