Spring Clean to Earn Some Green

Spring Clean to Earn Some Green

Ah, spring! Days are getting longer, temperatures are rising, and for many, it is a time to renew and refresh. It is also a time to focus on the home front, literally. Maybe your yard needs some attention after the colder winter temperatures. Or maybe it’s time to open the windows and let in the fresh air. The boldest among us, may feel the urge to clean out and organize the closets, garage, attic, or storage unit. Decluttering can reduce the number of items that need to be stored, moved, and cleaned.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you are done! You may find that you lighten your load for an upcoming PCS, make room for a car in the garage, simplify your daily life, and even add to your financial safety net by selling unused items. No matter what method you choose to tackle your big and small spring-cleaning projects, keep these tips in mind:

  • Yard sale – Find out if your installation or neighborhood has a community yard sale and when. You could also have your own garage sale or look for online marketplaces. This can be a great opportunity to earn a little money by selling unwanted goods. Items like a bike your child outgrew or furniture you no longer need may be valuable to others in your community. Maybe you recognize that cool bakeware set looks great, but you really don’t like to bake. You could use online auctions or a specialized marketplace for higher value items or collectibles. Be sure to research safe ways to sell to help avoid scams and other issues. Consider boosting your emergency savings with the extra cash or save toward another goal like a summer vacation!
  • Donate – Several nonprofits rely on donations to support their work. Consider giving gently used items in good condition to organizations in need. Also, check local, online “freecycle” pages. The items you’re ready to part with may be just the thing someone else needs. For donations, you may also get a tax deduction. Learn more here.
  • Boxes with lots of colored stickers – Have you looked through the back of your closet, garage or attic lately? Keep an eye out for boxes that have a bunch of colored stickers from multiple PCS moves. If you haven’t used the items in the box for a while, it might be time to remove it from your household goods before the next PCS. This can have the added benefit of saving on your weight allowance for the next move and reduce the amount of storage needed in your new home.
  • Identify your least-used items – Consider tracking your use and identifying items from clothing to cookware that you may be ready to part with. One technique to help you identify items you may no longer need is to isolate the items. For example, put all of the items from a drawer into a box. Each time you use an item from the box, put it back in the drawer. The items remaining in the box after one, three, or even 12 months may be good candidates to let go. Similarly, you can place a unique colored or shaped hanger on one end of your closet hanging rack. When you put away clothes you have worn, put them on the other side of the hanger from your remaining clothes. After time — usually a full season — you can see which clothes you used and which ones you didn’t. You can evaluate these unused clothes to check if you still need them.
  • Evaluate sold or donated items — Once you’ve identified the items you plan to sell or donate, take some time to think about why these items are no longer useful. Perhaps you or your family outgrew the item and no longer need it, or was it an impulse purchase of something you thought you would use but did not. Possibly your interests have changed. Whatever the reasons may be, keep this experience in mind when purchasing items in the future. If the items you’re selling were hardly used, consider the impact these purchases have on your spending plan. The latest gadget, trendy spring clothing, or exercise equipment may seem like a great buy now, but if you feel you won’t use them as much based on previous purchases, consider a plan to direct your hard-earned income in other ways.

Spring cleaning takes time and energy, but the payoff is worth it. Celebrate the accomplishment and enjoy the feeling of knowing and using what you have. You may even end up with a little more money in your pocket and insight into your spending habits to motivate good decisions moving forward.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

MilLife Milestones

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
Never Miss
an Update
Sign up for our eNewsletter

PCS Finances for MilSpouses: In Their Own Words

By Mandi Moynihan | May 31, 2024

Did you set financial goals earlier this year only to have a permanent change of station (PCS) threaten…

Read More

Personality Quiz

Personality Quiz

Next Blog

Ah, spring! Days are getting longer, temperatures are rising, and for many, it is a time to renew and refresh. It is also a time to focus on the home front, literally. Maybe your yard needs some attention after the colder winter temperatures. Or maybe it’s time to open the windows and let in the fresh air. The boldest among us, may feel the urge to clean out and organize the closets, garage, attic, or storage unit. Decluttering can reduce the number of items that need to be stored, moved, and cleaned.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you are done! You may find that you lighten your load for an upcoming PCS, make room for a car in the garage, simplify your daily life, and even add to your financial safety net by selling unused items. No matter what method you choose to tackle your big and small spring-cleaning projects, keep these tips in mind:

  • Yard sale – Find out if your installation or neighborhood has a community yard sale and when. You could also have your own garage sale or look for online marketplaces. This can be a great opportunity to earn a little money by selling unwanted goods. Items like a bike your child outgrew or furniture you no longer need may be valuable to others in your community. Maybe you recognize that cool bakeware set looks great, but you really don’t like to bake. You could use online auctions or a specialized marketplace for higher value items or collectibles. Be sure to research safe ways to sell to help avoid scams and other issues. Consider boosting your emergency savings with the extra cash or save toward another goal like a summer vacation!
  • Donate – Several nonprofits rely on donations to support their work. Consider giving gently used items in good condition to organizations in need. Also, check local, online “freecycle” pages. The items you’re ready to part with may be just the thing someone else needs. For donations, you may also get a tax deduction. Learn more here.
  • Boxes with lots of colored stickers – Have you looked through the back of your closet, garage or attic lately? Keep an eye out for boxes that have a bunch of colored stickers from multiple PCS moves. If you haven’t used the items in the box for a while, it might be time to remove it from your household goods before the next PCS. This can have the added benefit of saving on your weight allowance for the next move and reduce the amount of storage needed in your new home.
  • Identify your least-used items – Consider tracking your use and identifying items from clothing to cookware that you may be ready to part with. One technique to help you identify items you may no longer need is to isolate the items. For example, put all of the items from a drawer into a box. Each time you use an item from the box, put it back in the drawer. The items remaining in the box after one, three, or even 12 months may be good candidates to let go. Similarly, you can place a unique colored or shaped hanger on one end of your closet hanging rack. When you put away clothes you have worn, put them on the other side of the hanger from your remaining clothes. After time — usually a full season — you can see which clothes you used and which ones you didn’t. You can evaluate these unused clothes to check if you still need them.
  • Evaluate sold or donated items — Once you’ve identified the items you plan to sell or donate, take some time to think about why these items are no longer useful. Perhaps you or your family outgrew the item and no longer need it, or was it an impulse purchase of something you thought you would use but did not. Possibly your interests have changed. Whatever the reasons may be, keep this experience in mind when purchasing items in the future. If the items you’re selling were hardly used, consider the impact these purchases have on your spending plan. The latest gadget, trendy spring clothing, or exercise equipment may seem like a great buy now, but if you feel you won’t use them as much based on previous purchases, consider a plan to direct your hard-earned income in other ways.

Spring cleaning takes time and energy, but the payoff is worth it. Celebrate the accomplishment and enjoy the feeling of knowing and using what you have. You may even end up with a little more money in your pocket and insight into your spending habits to motivate good decisions moving forward.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

Posted in

Team Member

We are team of financial professionals who understand military life because we have experienced military life. Our goal is to educate and empower military spouses to help them make smart money moves. We combine passion and expertise to ensure you get the most accurate and relevant information. Take comfort knowing Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor® and the Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness have vetted the content on this site.
Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

MilLife Milestones

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
Strengthen Family Finances

4 Ways Military Spouses Strengthen the Family Finances

By Team Member | April 17, 2019

Whether you’re a military family, civilian family, or even the royal family, having a second income is likely…

Read More

Personality Quiz

Personality Quiz
Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

Next Blog