It snowed today in central Wisconsin, but I’m going to be optimistic and say it is SPRING. It doesn’t look like spring or feel like spring (aghhhhhh) but I’ve decided it’s time for spring cleaning. For many people, spring cleaning involves cleaning the yard, mucking out the garage, and getting those windows “see-through” again. But did you know spring cleaning can both make you money and save you money?
Disclaimer: These tips are real and are not part of an elaborate ruse by your husband or wife to try and get you to do all the spring cleaning.
So, let’s jump right into these money-making or saving tips.
Cleaning out the garage and making a profit
When I clean out my garage and or workshop, I take an inventory of everything I have whether it’s plumbing supplies, lumber, or tools. I do this for two main reasons:
Find out what I do and do not have
So I know when I must go to the store and so I don’t buy duplicates of things I have when I do go shopping. How often have you bought something, got home, and found out you now have 19? (I currently have 7 hose bibs for hooking up a faucet). This is a great way to use what you have, save money, and free up some space.
Identify the crap I do not use and will never use no matter how many times I tell myself “That’ll come in handy one day”
My rule here is 2 years. Random things have 2 years to live in my garage rent-free before they get evicted—but don’t throw them out, turn them into cash (more on this later) My exception to the 2-year rule is tools. Some tools you will need but may not use that often—drywall tools, tile cutters, etc.
Your interest may have peaked when you read “don’t throw them out, turn them into cash” so let’s dive into that topic—don’t worry, it wasn’t there just as clickbait. I recently found out that the “junk” I would normally throw out has pretty good value on the open market. This brings us to tip #3.
When you’re getting rid of items from your garage—put them on social media first and try to sell them
Worst case scenario they end up in the dumpster a month later, best case scenario you get a little extra green in your pocket.
Example: My fiancé and I are remodelling a house from the studs up and when I remove something that was part of the original house, I tend to put it in the dumpster. My fiancé tends to put it in the garage. So, this stuff gets to live in the garage. When I got sick of working around the stuff I finally asked what her plan was with this stuff and she replied “I am going to sell it” (picture a 34-year-old male rolling his eyes).
For reference, there were some old storm windows, a worn-out Dutch door, and bricks from a chimney we removed. Well, my fiancé placed all this stuff on FB marketplace and in our neighborhood group and sold the bricks for $950, the Dutch Door for $350, and the storm windows for $100. To be honest, I was a little annoyed she pulled in $1400, but it opened my eyes. Social media is a virtual garage sale with a HUGE audience, and someone (somehow) is looking for the exact item you are looking to throw out.
Maintenance and Cleaning go hand in hand
Trust me, if you don’t do simple maintenance when you are doing spring cleaning it will either turn into a summer repair bill or fall maintenance. Here are some quick maintenance items you should be doing:
- Lube up your garage door hinges, rollers and chain. Use Wagner Universal Ceramic Spray, it’s the best ceramic spray on the market.
- Clean up the grill and check the firebox, LP regulator, etc.
- Grease your lawn mower. Use AirTec G200EP grease and a Lube-Shuttle® Pistol Grip Grease Gun.
- Check/clean out the gutters.
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The maintenance tasks listed above are simple to do and can be performed by nearly all homeowners, if you have questions, you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. These tasks will not cost a lot to do and have the potential to save you a lot of money down the road.
Work as a team —get a friend, family member or spouse to help with the spring cleaning
Let’s face it—Spring cleaning isn’t the most fun weekend project but add in a companion or two and you have the start of a good time. It makes the work fun, and it gets done faster. Plus, if you have a spouse, it is better to have them help because it can eliminate some potentially tense moments.
Example: Spouse finds a paper mâché horse on FB marketplace that looks exactly like the one she made in 6th grade. Price $5. Trust me, there is no way you can get that post down before she finds out who is selling it.
Use these tips to save you time and money or even make some money! Have a happy spring, and enjoy a fresh start. If the snow stays here much longer, I’m moving.