Spring cleaning tips: 10 ways to make money off what you already have

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Spring Cleaning: Turning Clutter Into Cash

Spring cleaning season is in full swing, so slap on some gloves, open the closet door and get ready to dig, trash and clean long-forgotten items. Spring cleaning is sure to take you deep into your closet, but before tossing unwanted belongings in the trash, think secondhand.

Consider these DIY ideas and spring cleaning tips to help you earn a little bit of cash and maybe even save on future gifts and do-it-yourself home projects.

See: How to Host a Successful Yard Sale

10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Making and Saving Money

1. Resell Name Brand Clothing

Have a closet full of last year's clothing trends? If your clothes are in gently used condition, less than three years old and have tags emblazoned with the hottest name brands, you can make a pretty penny selling to specialty clothes stores like Plato's Closet and Clothes Mentor.

Gather freshly-laundered items and fold them neatly in a basket or box — and don't forget accessory items like shoes, belts and handbags. Bring your clothes to the store to have a cashier sort through them; they'll give you cash for items they want to put up for sale.

ThredUP offers a similar service online, except you mail in your clothes to have it sold online.

Learn: 35 Secrets to Saving Money in 2016

2. Sell on eBay or Craigslist

Need a catch-all resale option for everything from ski pants to antique furniture? Both eBay and Craigslist provide low- to no-cost opportunities to sell nearly anything online. On eBay, sell items that can be shipped without hassle and for cheap. For larger items, like a ladder or used appliance, try Craigslist to sell to local buyers who can pay in cash and pick up at your convenience.

3. Swap Unused Gift Cards for Cash

While spring cleaning and rifling through desk drawers, you're liable to encounter unused gift cards. These can be sold online or in stores for cash.

Websites like CardCash.com will pay up to 92 percent of the value of a gift card. Use the site's online selling tool to enter gift card information and then select a method to receive payment. If opting for cash, a check will arrive a few weeks after you mail in the gift card.

See: The Best and Worst Gift Cards to Own

4. Turn Bottles and Containers Into Cash

Create a designated space in the garage or kitchen to store containers, then redeem them for cash during your spring clean, and going forward. Residents in states with container deposit laws can turn in used soda bottles, cans and containers for cash. Earn anywhere from 2 cents to 15 cents per container.

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Spring cleaning tips: 10 ways to make money off what you already have

Dog-sitting, babysitting, or house-sitting

These jobs are always in high demand, and the best part: you can name your price and create your own schedule! Post an ad on craigslist, or use your friends' and family's connections to get your name out there. 

Photo via Getty

Rent out your space 

List your apartment on Airbnb or another rental site, and make some easy cash by staying at a friends and renting out your place for the weekend.

Photo via AOL

Share your space

Just as you can rent out your full apartment or house, you can also post a free room (or even just your couch!) on sites like Craigslist or Airbnb. This way you can split your living expenses -- and maybe even make a new friend!

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Sell your body parts

Now here's a weird one: Donate your hair, breast milk, or even plasma for a profit. According to Grifols, if you're healthy and weigh above 110 pounds, you can earn up to $200 a month donating your plasma to life-saving medicine. 

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Sign up to participate in medical tests and clinical trials. 

Universities constantly need volunteers to test new medicines and treatments -- and because the pool of willing participants is limited, there is typically a large compensation for being a guinea pig. 

Photo via Getty

Participate in a focus group

Companies and organizations will pay you to join a focus group. These can be conducted in person, online, or via phone. You will most likely be reimbursed in cash or gift cards -- plus, you often get to test out fun new products! 

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Take online surveys

Similar to focus groups, you can get paid to give your time and insights on an online questionairre. Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch. 

Photo via Getty

Bank on your sperm

Although we don't necessarily recommend this option, there is a very high demand for healthy sperm donors. Keep in mind some of the obvious drawbacks, but sperm donation is non-invasive and highly compensated. 

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Crowdfund your dreams

Crowdfunding allows you to raise monetary contributions from a large group of people who want to support your venture. Post your project or idea on a crowdfund site, like GoFundMe.com, and see the cash pile up.

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Become a tutor

If you're qualified, post an ad online or on a community board to tutor children on their school courses or for the upcoming SATs.

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Get a part-time job

Capitalize your free time (on the weekends or after work hours) by working a part-time job. A bartender, waiter, or Uber driver are all great options for an additional source of income -- and great tips! 

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Resell tickets

Take this suggestion at your own risk: If you're staying within legal limits, buy tickets low and sell high as an effective way to source additional money. (Just make sure to check your state and local laws first!)

Photo via Getty


You can sell anything on the internet these days... including your companionship! Get paid to go on a platonic outing for a few hours and enjoy your afternoon with a new friend. 

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Rent out your parking spot

Make sure to check with your landlord first, but if you have the option to park your own car further away, lend or share your parking space or driveway for the hour, day, or even month! 

