Money & Career

Seven ways to get money while spring cleaning

While you're doing your seasonal clean, keep these tips top-of-mind to find money you didn't know you had.

Money bag

Photo, Getty Images.

It’s been a long, brutal winter and like most Canadians I’m glad to see the back of it. I’m opening the windows, getting out the dusters and getting ready to declutter the cold weather out of my life. Spring cleaning is always a great way to get ourselves ready for the warmth — but it can also pay off, if you do it right. Here are just a few tips to turn your cleaning blitz into cash:

1. Clean out your wallet

My wallet is usually so packed with receipts and business cards that I have trouble finding the important stuff: money! Last time I cleaned it out I found a crumpled $10 bill and a Starbucks card with a few free coffees left on it! What treasures lie in your cluttered wallet? Clean it out and see…

2. Organize your receipts

Spring also brings tax time. And while dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency isn’t exactly fun, you probably have a junk drawer full of tax credits to make life easier. Receipts from kids’ activities and charitable donations (no matter how small) can add up to money back on your tax return. Sort them out and let them help you out at tax time.

3. Clean our your closet

Now that the weather’s warming, you may want to race out for shopping spree. Before forking over hard-earned cash for this season’s hottest attire, clear out your closet and see what you already have. It could be that you already have the perfect pants or t-shirt crammed underneath a pile of sweaters. Those few hidden surprises will save you money.

4. Toss your bad debt

Are you carrying a balance on your credit card? Clear it away as fast as you can. Credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to carry debt. Save yourself money by transferring your balance to a lower interest line of credit with a bank or institution that can offer you a better deal. And make a plan for paying it off as fast as possible.

5. Become an online entrepreneur

Instead of tossing your old toys, books, gently-used clothing and furniture, why not sell it on Ebay, Craigslist or some other great site? You’ll get to unload all your unwanted stuff — and make money!

6. Eat everything in your pantry

Last time we cleared out our pantry we found three cans of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (the key ingredient in my favourite chili recipe). Every time I’d go to the grocery store I’d buy more because I could never find it when I needed it. If your pantry is too crammed, you will have no idea what you have in there. Organize it well to avoid buying duplicates and wasting money.

7. Find those gift cards

How many gift cards do you end up getting at Christmas? I always get them and they inevitably end up shoved at the back of a drawer somewhere. While you’re doing your spring cleaning, put all those gift cards in your wallet so you’re ready to use them when you’re out. Otherwise, you’ll just end up leaving that money in your junk drawer.