Spring is FINALLY coming. It’s not quite here yet, but it’s circling the airport. The time just changed and it’s so much brighter during the day for so much longer! When everything starts to thaw out and bloom, I always get the spring cleaning bug to get my house in order. But before you start your annual spring cleaning, I want to share a little secret with you. There’s $2500 hidden in your house. Did you know that? It’s just waiting for you to find it? Right now. It’s there. You just have to go looking. I’ve compiled a list to help you find the hidden $2,500 in your house.
To be fair, you’re going to have to go look for it AND be willing to put in a little work to sell the stuff to get that money. But whether you’re looking to do some spring cleaning and decluttering, simply bulk up the upcoming vacation fund or dig out of a financial crisis; I think you’ll find it’s well worth your time to take a look around your house for some extra cash.
How Should I Start?
First off, the way you are getting this money is to sell some stuff. So, first things first, take a quick assessment of your home. Walk from room to room with a notepad in hand and begin evaluating what items should stay and what could be sold. After you do a walkthrough, decide what items you can or want to part with, and then devise your plan for selling the items. In my efforts to declutter and best use our space, I did a walkthrough recently in our home, and here are my personal results:
Unused Exercise Equipment
Treadmill and Elliptical being used as clothes hangers? That’s what is happening at my house. If you haven’t used it in a year (or five… sigh…) SELL it. My family isn’t at a life point where we have the room in the house or the time for all that equipment in our bonus room. But, we paid good money for it, so we kept it. To hang clothes on. No more of that. We are looking at selling our equipment.
My husband has an exercise bike he’s keeping, and I’ve long since traded the treadmill for a stroller and a walk with my two little guys outside. If it’s rainy, we go to the mall or a store to get our steps in that day. The added bonus of getting rid of this equipment is that it creates more room in your house. And you can make the buyer come pick the equipment up, so you don’t even have to move it! WINNING!
Estimated Profit: $100-$400
Evidently, the price of gold is still pretty high. There are several places here in my town where you can take your gold jewelry, and they will buy the gold from you. A friend of mine had gone and sold some of hers recently and let me know how shocked she was at the amount of money she received.
Later that week, I went into my own jewelry boxes and gathered some old and broken gold jewelry and a few items I’d held on to for far too long. I found pieces that were completely out of style and some I had never really worn or was never going to wear again.
When You Get To The Store:
At the shop they took any stones out, sorted by the quality of gold, weighed the jewelry and then gave me the price they would pay based on the current price of gold by karat. I stood in shock when the employee told me it’d be $1451.00. For jewelry that was broken, or that I hadn’t worn in 10 years! I happily took the money, kept the gemstones and went on my way.
Profit: $1,451.00 – I feel like this might be a little high; I had several heavier chains and pieces that were big items. For the sake of keeping this to an average profit, let’s estimate this could bring you $300.
Estimated Profit $300
I’m a craft supply hoarder. I love to have the supplies on hand. I love to organize them and look at them. The part I struggle with is getting the time to actually use this crafty stuff. At the moment, we actually do have the room to store a lot of the supplies, but there are some items I know there is no chance I’m going to get to in the near future.
Unused Supplies are worth a ton!
For example, I have a ton of jewelry making supplies. With 2 small kids and carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, I know that jewelry making just isn’t in the cards for me right now. That doesn’t mean I won’t get back to it later on, but for now, there is no reason to store the supplies that I’ve not been able to touch in 4 years.
I gathered all the supplies and put them up for sale on a local Facebook yard sale group. They were sold for $150 in 20 minutes. I met up with the buyer the next day and that was that. Less stuff to store, more cash in my pocket! At first, I struggled with letting these items go, but the reality is that those same supplies will always be for sale, and if I pick up making jewelry again I can go buy more supplies at that time.
Riding Lawn Mower
The yard mower of the family may not appreciate this idea! And it all depends on your storage space and size of your yard. Do you have a riding mower but could get the job done AND some exercise in with a push mower? Does your riding mower take up half the garage? Require a lot of maintenance? Our back yard is huge, so this isn’t really something we will be considering, but I felt it relevant to mention on my list.
Potential Profit: $250-$500
Outgrown Kid Toys
Do you have tons of baby items taking up space? We sure did! We had exosaucers, bouncy seats, pack and plays, high chairs, extra strollers, baby carriers and baby toys galore. I had held on to them because we weren’t sure that we were done with just 2 kids. And I’m still not 100% sure we are done at 2 kids. But I know that at this point we are done AND that if we ever change our minds, we can always buy the newest and greatest gadgets for babies at that time. I got everything out and wiped down and posted them on a local Facebook home goods sale group. Our kids are 5 and 3, so our stuff was relatively new and in good condition.
Baby Items We Sold:
- Exosaucers (3) – $50, $35, $4
- Bouncy Seats (3) – $25, $20, $30
- MamaRoo Chair – $100
- Wooden High Chair $40
- Large stroller with baby carrier $100
- Pack and Play (2) $45, $50
- Walker $35
- Bumboo Seat $15
- Baby Swing $30
In case you didn’t keep track – that’s $620.00. From stuff we had lying around! And again, if later on if we decided to have one more baby, we can buy the things we truly used and needed at that time. And my gosh, the space that opened up by getting rid of these items? It’s NUTS!
What toys have your kids outgrown? Power wheels in the garage? Bikes and tricycles? Play equipment in the back yard? Toys that are too little for them now? In short, go purge the toys and see what you come up with!
Profit from Sale: $620
Have you moved houses and consequently have a room with one too many pieces of furniture? Two dining room sets? A piece of furniture you never liked? Patio furniture that’s now in the way? One that just doesn’t fit in? SELL IT! We purchased a living room set with a couch, loveseat and oversized sitting chair. The chair and ottoman just don’t fit in our living room, or any other place in the house. Therefore, we got rid of them. They are both great pieces, but just not needed. And it also opened up our living room for a much more open play space.
