Editor’s note: Quorum is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this article and derives no benefit from these businesses for placement in this article.
Your home has probably never needed a good spring cleaning more than it does this year. With the coronavirus forcing so many of us to stay in, work remotely and learn virtually, dirt and clutter has inevitably piled up. So, you might need a little extra motivation to get started on this annual ritual.
If the thought of sparkling windows, squeaky clean floors and decluttered spaces isn’t enough to entice you to pull out the mop and bucket, then think of your spring cleaning as a money-making project that’ll pad your wallet in more ways than one. Here are four ways to spring clean your way to some extra savings.
1. Spruce up your curb appeal and increase your home’s value.
Whether or not you’re planning to sell your home this spring, it never hurts to enhance its curb appeal; doing so increases the worth of what is likely one of your most valuable assets. Just last year, Realtor® Magazine found that sprucing up the exterior of a home results in an average 7 percent increase in its resale value. For a $300,000 home, that’s a $21,000 jump.
As you put together your cleaning to-do list, include these exterior items for a quick boost to your home’s value:
- Clean the windows
- Fix loose gutters and shutters
- Weed and seed the lawn
- Trim shrubbery
- Add fresh flowers and greenery in landscaping beds and front-porch pots
- Lay new mulch or pine straw
- Replace any burned out exterior light bulbs
Beyond cleaning, you can even add to your total living space by creating a backyard oasis.
2. Clean/maintain your appliances for lower monthly bills.
Adding these chores to your spring cleaning can help lower some essential expenses.
Decreased Electric and Natural Gas Bills
To spend less on utilities:
- Replace your air filters to make your HVAC system more efficient.
- When dusting ceiling fans, make sure they turn counterclockwise for warmer months so you can notch your AC thermostat up a few degrees and still be comfortable.
- Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils to improve its energy efficiency.
Lower Grocery Bill
To reduce your food tab, clean out your refrigerator and organize it so that you can readily see what’s in it. Do the same with your freezer and pantry. This keeps you from buying unneeded items or wasting food that goes bad before you eat it.
3. Sell unwanted items to generate hard cash.
Spring cleaning also provides a great opportunity to declutter all those spaces in your home that tend to accumulate unused stuff: closets, attics, basements, garages and playrooms.
Go space by space and pull everything out and critically assess each item. If it doesn’t mean something to you or you haven’t used it in over a year, consider getting rid of it. For items that are still in good shape or barely used, you can sell them in several different ways and pocket the proceeds.
Brick and Mortar Consignment Shops
From national chains, such as Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, Once Upon a Child and Play it Again Sports, to locally owned consignment shops, there are lots of places to take your gently used clothes, baby items, sports equipment, furniture or antiques for resale.
Some consignment stores pay you upfront either in cash or store credit for the items they can sell. Others display your items for sale at an agreed upon price and pay you when the item is purchased. Check a store’s website or call ahead to find out exactly how its consignment policy works before you drag your stuff there.
Mobile Selling Apps
If you prefer not to leave your house, you can sell your unwanted items online through the latest resale trend—mobile apps. Ones like Shop Tomorrows and Kidizen focus on children’s items, whereas thredUP and Poshmark list adult as well as kids’ clothing and accessories.
Although each works a little bit differently, in general, you take a photo of the items you want to sell and then upload them to the app of your choice.
You can do more than catch up with old friends or share information with neighbors on social media. Sites like Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor provide venues for selling your items to people that live near you.
If you have a lot of stuff to sell—including items that might be too worn for consignment—and you want to get rid of it all in one fell swoop, you can always set up shop on your lawn or in your garage. Clean, price and display your items to attract as many visitors as possible to your yard sale.
4. Are you actually USING your storage unit? If not, eliminate an unnecessary expense.
Finally, do you have a storage unit filled with furniture, books, clothing and other stuff? If you have no current use or future plan for the items, there’s no need to keep paying to store them. Clean out your unit and sell the contents to earn a double cash bonus: the elimination of a monthly bill and extra money in your pocket.
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