It’s been a long, hard winter. In Chicago, this winter ranks as the third snowiest on record, and the temperatures have been bitterly cold. Of course, we’re not alone; much of the country has felt the same pain.
Finally getting some warm, sunny days and watching all the snow melt has put me in the mood to spring clean. I’m not someone who cleans just for the sake of cleaning. No, I clean for two main reasons–to feel better about our home and how we feel in it and to make some cash.
To me, spring cleaning and decluttering mean raking in some extra cash selling the
crap stuff we no longer use, love, or need.
A New Way to Think about Decluttering
But this year, I’m looking at decluttering and spring cleaning in a different light. My husband’s mentor has accepted a job in Florida, and he asked my husband to come with him. For a few weeks, we thought about going before we decided it wasn’t the best move for our family.
Still, during those few weeks a move was on the table, I panicked a bit looking at all the stuff we would need to either move, sell, or donate before moving 1,000 miles. Suddenly decluttering became less about the mantra, “Only keep what you love and use”, and more about, “Would I pay to move this item 16 hours away?” It wasn’t a pretty picture.
How Much Money Can You Make Decluttering?
You make think of decluttering primarily as tossing or donating, but there’s also good money to be made in decluttering.
Things to Trash
Of course, we have our fair share of trash. One of our daughter’s is a prolific artist. She’s only 5, but she creates artistic masterpieces every day. I’m perfectly okay with just keeping a few of these and trashing the rest, but my husband can’t yet bear to let them go. We have three shelves filled with her work. Seriously! Almost none of those drawings would make a 1,000 mile move, so it’s time to purge.
Things to Donate
Right away, I saw plenty of stuff that we just don’t need and that have no resale value. Clothes that we don’t wear, clothes that the kids have outgrown, baby blankets we no longer use, books and more books that we no longer read. The list goes on and on. Those items would easily make the donate pile. (Remember if you itemize on your tax return to get a receipt for your donations so you can get a tax deduction.)
Things to Sell
But then I looked with a keen eye at the dollars we’re sitting on.
- My husband has a jigsaw tool that he used once and never used again that could be sold for perhaps $50.
- I have a good stash of canning jars, many of which I will never use and would not want to move 1,000 miles which could be sold for another $40 or so.
- We have a foreign language program that we bought for homeschooling that was never opened because we were able to get a different program for free. That is worth another $250 to $300.
The more I looked around, the more I realized I was just holding on to stuff that easily tallied $1,000 or more!
Is decluttering worth it? For a cleaner house and an extra $1,000, I’d say yes!
What’s the most you’ve made when decluttering?
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.