Photo via Getty

Keep a coin jar 

This one takes patience before a big pay out, but keep a spare jar or drawer for loose change that you usually toss anyway. It will keep it all in one place -- and those quarters do add up! 

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Make something to sell 

If you have a knack for arts & crafts, create jewelry or other handmade gifts to sell on sites filled with other thrifty vendors like Etsy

Photo via Getty

Sell items online

This effective strategy requires low effort with a high return. Post photos of your used or non-used items on sites like eBay or Craigslist, and let the bidding begin! 

Photo via Getty

Have a yard sale

Sell clutter you've been meaning to get rid of right in your front yard. This simple tactic is convenient, and guarantees a wad of cash right to your pocket.  

Photo via Getty

Return past purchases

This tip may seem obvious, but is often overlooked: Take your recently-purchased items that are laying around back to the store for either store credit or a full refund. 

Recycle scrap metal and cans

Collect cans and scrap metal out your own garbage, basement, and street and bring to your local recycler to exchange your findings for money.  

Photo via Getty


5. Have a Garage Sale

Hosting a garage or yard sale is a traditional but lucrative option to sell used and unwanted belongings. Spring is the prime time to have a sale. Advertise the yard sale on Craigslist and in the local newspaper. Ask neighbors to participate the same day to draw in more shoppers.

6. Participate in a Kids Resale

Spring is a popular time for rummage sales, including children's resale events. Check in with local parent-teacher associations for details. Many will host a spring and fall event. For a nominal fee, parents can set up a table and sell used baby and children's items.

7. Host a Virtual Yard Sale on Facebook

Not up for the hassle of organizing and manning a garage sale all day? Host a virtual garage sale. Search Facebook with the terms "garage sale," "yard sale" or "resale" along with the names of surrounding cities to find virtual resale groups. Take photos of the items you want to sell and write a brief description and asking price. Be open to haggling virtually. Some groups allow users to cross-post items in other groups as well.

8. Sell to Consignment Shops

From Once Upon A Child, which specializes in baby and children's items, to Play It Again Sports, which specializes in new and used sporting equipment, there are a variety of consignment shops that will purchase gently-used items.

Local shops are another option. Often run by charities and non-profit organizations, these shops can take anything from upscale clothing to furniture and home decor. Some will purchase items on the spot. Others might ask sellers to rent space. Check with each shop for rules and guidelines.

9. Trade in Old Video Games, DVDs and Books

Stores like GameStop will accept used video games and some electronics, like iPods. These stores will offer you more in store credit than in cash, so if you have a gamer or movie fan in the family, consider saving the store credit for future gifts.

For books, DVDs and CDs, Half Price Books is a good option with locations nationwide. Gazelle.com is a competitive option for getting cash for used smartphones.

10. Donate Clothes and Old Electronics for a Tax Break

When all else fails, donate items to charity for a tax deduction. Thrift shops like Goodwill will take clothing, housewares, furniture and more. Simply pack the items and drop them off in person. A store employee will offer to write out a receipt for the estimated value of the items. Save this receipt and save money by claiming a tax deduction next year.

RELATED: 13 best cleaning hacks for the lazy

Lazy cleaning hacks
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Spring cleaning tips: 10 ways to make money off what you already have

Make a habit of putting at least one thing away when you enter a different room in your house. 

Photo: Getty Images

Spray an all-purpose cleaner every time you shower. This will prevent mildew build up and ensure you never have to an entire two hours to clean your showers.

Photo: Getty Images

Opt for a shower gel or body wash instead of using a bar of soap to avoid extra shower scum. Bath & Body Works has a Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte variation perfect for this season. 

Photo: Getty Images

Get rid of pet hair (and your own) by wiping all your hairy surfaces with a pair of slightly damp rubber gloves. 

Photo: Getty Images

Has this ever happened to you? ::tragic::

Grab your iron and lift that stain right up. 

Photo: Getty Images

To clean a dirty microwave take a simple sponge and throw it into a bowl with water, dish soap and vinegar. Then, place the damp sponge inside your microwave and heat for three minutes. Once that's done, the microwave will be full of condensation and much easier to clean. Be careful though, the sponge will be very hot so it's best to wear rubber gloves as you clean. 

Photo: Getty Images

Clean your shower liner by throwing it in the wash with a few soiled towels. Add a half-cup of baking soda in with your normal amount of detergent. At the rinse cycle, dump in a half-cup of vinegar. Hang your shower liner to dry.

Photo: Getty Images

Keep coal or baking soda in your fridge to absorb gross odors. 

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Line your George Foreman grill with aluminum foil before using it to avoid hours of scrubbing post-eating.  

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Eat straight out of takeout containers or a tortilla to avoid having dishes to wash. 

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Keep cleaning supply where you use it. 

Photo: Getty Images

Avoid heavy-duty fridge cleaning by lining your fridge shelves with Press' N Seal

Photo: Getty Images


This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Spring Cleaning Tips: 10 Ways to Make Money Off What You Already Have

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