Spring Cleaning – It’s A Good Time to De-Clutter

by collegebookrenter on May 3, 2011

This Blog post comes from our good friend Jeff Cohen.  His Blog can be found at http://www.thetextbookguru.com/.

 

Jeff Cohen is CEO of CampusBooks.com and blogger at TheTextbookGuru.com. He dishes out tips and insider advice about education, textbooks, and saving money.

April showers bring May flowers, and with them, the buzz for Spring Cleaning. It’s a good time to de-clutter, and with today’s online tools and a little creativity, it’s even a chance to make a little extra cash for summer plans. Whether you’re heading out of the dorms or staying put, here are five unexpected ways to get rid of your junk.
1. Sell the stash of broken electronics
We all have it: that drawer, box or bin of broken or outdated electronics, from cameras to cables. Electronics are hard to get rid of, but consider the last time you used them and the space that tangle of technology is taking up.
Sort through the electronics jungle and decide what can go, but don’t just toss it: you can sell even broken electronics, like cell phones, cameras, and iPods for parts on eBay. You may only get $20 for your cracked camera, but non-functioning iPhones can get hundreds. Either way, if you don’t need it fixed, some cash is better than none.
No luck selling? Your last resort shouldn’t be to toss, but donate. The EPA can help you find out where.
2. Team up with your neighbors
Whether you’re moving out of a dorm or stable in a neighborhood, don’t neglect the value of a good yard sale. Pick a weekend, spread the word to your neighbors, and advertise the sale on Facebook and local bulletins. Get Rich Slowly has a great checklist for getting the most out of your garage sale, and the more people you have involved, the higher chance you have of people stopping by.
On a campus? Team up with a student org to host a college-wide yard sale, like USC is hosting this week.
Just remember: YOU’RE not allowed to buy any more junk!
3. Sell back your books
Be honest: are you going to read that neglected copy of War and Peace this summer, or will it just collect dust? While some people like holding onto books for decorative value or bragging rights, they’re an easy item to sell back. Check out our tips, and make sure you’re getting a good price.
4. Use your networks
Especially when moving out of a dorm, there is more often than not someone else moving in. Use Facebook and Twitter to reach out to your friends and contacts, letting them know what you’re trying to get rid of.
Facebook Marketplace is an app that connects you to your network, but you can get even more personal and create a group for your own circle of friends.
Graduating seniors, reach out to freshmen moving out of the dorms and into apartments, where they’ll need their own furniture for the first time. Odds are, from textbooks to microwaves, someone could use what you’re giving up, and will give you a good price.
Craigslist is also a solid go-to, as long as you are smart and safe about your online dealings. Never put your address in the initial post, and be careful!
5. Help Out
This tip is more about making some spring-cleaning cash, and less about your own clutter. Offer to help your friends, neighbors and networks move. Especially in college, when everyone is moving out at around the same time, having enough hands is always a challenge. Offer to help move for a free lunch, a few dollars or that piece of furniture you’ve had your eye on. In the same vein, if you’re moving out, barter with your friends for help in exchange for taking some of your unwanted items off of your hands. It’s a win-win situation.
Are you a star eBay seller, or had good luck on Craiglist? Offer to put other people’s items up for them, in exchange for a meager amount of the sale. It will only take you a few minutes and garner you a couple more dollars.
The biggest thing about clearing clutter is getting organized and creative. Do you have your own tips? Share them, and good luck!

 

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