Oversized chair and ottoman sold – $175
We had a few older pieces of furniture that had accumulated from the years. For example, I had a few hand me downs from my grandparent’s homes. Any pieces that were of sentimental value, we had already put to use. That left 2 chests of drawers that were extremely beat up and needed some TLC. I’ll have a post on how to refinish the actual furniture at a later date with pictures. We sanded and repainted both dressers and sold each for $100.
Host a Yard Sale
Almost every spring, we have a yard sale. Stuff just accumulates over the course of the year and you know what the old saying is… one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Which roughly translates into “Get this stuff out of my house, I have to clean all around it!”
Do keep in mind – it’s a yard sale. Keep your prices reasonable and be willing to negotiate. Remember, what you don’t sell, you either have to store or get rid of at the end of the day. Yard sales can include whatever items you want, but here are a few ideas you might not have considered putting in a yard sale:
Clothing of all sizes – including winter coats. I’m always getting asked for kid-sized coats at our yard sales. It’s usually spring when I do the sale and lots of folks are looking to put some winter and summer clothes up for the coming year. And also, look at your own coats. I myself had about ten nice dress coats I’d accumulated over the years. Now that I work from home and have little ones, I certainly didn’t need them all. I kept two sets and sold the rest. Keep in mind, it’s a yard sale, so keep your prices reasonable and be willing to negotiate
So, in the kitchen, we are looking for dishes, small appliances, cookbooks and vintage Tupperware sets for items that are always good items to sell. At one point, we had 4 sets of dishes. We kept the two that had the most sentimental value and sold the rest. Any small appliances you aren’t using? We had a tortilla maker, a sandwich maker and a waffle maker we had used roughly two times in 5 years. So, we put those up for sale. I had a ton of cookbooks, so I thinned those out as well. I’m a Tupperware hoarder, so I was able to clean out that cabinet and keep only a reasonable amount, selling the rest in our sale.
For example, are there tools with duplicates in the garage or storage shed. Do you have 2 weed eaters? 2 blowers? Do you need 2 of these? If not, sell one of them! Good luck getting the husbands on board on this matter. My husband has a “favorite” weed eater. I wasn’t aware you had to keep a selection available…
Board Games and Toys
I am always surprised at how many people ask if you have board games. Both for adults and kids. Also, feel free to put in some toys that have been grown out of. Grandparents love to have toys at their houses for the kiddos, and this is a cheap way to put a nice stash of play toys at Grandmas!
DVDs and cd’s
These are probably a dying breed. My car doesn’t even have a cd player anymore. But lots of other people’s cars do. You’ll be surprised how many people will still buy DVD’s and CD’s these days.
Think about artwork, wall hangings, and mirrors. Have you re-done a room and have extra artwork? Items that just don’t fit in? Just keeping them cause you paid money for them and therefore MIGHT use them one day? No! Sell them!
I usually make around $350-$400 each year on our yard sale. In short, yard sales are so much work, but that amount of money makes it worth the effort to get ready for sure! Anything that doesn’t sell, I usually drive to a charity donation box that afternoon. If I take it out of the house, it’s not coming back in!
Estimated Profit: $350
You might have a small jackpot in some old toys of your own. Have a ton of baseball cards? Barbies? Collectors Coins? If it’s just in storage and you are willing to part with the items, look around the internet and get a feel for the market and for the price at which the items would sell. As a result of my walk around the house, I’m currently evaluating selling my collector Barbie Dolls that I’ve saved for all these years. The reality is I have a house full of men and these Barbies are packed away in a closet. It’s time to consider letting them go.
Do Your Research
Lots of collected items like the Barbies might go for more money than you think. I’ve not finished my research yet, but I think I might be able to sell my collection of unopened Barbie Dolls for $500-$1000. It’s probably not what it once would have been, and probably not what it could be in the future, but what point is there in them staying in a closet and collecting dust? Not much!
Estimated Profit: $250 – $500
We had a Wii that we sold for $50 with all the games and pieces. It still worked great and is great for family fun. We have a few years to go before the current video games are on our horizon, so we decided to pass this on to another family. But you may have several consoles you can sell/trade. Take a look and see which your kids play with and which they don’t!
Play Forts/Swing sets
For instance, did a big swing set come with your house? Or have your kids outgrown the play fort you built? Some of those forts and swing sets are VERY expensive. You may be able to sell it to someone AND have them come take it apart and move it out of your yard. We have a swing set that is set up for tiny kids. And we probably have another year-ish of use in it before we upgrade.
Estimated Profit: $75
The Results are in:
Grand total: $2,520.00
When I count all the estimates up, using ONLY the lowest estimate in each category, this comes to a total of $2,520.00! Just sitting in my house collecting dust! And this list is just based on our household. Your home may have an entirely different set of stuff that you may want to consider putting up for sale.
Do you have expensive purses or designer shoes you are willing to sell? Designer brands of shoes, clothing, and purses go for crazy amounts of money online. Likewise, are there other items of major value to consider? Take a walk around your house and take a good look and inventory your home to see what’s available to sell. Who can’t use $2,500??
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- Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff
Go Find The Hidden $2,500 In Your House!
To sum up, put it in savings for a rainy day, pay off a credit card, use it for bills, pay an extra mortgage payment or start bailing out of a money crisis. Or go on vacation for a week to the beach! While collecting the items and selling them may seem like a lot of work with only small payouts here or there, all those small amounts add up to one VERY BIG PAYOFF. Happy hunting in your own house!
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