Make money on your unwanted clutter!
In the coming weeks, as the thermometer starts to rise, you’ll probably find yourself excitedly digging in the back of your closet for flip-flops and tank tops—until you realize that your closet needs some long overdue organizing … along with the rest of your house.
Suddenly, you (almost) wish it was still winter, so you could put off just a little longer the only undesirable thing about the season—spring-cleaning. But there’s an upside to all that scrubbing and decluttering and rearranging to come: You can earn some serious money for your unwanted junk. You just have to know where to go.
Whether you’re selling old DVDs, books, clothes or even sports equipment, these handy websites and apps will give you some added incentive to jump on that spring-cleaning.
Spring-Cleaning App: DeCluttr
What You Can Sell: Old CDs, video games and DVDs
Still hanging onto those pre-iPod compact discs? DeCluttr is an easy-to-use, free app that will buy them from you. Just download the app onto your iPhone or Android, and scan the barcode of your unwanted media (or type the code into DeCluttr’s website, if you don’t have a smartphone) to find out how much they’ll give you. Most items will only go for a dollar or two, but they’re still dollars you didn’t have before you started decluttering. Box it all up, mail it in, and your check will arrive in seven to ten business days.
Spring-Cleaning App: Poshmark
What You Can Sell: Clothes, shoes and accessories
Poshmark is an online community where you can create a virtual closet—and then let people from all over the country shop your wares. Simply upload a photo of the item (or items) you want to sell to the free Android or iPhone app to add it to your online closet. “Before I found Poshmark, I’d always take my unwanted clothing to consignment shops,” shares Tammy Griffin, who’s based in Phoenix. “They were very selective, and I was always shocked at how little they would offer me. Since I joined Poshmark a year ago, I’ve made over $1,000.”
Spring-Cleaning Website: Junkables
What You Can Sell: Antiques and knick-knacks
Akin to an online flea market, Junkables is the perfect place to offload some of those odds and ends—costume jewelry, comics, clocks, you name it—that are just collecting dust in your home. Buyers can pay you through a Paypal account.
Spring-Cleaning Website: Nextworth
What You Can Sell: Electronics, iPhones, androids, computers and tablets
Gather up old phones, computers and gaming systems, and then enter the model numbers into the homepage of Nextworth to get an instant quote of how much they’re worth. (In case you’re curious, a 16GB iPhone 4 in good condition will go for about $48). Then, using a free shipping label, send them in and get a check in three to ten business days (or use PayPal to receive payment the same day). Nextworth will even wipe out your personal data before refurbishing an item.
Spring-Cleaning App: Reverb.com
What You Can Sell: Musical instruments
Remember when you were going to be the next Jimi Hendrix? If it’s time to dust off that neglected guitar, you can download the free Reverb.com app on your iPhone and use their pricing guide to determine your instrument’s worth. Then snap a photo of your item, upload it and add a brief description for potential buyers.
Spring-Cleaning Website: SwapMeSports
What You Can Sell: Sporting equipment
SwapMeSports is a free online community where you can buy, sell, trade or donate used sports gear for kids and adults. Tracy Agreda, from West Hartford, Conn., has been using the site since it launched in 2010. “My oldest daughter is a competitive figure skater and requires personalized skates and dresses,” Agreda says. “We use the money from selling her old pieces—like the $30 I got for a $75 skating dress—to purchase new things as she needs them. It’s a huge cost savings.”
Spring-Cleaning Website: Powell’s
What You Can Sell: Books
Sure, you can list used books on Amazon, butPowell’s is the country’s largest independent bookshop—and who doesn’t want to support indie bookstores? To sell through their website, simply enter the book’s ISBN number (it’s on the copyright page, or on the back of the book) to find out how much it’s worth. Most books go for under $10. Powell’s will also give you 40% more in store credit instead of cash if you opt to trade old books for new ones.
Spring-Cleaning Website: Nextdoor
What You Can Sell: Big, hard-to-ship housewares, like furniture, lawnmowers and swing sets
Nextdoor is a social network that connects people in the same neighborhoods—just sign into your hood’s network, verify your address, and click on the classifieds section to let neighbors know what you’re selling.
Sharon Addison started a Nextdoor network in Loudon, Tenn., two years ago, and it now has 2,500 members who sell their items—including even boats and cars for up to $20,000. “Many of our members use Nextdoor to buy and sell things like golf equipment and excess furniture,” she says. “They love it.”