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How to turn your "stuff" into cash

Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick is a freelance writer and editor who contributes regularly to SheKnows, MintLife, AOL, iVillage and other sites. In her articles, Elizabeth covers a variety of subjects including relationships, pregnancy, paren...

Earn money through consignment

There’s no better time to clean out the garage, closets, toy boxes and basement than springtime. Here, discover the most efficient ways to purge what your family no longer needs or uses and learn the keys to selling on consignment so you can earn extra money.

Consignment boxes

These spring cleaning tips will do more than refresh your house and purify your closets and corners -- you can earn extra money by learning these tricks of the trade when it comes to kids' consignment and baby consignment.

5 smart ways to purge your home as spring cleaning

It can be daunting to look at your crowded house and try to imagine clearing out the clutter. But knowing that your effort can lead to some green in your pocket can be very motivating -- for you and your kids. Following are five tips to help you prepare your unwanted goods for a consignment sale.

1Make spring cleaning a family event

Get everyone involved in cleaning house. "Choose a day that your family can have at least four hours of concentrated time. Set a timer; it helps motivate and keep everyone on task," says Daven Tackett, vice president and co-founder of Just Between Friends, a national company that runs the largest children's and maternity consignment events in the country.

>> Quiz - Are you ready for spring cleaning?

2Have supplies on hand

Tackett suggests having the following supplies at the ready for the most efficient cleaning: boxes or bins, trash bags, gloves, notebook and pen, cleaners, broom and vacuum.

>> Organizing & cleaning your home

3Organize your clean up

"Set up boxes and several trash bags labeled Consignment Sale, Garage Sale, Give Away, Repair, Sentimental (keep and store) and Charity," explains Tackett. When you're considering goods for consignment, start with the most difficult and lucrative area of your house first, says Tackett. "This will usually be the room with the newest items – your kids' bedrooms and playrooms are the best choices. Then move from room to room until your home is purged."

>> Declutter your space in 20 minutes or less

4Distribute the categorized items accordingly

Once you've finished your purge, it's time to deal with your labeled boxes and bags and get things out of the house. Dispose of trash on your neighborhood's next scheduled pick-up. Donate charity items as soon as possible to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or appropriate veterans organization. Drop off items to be repaired at the correct shops.

>> Gift some style: Tips for donating your clothing

5Get ready to consign

The remaining goods should be items you're prepared to consign or sell at your own garage sale. While you can sell anything year-round, during the spring, large outdoor playhouses, outdoor toys and swim gear sell best, says Tackett. You may want to save electronics, backpacks, lunch boxes, jeans and hoodies for fall consignment. "Clothing should be seasonal, in good condition with no rips or tears and not out-of-date," she adds. "These items sell all year: Capri pants, shoes, books and bikes."

Consignment sale smarts

Consigning your unwanted items -- even if you only do it twice a year -- is a lucrative option for most people. "To make the most money at a consignment sales event, set a goal to tag at least 100 items," says Tackett. "Mark your most expensive items first, and then your middle items. Because you're not working hours to sell your items like you would at a garage sale, your time is based on the marking of the items and dropping them off at the sale."

>> Consider consignment

Keep in mind that when you sell a few large-ticket items, your takeaway from a consignment sale can be much more than anticipated.


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