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Spring clean for green

spring clean 1

Spring clean for green


By Pam Molnar

Spring encourages us to clean up and make room for new growth. Outside, as we clear away the dead foliage from the long winter, we are motivated by the fresh air and shining sun. Inside the house, our closets, basements and garages need the same pruning, but the thought of rummaging through dark closets on a sunny day is very unappealing. We often take the easy way out and shut the door, keeping those items out of sight and out of mind.

What if you could make money from your spring cleaning efforts? By reselling your unused items, you are giving another family a chance to buy a quality, gently used item at half price. When you give these items a second chance at life, you get them out of your house and keep them out of landfills, making it win-win-win situation. A quick glance at the list below may give you the motivation to go through your own closets.

Electronics– Used cell phones, MP3 players and digital cameras are always in demand. Sell Your Electronics ( is a great website to sell old electronics that you no longer use. Simply answer questions online about your item, get a quote and ship to them for free. After inspection, you will get paid via cheque, Best Buy gift card or PayPal. Do you have a lot of out of date Apple products? Check out Their quote and ship policies are similar to Sell Your Electronics, with payments offered by cheque or PayPal.

Books, movies and music– Create an Amazon’s seller account program to sell used books, movies and CDs as well as other items. This simple system allows you to list the product by entering the information via the ISBN bar code, describing the condition and picking your price. When an item sells, Amazon deducts a small fee and the buyer pays the shipping. The downside is waiting for a buyer, which may take months if it is not a popular item. Do you have textbooks piled up in your closets? Try using Abe Book’s Buyback Program ( and receive a cheque or Paypal deposit within a few business days. If you are lucky enough to have a used book store in your town, consider selling your books there and save on shipping resources.

Video games and game systems– As your child outgrows games and game systems, know that there are other families growing into them. As my kids replaced their Nintendo DS for iPods, we were left with tonnes of games on the shelves. For game systems, eBay Instant Sale works much like Sell Your Electronics. Find your game system on their list, describe the condition and receive a quote. If you accept the offer, ship the item for free with a payout via PayPal. For video games, consider selling them individually on eBay or through your Amazon seller account.

Clothing– eBay is an excellent place to sell used clothing. Gently used children’s clothes can be sold as an individual item or as a lot of similar items. You will be charged a small fee based on the selling price of your item. Don’t limit your sales to the kids’ clothes. When I changed careers, I no longer needed my designer office clothes and found plenty of buyers on eBay. Local consignment shops are great for items like cocktail dresses or one time use items like a child’s Christmas outfit. Trade in clothes for cash at Plato’s Closet for teen styles and Once Upon a Child for children’s items.

Sports Equipment –As your children get older, you are left with a trail of sports equipment that they have outgrown. Consider selling items like soccer cleats, baseball bats and football pads to stores like Play It Again Sports. Offering a trade in value or a cheque, this is a great place to unload used sports items. You might also have success selling your used sports equipment on Amazon and eBay. Compare selling prices on both sites to get the most money for your item.

Still have things you no longer need? Consider donating them. Local charities make monthly pickups and sell donated items in their stores. Your items still might get a second chance at life and the money will go directly to the charity. With spring cleaning behind you, you will be left with less clutter, a lighter conscience and money in your pockets. What a great way to start off the summer!

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She hopes that money is the motivator her kids need to tackle the closets in their house.