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Spring Cleaning Saves Money!

by Ryan Guina

My wife and I have been doing a little spring cleaning this weekend, and I keep thinking about how much nicer everything is looking. Not only that, but I keep thinking about all the ways we’ve saved money.

Organize

  • Find Lost Items: When we cleaned and organized everything, we found some things we forgot we had. We found a full box of envelopes, notepads, printer paper, tape, stamps, and screwdrivers and other tools lying in junk drawers. It’s amazing how many things get out of place so easily. Many times it is easier to go buy a new “fill in the blank” than trying to find what you misplaced.
  • Put Finances in Order: We also organized some financial paperwork. Paying bills on time always saves money! Read about How Long You Should Keep Financial Documents.

Get Rid of Unneeded Items

  • One Word: eBay! Movies, memorabilia, toys, knick knacks, clothes, sporting goods, household items, and just about anything can be sold to get it out of your life and put welcome dollars in your bank account.
  • Books and CDs: These may not be worth the time/effort to sell on eBay. A good alternative is to take them to a used book store such as Half Price Books. My wife and I like to read and I prefer the convenience of ownership vs. going to the library. However, I don’t like to pay full price; so I go to Half Price Books and shop the bargain bins. I’ve found numerous hard cover books by well known authors for $1-3. Half Price Books will buy books, CDs, movies, and some computer games. The purchasing is done right in the store and you can get the money or a credit to use whenever you want. We have plenty of books right now, so I’ll go trade that big stack of books for some money. :)
  • Can’t sell it? Donate it! Clothes, toys, household items, sporting goods, books, and many other items can be donated to charities, such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill. Books and other media can be taken to your local library or hospital. Many times these donations are good for a tax deduction, so get a receipt if possible!

Intangibles

  • Clean and Healthy House: A clean house is healthier to be in. Vacuuming and dusting remove dust, dirt, pollen, spores, mites and all kinds of other nasties. If you are prone to allergies, not only is your house healthier, but you are less likely to go to the doctor or have to buy as much allergy medicine.
  • More Pleasant House: A clean house is much more pleasant to be in. When your house is cluttered and disorganized, it is much easier to avoid dealing with it and spending your day eating out, going to a movie, or shopping. You might think this last one is a stretch, but ask yourself if you’ve ever looked at a sink or dishwasher full of dirty dishes and decided it was just easier to call Domino’s? Well, I haven’t. I prefer Papa John’s. ;)

Published or updated February 27, 2011.
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