Cha-Ching! 7 Ways to Make Money by De-cluttering Your Home

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by: Lindsay Hutton
Green is the color of spring... and MONEY! So if you've got the itch to clean up and de-clutter, why not make a little extra cash while you're at it? These simple ideas can help you make money while you get organized at the same time. And don't forget to get the kids to help!
Handmade yard sale sign leaning on brick wall
Have a Yard Sale
Having a yard sale is a lot of work, but it's a lot easier if you make it a family affair. Set aside a weekend and have each member of your family commit to "donating" a certain number of items to your selling pile. Involving your kids is a great way to teach them about money, and to show them how hard work can pay off in the form of cash. Remember to place an ad in your local newspaper or community website and post signs around town alerting others of your sale — more advertising means more people will show up!

If you live in a neighborhood, ask your neighbors if they are interested in having a community garage sale. If you have more people involved, you'll generate more stuff (and interest from outsiders!), so you'll likely make a little more if it's a joint effort.

Mom and kids playing on laptop computer
Sell Online
Selling online is easy, but different sites are better for different items. Craigslist is a great resource for larger items, like furniture, that you can't ship and need to sell locally. You have the option of requiring pick up only, free delivery, or delivery with an extra charge. Just be prepared to haggle — most people search Craiglist looking for a good deal.

A site like ebay.com is good for smaller, lighter items, like clothing or small toys, that can be easily shipped. And don't forget about all those books you have lying around! Half.com (a company of ebay) makes selling your used books easy. All you have to do is enter the ISBN or USC number, and you're on your way to making some money!

Get the kids involved by having them choose a few of their own items they'd like to try to sell. Help them write the descriptions and take pictures to post online. They'll get a kick out of seeing their own stuff on the Internet, and will be equally as excited when someone wants to buy it!

Rack of used clothing in thrift store
Bring Items to the Consignment Shop
If you have higher quality items, like purses or shoes, or a lot of the same items, like baby clothes, you might have some luck selling them at your local consignment or second-hand store. Some stores will give you money up front; others will pay you when your item sells (you'll typically receive around 20-30 percent of what it sold for.)

Keep in mind that a second-hand store might not accept all of your items — the condition and quality of the items matter. If you have several stores in your vicinity, shop around to see who will take your stuff and give you the best price. Ask your kids to put a price on the items they'd like to sell. How much do they think it's worth? What's the lowest price they're willing to sell it for? It's a good lesson in learning the value of their possessions and how to compromise with others.

Stack of newspapers against white background
Take Out a Newspaper Ad
Sure it sounds old-fashioned, but not everyone is tech-savvy enough to buy and sell online. Placing an ad in your local newspaper can reach a previously untapped market of people. This is another easy way to market larger items that you want to sell locally.
Mom and daughter putting change into piggy bank
Find Loose Change
Vacuuming the couch cushions, emptying junk drawers, and cleaning out the cars will likely turn up a lot of loose change — and that can really add up! Have your kids help you count it, and then take it to the bank to cash in.
Box of donated clothes against white background
Donate to Charity
If, at the end of your efforts, you still have some stuff that didn't sell, donate it. Donations are tax deductible, so even if you don't see the money right away in the form of cash, it will pay off when you do your taxes. Places like Goodwill and the Boys and Girls Club will all be happy to take your unneeded items. Some charities, like the Salvation Army and the Vietnam Veterans of America, are even willing to pick up. Do a search to see what is available in your town and which you'd like to donate to.

Donating is also a great lesson in generosity and selflessness for kids. Ask your child to set aside a certain number of items she'd like to donate to charity. Talk to her about how her contributions will help someone in need, and ask her how helping others makes her feel.

Plastic bins on living room floor full of stuff
Save on Waste
De-cluttering usually turns up a lot of stuff you forgot you had or uncovers a surplus of things you can cross off your shopping list. Once you realize how much you have (and don't use!), you'll likely curb your spending on frivolous things and in turn, save yourself a lot of money. This is especially handy when weeding through kids' toys. When they find an old favorite they haven't seen in a while, it could save you a trip down the toy aisle!