Spring Cleaning Can Help
You Not Only Purge
But SAVE You Money Too!
Did you know that by cleaning you house, you can not only earn money by holding a yard sale or selling your items online. But you can also save loads money by cleaning key items in order to save energy costs!
First Things First: Set Goals & Create the Plan
A goal without a plan a just a wish! Without a plan you will find yourself picking up the same items and moving them from one spot to the next ~ repeatedly, and wondering what happens after that.
1. Decide upon an area of your home where you can “stage” or accumulate all the items you will be getting rid of. Ideally, this would be an area of the garage or an unused room (unused room ~ what’s that?), but could also be as simple as a row of boxes lined up next to each other down the hallway. Simple and convenient is the name of the game to help you stay motivated. The key to cashing in is getting organized based upon our goals. You’ve gotta know where you will stage the stuff! Sometimes this can be a daunting task, especially the first time around, but after setting up your system and thinking through the process once, subsequent rounds of cleaning/purging will become much less worrisome and labor intensive.
2. Next, explore and discuss options with your family about which resources will be used for getting rid of your stuff and turning it into cash. These could include online options (such as Facebook Groups, Craigslist, or eBay), good old fashioned yard sales, flea markets, consignment shops, auctions and donations. There are tons of places who desperately need your gently used clothing and household goods, so please do consider blessing others as well. (Make sure you maximize your tax donations by asking for a receipt! Those items can be used as a tax write off!)
2. Let the fun begin ~ Declutter and Collect the Goods
Ever heard the saying “many hands make fast work”? Divide and conquer! Assign an area to each family member, all the way down to the smallest person ~ children LOVE to help and be involved in family activities. Each person should have an assigned area and clear expectations on what is to be cleared away. Working for an hour or so each day instead of all at once can help prevent burnout and will lead to steady progress.
Make 4 collection boxes for everyone to sort into:
- Items you need to keep in this area
- Things that can be donated
- Items that no longer work (can be thrown away)
- Items that belong elsewhere because they do not function for the purpose of this space
Once you’ve cleared an area (sometimes this is as simple as each person taking a corner of a room to work simultaneously) and put away all the items that belong elsewhere, move on to the next area. “Wash. Rinse. Repeat.”
As each person places their items in the proper collection box, they should have adequate supplies handy to clean up the area they just decluttered. Cleaning it immediately and organizing what remains in that area is a kind of “two birds with one stone technique” and will prevent having to return to the same area for a second step. Set a timer and see if you can “beat the clock” (or just beat the other family member team). Time to move on to the next task and cross that one off the list. You’re already seeing progress and feeling accomplished!
3. The last step ~ Final Cleaning and Organization
This is the most fun step! All the old clutter is gone, nooks and crannies have been cleaned and hopefully reorganized already. Doesn’t it feel really great to look into a closet or a cabinet and just know that space was recently cleaned well ~ and there is actually some space available in it? Now is the time to relax and recoup your strength for the final phase which is to carry out your annual deep cleaning routine. Maybe even celebrate your success thus far by dinner out ~ check here to see our latest restaurant deals. (Whether we are cleaning or playing, eating is always included!)
Cleaning Key Items Can Save You $500 This Year:
- Upcycle – Now that you have cleaned out everywhere, I’m sure you found a few items that weren’t even good enough for the donation pile. Especially shirts due to paint stains or rips. Let’s repurpose them into Laundry Dryer Sheets! Just take the shirt, cut it up into small 5 inch squares of fabric, and get some vinegar in a spray bottle, dampen the square and add 3-5 drops of essential oils on top. Throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes and everything will come out smelling fresh and clean! The best part… this cost pennies compared to the expensive laundry freshener counterpart. Don’t worry, the oil will not spread onto your clothes. It dissipates with the heat from the air. There are loads of ideas for upcycling broken loved items. We have easily taken broaches I knew I would never wear (that were taking up space in my jewelry box) and glued a magnet on the back side… boom! It’s a refrigerator magnet! It brings back the love once lost when it catches my eye on the fridge.
- Vacuuming – Did you know your vacuum can save you money? While you’re Spring Cleaning, don’t miss cleaning the coils at the back of your refrigerator because it can eliminate more than 70 percent of refrigerator service calls and save $5 to $10 per month in inefficient electric usage. And don’t forget to vacuum or replace your air conditioner filters. The Energy Department estimates that regularly changing your filters will provide 5 to 15 percent in energy savings (that will save you an additional $20/month)!
- Reduce Drying Time – One major part of your electric expense is running the Dryer. But with all the rain I get during the summer here in FL, hanging them out to dry might not be an option. Speed up drying time and add extra fluff to bedding by throwing a few clean tennis balls into the dryer with them. The tennis balls will help to evenly distribute laundry and increase airflow in the machine (and no, your clothes will not smell like rubber). If you are concerned about the loud sound though, you could invest in wool dryer balls. They cost about $4 per ball and will reduce static too. Plus, you can add a couple drops of essential oils on top and they will freshen, fluff and de-static all at the same time! One other tip is to keep a clean DRY towel on top of your dryer. Add it to every jean or towel load, and it will also reduce drying time significantly.
- Make your Own – You can save a ton of money using common household products you already have on hand to make great cleaners at a fraction of the cost. Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. Baking soda is gentle enough to use as a mild abrasive in many areas of your home. Lemons & hydrogen peroxide have a natural bleaching ability. Just replacing a couple of your cleaners with these cost effective ones will save you around $300 per year! Another option is to look at our store lists to help you get those cleaning products cheap or even free.
You made it! You set a goal, created a solid plan and stuck to it! You sold some of that excess online or held an online yard sale and cleaned the key household items to make your home run more efficiently to reduce expenses. You have successfully cleaned your way to cash this Spring! So now what? Call in the kids, everybody pull up a chair at the table and start counting all that extra money!
What are some methods or resources you have used to Spring clean?
Maybe your idea will help someone in ways we didn’t mention!
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