Cleaning Out and Cashing In With Spring Cleaning

Don’t let spring cleaning mess up your budget. Use these tips to save and make money cleaning and decluttering your home.
by Andrea Norris-McKnight
Clean Out and Cash In With Spring Cleaning photo

Now that spring cleaning is upon us, it’s tempting to stock up during the many big sales on cleaning and organizing products. After all, you’ve got a cleaning and decluttering to do. But if your budget is particularly tight this year, even sales prices may seem out of reach.

Here’s how I like to keep cleaning costs down and make a bit of money to boot each spring.

1. Make Your Own Cleaners

Resist the urge to stock up on every specialized cleaner under the sun and try DIY alternatives instead. Many household items, such as baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide, can be transformed into effective, eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

Creating your own cleaners also allows you to control what goes into them—ideal for homes with allergies, pets or small children. Plus, you’ll save a bundle by not splurging on expensive, brand-name products. These seven homemade cleanser recipes can get you started.

2. Don’t Buy Unnecessary Organizational Products

It’s tempting, I know. Admiring those immaculate closets and color-coordinated pantries on Pinterest makes me yearn to fill my house with color-coordinated, decorative storage bins and buckets.

But pause and assess before you buy. Often, the best organizational tool is decluttering itself. Once you minimize what you have, you may discover you don’t need extra bins and gadgets to keep your space tidy.

If you do need a few new storage containers, try repurposing items you already own. I’ve turned shoeboxes into drawer dividers and jars and mugs into holders for pens and utensils. If you like searching Pinterest for organization ideas, search DIY options.

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3. Borrow or Rent Tools and Equipment Instead of Buy

Your spring cleaning may require tools or equipment—a carpet cleaner, a ladder for those hard-to-reach spots or a pressure washer for the patio. Before rushing out to buy something you will only use once a year, consider borrowing, renting or bartering.

Last year, our neighbor helped us replace some of our sprinkler heads in exchange for using our carpet-cleaning machine. We also split the cost of renting a pressure washer with him, saving us 50% of the one-day rental cost. Just make sure the rental time allows each of you to get the job done.

4. Turn Your Clutter Into Cash

Consider selling some of your clutter rather than donating it all to Goodwill or a local thrift store. Perhaps you can make enough to spring for some cute new storage bins or cover the cost of that pressure washer rental.

Platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and local selling apps make selling your gently used items easy. Sift through your belongings and pull out items that haven’t seen the light of day since last spring (or even longer). These could be clothes you’ve outgrown in style or size, seldom-used kitchen gadgets that take up too much space or furniture that no longer serves a purpose other than to collect dust. Use these tips to price your used items.

You can also organize a yard sale. Just make sure you live in a location with a lot of garage sale traffic. Otherwise, it might not be worth your time. This Garage Sale Pricing Guide can help you maximize profits.

5. Don’t Forget To Spring Clean Your Finances

Many of us are feeling the squeeze this year of higher prices and lower savings account balances. Dusting off your budget and decluttering your finances can help you find ways to cut costs and stretch dollars. Use this 10-step financial spring cleaning plan as a guide.

Reviewed April 2024

About the Author

Andrea Norris-McKnight took over as the editor of The Dollar Stretcher and After 50 Finances after working under the site founder and previous editor for almost 15 years. She has also written for,, and The Sacramento Bee.

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