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If you are afraid of spring cleaning, do it wrong.

Instead of considering it a chore, tell yourself that it's less about work than finding hidden money in your home. Sure, you might change the pillows – but we're talking about bigger money here.

How to benefit from your clutter step by step.

1. Proceed without restriction

The first step is to be ruthless – and brutally honest – while cleaning up your house. If you go from room to room, check everything.

The frills on the bookshelf? Path. The beach toy that your kids grew out of? To say goodbye. The films you haven't seen in years? Sayonara.

Don't forget to venture into your home's landfill. Check what is in the attic, in the basement, in the garage or in the shed. Generally, if you forget that you had something, this is a sign that it has to go.

If you're tired of washing up, remember that the more you get rid of this year, the less you'll have to clean in the next year.

2. Separate the wheat from the chaff

Now that you've walked through all the rooms, you probably have a huge pile of unwanted items just waiting to be converted into cash.

To maximize your profits, first pull out something valuable. For example, put branded clothing, collectibles and antiques aside.

Next, find a consignment store that may be interested in selling these items for you. While many consignment shops specialize in clothing, you will also find shops that sell antiques, children's items, furniture and sporting goods.

If you don't have a consignment store nearby, check to see if local retailers offer trade-in programs as described in "9 retailers who want to buy your clutter".

Or go online. A simple search for “online consignment store” shows results pages – especially for clothes that can be delivered cheaper than heavier items in online consignment stores. Examples are Swap.com and ThredUp.

For other types of goods, see “7 websites to sell your clutter safely”.

3. Pull out the electronics

When pulling out branded clothing and collectibles, create a separate stack for the electronics. Even defective electronics can bring you additional money.

Be sure to clear the memory of cell phones and hard drives and then sell them to a company that buys used devices like Gazelle.

If you don't have to deal with the hassle of shipping your old electronics, several brick-and-mortar retailers offer an electronics trade-in program, as described in “7 easy ways to get money for your old phones” and electronics. "

4. Host a yard sale

At this point, you should put all really valuable things aside. What is left are trifles that, on their own, do not bring much, but together could bring in a few hundred dollars or more.

If you would like to host during the corona virus pandemic or just want to plan a future sale, see "15 Tips for a Super Profitable Yard Sale".

5. Get a tax deduction if possible

After a yard sale, you will likely have some leftovers that have not been sold – or you may have passed on a yard sale and wondered what to do with all of the things that you have sorted out. Pack them up and go to the nearest second-hand store.

If you have a lot or large remnants, some charities will even come to your home to collect your donations.

In any case, ask for a receipt if you can deduct the donation from your next tax return.

In general, you can only deduct charitable donations, whether money or goods, by providing your tax deductions rather than the standard deduction. However, since the federal tax law was revised in 2017, which significantly increased standard deductions, far fewer people have been listed in their returns.

However, there is one exception for 2020. As we report in “5 Ways the New Coronavirus Stimulus Law Will Help Your Wallet”:

“To encourage Americans to donate to charity this year, the CARES Act effectively enables taxpayers to deduct up to $ 300 in donations from their 2020 tax return. This depreciation is available to taxpayers regardless of whether they list their deductions or choose to take the standard deduction for 2020. "

6. Be smart with the winnings

Don't waste the profits from your spring cleaning.

To make the most of it, put the money in a high-yield savings account. If you save a few cents now, you may no longer have to go into debt when it is time to replace the dishwasher, repair the roof, or even buy a new car.

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Make extra money with Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) – a website where you can earn up to 40% cashback in over 2,500 stores. You will receive a $ 10 bonus for joining Rakuten if you spend at least $ 25 within the first 90 days. Earn money back and claim a free $ 10 bonus today.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation if you click on links in our stories.

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