Two ways to win: less stuff in the house, more money in the wallet – Decluttering the house is good for your mental health — and can be good for your bank account, too.
Spring cleaning can be more than getting rid of your children’s old toys or dumping clothes you haven’t worn in five years. It could mean earning money on items you don’t love or need any more, or never used, especially jewelry, CDs and DVDs and even clothes (if you go to the right places). There’s one more win from spring cleaning, aside from decluttering the home and potentially making money from the stuff that goes — down the line, when it’s time to move, there will be less to pack.
Clutter can take a toll on your mental health, but it also costs money:
• More than 10% of households rent storage space to house their extra belongings, and that can cost $1,000 a year, according to the National Association of Organizing Professionals.
• Americans throw away a quarter of the food they buy, which can add up to $2,275 a year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
• Time: Americans spend 55 minutes a day looking for their belongings, according to one study, which means they waste money buying replacements. Almost a quarter pay bills late and incur extra charges as a result of not being able to find their bills. And more than $1 billion is lost in gift card money, some of which is due to lost gift cards.
Decluttering has become a bit of a trend, thanks to best-selling books like Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” which has now inspired a NetflixNFLX, -0.74% original series . So when an item in your home doesn’t spark joy, it’s time to give it up… and maybe even sell it. Here’s what can reap the biggest bucks:
Unwanted jewelry will make the most money, especially diamonds, said Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. OfferUp, an online bidding site that lets you buy and sell items locally, is one marketplace for that. The site has a blog that tells sellers what’s hot to list during various times of the year. Of course, you can also go to jewelers and pawn shops to sell your jewelry too, though you may want to shop around before taking the first offer.
A few notes: Condition is the major factor in selling your pieces, and any damaged or broken jewelry will sell for less even if it can be fixed, according to Arden Jewelers in Sacramento, Calif. Worn out jewelry can’t be sold for any more than the intrinsic value of the metal and gems, because it is hard to bring back to life. Gems are also crucial aspects of reselling. For example, resale prices will vary depending on whether diamonds or rubies are natural or synthetic, and chips or abrasions will also affect value.
Bulk entertainment, such as CDs and DVDs
Bulk entertainment, such as CDs and DVDs
Single CDs or DVDs may not make much, but selling a big collection of them can, according to Mums Make Lists, a blog for busy mothers. Sites like Decluttr claim to make selling large collections of entertainment easy. Even VCRs might be worth something, even if they seem like outdated technology to most people, Bodge said. “It is important to point out that something you don’t want can be useful to someone else,” she said. “You never know.” Decluttr has an app that lets users scan bar codes on old electronics and quickly find out how much they’re worth. Keep in mind, the faster you sell, the more valuable the electronic, as they depreciate over time.
Before throwing out curling irons, hair dryers or flat irons, consider selling them. As the weather gets warmer, so does the price of these items — by as much as 26%, according to OfferUp. The average list price for these hot hair tools is $53.
Warm weather sports equipment
Know you’re not going to rollerblade or kayak even though summer is coming? Then consider now a good time to say goodbye to these sporting goods. According to OfferUp, roller blades surge in price by at least 11% in March and April, with an average list price of $31, and kayaks jump between 7% and 16% with an average listing price of $184.
Apparel can be a hit or miss, but in-season styles always sell well, according to personal finance site Bankrate.com. In that sense, you’re better off timing what you sell as opposed to doing it all in one shot this spring — so sell your spring and summer clothes in the spring and fall and winter later in the year. Don’t know where to sell? There are plenty of apps, such as thredUp, where you stuff a bag with clothes you want to get rid of and they do the selling for you, Bodge said, but you’ll earn a little less than if you sold the items individually yourself, she noted. Others include Tradesy, Poshmark and Mercari. You can also sell clothes in person at consignment stores, and find local shops on The Association of Resale Professionals.
Written by Alessandra Malito
A18-020893 Exp 5.4.19