While you might think of spring as the best time of year to get your home into tip-top shape through some elbow grease and purging of unneeded items, it could also be a great opportunity to earn some money by selling the things you no longer need.

For those who have accumulated a large number of items and decide to sell them, this could even turn into a lucrative side hustle. Side hustles often come in handy for paying one’s bills, and 33 percent of side hustlers say they need this extra money for day-to-day living expenses, according to Bankrate’s 2023 side hustles survey.

Whether your spring cleaning purges can earn you a few extra bucks or a bigger, ongoing stream of income, there are various creative ways you can earn money while getting your home in shape.

Key spring cleaning statistics

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  • The best time of year to hold a garage sale or a yard sale is often spring, thanks to the season’s warmer weather and shoppers’ willingness to come out and browse for bargains after a long winter. (Rocket Homes)
  • Three-quarters of Americans plan to spring clean at least once a year, and nearly half (45 percent) plan to clean and organize more in 2023. (CleanLink)
  • More than one-fifth of Americans (21 percent) currently rent a self-storage space, which often adds up to more than $1,000 per year. (StorageCafe)
  • The majority of the clutter (80 percent) in one’s home is due to disorganization, rather than lack of space. (Simply Productive)
  • Selling your unneeded items could turn into an income stream. U.S. adults with a side hustle report earning $810 from it on average. (Bankrate)

Ways to build savings and earn extra income

Not only can spring cleaning clear out clutter and give you a more organized life, but it can also be a way to earn some extra income and build up your savings.

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans have less emergency savings than they did a year ago, according to Bankrate’s 2023 emergency savings report. If you’re among those who feel your emergency fund could use a boost, consider adding to that nest egg with any spring cleaning profits. Having a healthy amount in a savings account provides peace of mind that you’re covered when unplanned expenses hit.

Ways your spring cleaning and other mild-weather activities can translate into dollars include selling  your old stuff, selling your home-grown plants and produce, and helping neighbors with some of their home projects.

Clear out old stuff

While decluttering your space, set aside all your unneeded items that are in good condition and could be sold online or in a garage sale. If you prefer to sell online, consider marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay or Poshmark. Many sellers prefer to go this route, since established marketplaces can make the process convenient and safe.

Online marketplaces can provide a significantly wider audience than selling your items in person. What’s more, you don’t need to meet a buyer in person and transactions can be processed easily online.

If you prefer to sell your stuff in person instead, consider a garage sale. Around 165,000 garage sales are held across the country each week, according to Bob Vila.

A garage sale could be a good route for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the chores of photographing and shipping items. What’s more, it may be a quicker process than online selling. A well-publicized garage sale that receives a good deal of foot traffic can leave you with a decluttered home and cash in your pocket in just a day or two.

Whether you’re selling your unneeded items through an online marketplace or a garage sale, keep in mind these are also good ways for hobbyists to sell any of their handcrafted wares. Such items include photos, goods that have been knitted or sewn, woodworking projects or homemade cards or decorations.

Sell home-grown plants, flowers or produce

Spring is when gardening enthusiasts often plant an abundance of fruits, vegetables and flowers. It’s also the time when beekeepers may get new bees and start a hive, with plans for harvesting and selling honey the following autumn.

When ready, the fruits of your gardening and beekeeping can be sold at places such as farmers markets and craft fairs — or even by placing a sign in front of your house. What’s more, swapping your own goods for others’ homegrown wares can be a way to save money on groceries or other products.

Your homegrown flowers and plants can be sold for extra income in the form of floral arrangements, bouquets, potted plants or even the seeds you harvest.

Help neighbors with projects

When you’re busy cleaning your spaces, chances are your neighbors are also interested in some spring cleaning and organization. If you’re an avid gardener or handy at household projects, consider earning some extra income by offering your services to neighbors.

Jobs you could do around your neighborhood for money include mowing lawns, pulling weeds, trimming hedges and bushes, sprucing up a garden, laying down mulch, applying a fresh coat of paint, cleaning or doing repairs around your neighbors’ homes.

Another money-making opportunity is handling household tasks for people who go away during spring break or summer break. Those who travel often pay a trusted helper for tasks such as taking out the trash, collecting mail or pet-sitting.

Helping neighbors with their spring cleaning, yardwork, house projects or house-sitting could provide you some extra cash that’ll help keep you from tapping into your savings for your own planned springtime projects.

Depending on the type of work needed and required level of skill, odd jobs may earn you $40 or more per hour, according to home management platform Thumbtack.

infographic with forms to earn extra income
Austin Courrege/Bankrate

What to do with earned money

Extra money can often be put to the best use when you have a plan in place. Take stock of your financial situation and decide where you have the greatest need for the newfound funds. Some possibilities include:

Building emergency savings: You’ll gain peace of mind knowing you have enough money in savings to handle unplanned expenses that may come your way, including an unexpected car repair, an emergency room visit or a sudden job loss. A high-interest savings account can be the best place to earn some interest and have easy access to your money.

Paying off debt: Common debt consumers carry includes credit card debt, student loans and a mortgage. A good use for extra money you earn would be to pay down such debts. Different strategies for paying off debt include the snowball method (in which you pay off debts from smallest to largest) and the avalanche method (in which you pay off debts in order of highest interest rate to lowest).

Saving for goals: If you have a healthy emergency fund in place, consider using any new sources of income to save for goals such as a new car, a down payment on a house, a wedding or a dream vacation. Having funds set aside for such goals helps ensure you won’t end up going into debt to pay for them.

Additional ways to earn extra income

In addition to earning money that’s tied in with your spring cleaning, consider additional ways to bring in some extra income:

Side hustles: In addition to doing odd jobs, selling items you no longer need, or selling homegrown goods, consider other side hustles based on your interest and talents. For instance, those who enjoy writing could earn some money as a freelance writer or a tutor. People who are good at organizing and proficient at spreadsheets might consider being a virtual assistant. Those who like driving could work as a ride-hail driver.

Passive income streams: Passive income sources can be a way to earn money in addition to your full-time job. These include renting out a home, being an affiliate marketer, selling your photography online or investing in dividend stocks. Some passive income streams can be initiated with little or no money upfront.

Bottom line

The benefits of spring cleaning include a spic-and-span home, an organized life, and the peace of mind from knowing everything is in order. Another perk of getting your home in order could be earning some extra income through activities such as selling your unneeded items, peddling your homemade and homegrown wares, or doing odd jobs for neighbors who are also in need of some spring cleaning.

The extra money you generate through spring cleaning and related activities can be devoted to many areas, including building up an emergency fund, saving for goals or paying down debt.