10 Ways to Declutter Your House and Make Extra Money

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Last Updated on December 3, 2022 by Rebecca Lake

Are you overwhelmed by stuff and need to declutter your house from top to bottom?

I hear ya! Having kids (and all their associated stuff) means your home may not always be picture-perfect.

And sometimes, the “stuff” can get downright overwhelming. That’s when the urge to declutter your home kicks into high gear.

And guess what? Taking time to declutter can pay off in more ways than one if you’re able to clean up your home and pocket some cash while doing it.

Why Is Decluttering Important?

There are some good reasons to make decluttering your home a priority. For one thing, it can help you be a more organized mom.

As a single mom who homeschools and runs a business (and a blog) from home, I have to be organized. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done around this place.

Decluttering your house can also save you time. If there’s less stuff to pick up and less stuff to clean, then that means more time for you to do other things.

And did you know that clutter can give you anxiety? It’s true. Clutter can make you completely stressed out.

A clutter-free home can be a form of self-care. I personally have a hard time relaxing at home when the kitchen table or counters are junked up or my son’s toys are scattered everywhere.

Last but not least, all the clutter in your home could add up to some serious cash if you’re able to sell it.

Sound good? Then here’s a helpful list of ways to declutter your house (and make money while you’re at it!)

declutter your house

How to Declutter Your House to Make Extra Money

Before you get into the tips, here’s one thing to know: these tips for decluttering your home only work if you’re completely committed!

So before you start dragging stuff out of every corner of your home, make sure you’re fully onboard with the idea of cleaning up your house.

Ready? Here ya go!

1. Create your decluttering plan

Some decluttering experts might say to just jump right in so you can get past any initial hesitation. I disagree.

Here’s why. If you try to declutter your house without a game plan, you’re just going to end up making an even bigger mess.

So come up with a plan of attack for decluttering before you start.

Specifically, decide:

  • Which area (or areas) of your home you want to declutter.
  • What you’re going to do with the items you’re decluttering.

This can help you save time so you can declutter your house faster with fewer headaches.

2. Be realistic about your decluttering efforts

I always start decluttering with good intentions and plenty of energy, then lose steam about halfway through.

Sound familiar?

If so, then you might need to hit the reset button mentally on what you can accomplish with decluttering.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you’re a busy mom, chances are you won’t be able to completely declutter your home in a day either.

So set some realistic expectations about what you can accomplish with the time you have. And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it all done right away.

3. Make a decluttering checklist

I love lists and having one is essential to declutter your house efficiently.

Make a list of the different areas of your home where clutter is creeping in. Then make a second list of action steps for cleaning up those areas.

If you notice the same areas getting junked up regularly, having a decluttering checklist to follow can help you get into a routine for tidying up.

This is also a good way to stay on task when you’re decluttering. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started decluttering one thing, only to get sidetracked by the mess somewhere else.

If you need a little help making your decluttering checklist, there’s one in the Resource library you can grab for free!

Best Decluttering Reads

4. Prioritize your decluttering plan

As busy moms, we just don’t always have time to do it all or at least not all at once.

So if you’ve put together your decluttering plan and checklist, the next step is prioritizing it.

Pick the spots that are bugging you the most. And then work on decluttering them one at a time.

For example, I prioritize the kitchen and living room ahead of bedrooms since that’s where we spend the most time. But you might want to start with your kids’ rooms or the mudroom where everybody’s stuff seems to pile up.

It’s all about figuring out what you need to declutter first to feel more comfortable in your home as a family.

5. Get help with decluttering

Getting the entire family on board with a decluttering plan is one of the best decluttering tips you can follow. Because even if your kids are really small, they can still help.

For example, when my kids were little one thing I had them do was sort and group like toys. So all the cars would go in one pile, the My Little Ponies in another and so on.

Having similar items in one place saved me time when tidying up their rooms. And since we’re homeschooling nerds it was a way to get in some learning along the way.

If you’re hesitant to ask for help, look at this way. You’re not the only person living in your home so you shouldn’t be the only person responsible for it.

And if the fam needs some nudging, remind them that a clutter-free home is more comfortable for everyone at the end of the day.

woman holding cleaning supplies

6. Set a time limit for decluttering

It’s so easy to fall down a rabbit hole once you start decluttering. But that’s a good way to end up exhausted and never wanting to declutter again.

Setting a time limit for decluttering can help you stay sane while you do it.

For example, if you’re planning to spend a Saturday going through the closets, then give yourself an hour for each one.

Or if you’re decluttering an entire room, break up the day into blocks of time. Block off an hour for each area of the room and stick to that limit.

Most importantly, take breaks!

It takes physical and mental effort to declutter your house. Stepping away for a few minutes now and then can give you time to recharge so you’re ready for the next round.

7. Create categories for clutter

Before you get too far along with the decluttering process, decide where each thing is going to go.

You could use the KonMari method, for example, and only keep the things that spark joy. But if you have a hard time deciding which things do that this might not work for you.

I prefer to divvy things up differently. When I declutter, I make five piles:

  • Keep
  • Toss out
  • Repurpose or recycle
  • Donate
  • Sell

Choosing categories beforehand can make the sorting go faster, so you’re not wasting time trying to make decisions.

You could also add a “maybe” or “just in case” pile to the list. The maybe pile is where you put things you’re not 100% sure about yet. The just in case pile is for things you don’t need now but think you might down the line.

8. Limit your “maybe” and “just in case” piles

I just told you that it’s okay to add in a maybe or just in case pile but there’s a catch if you want to make these decluttering tips work.

You have to put a cap on how many things go into those piles. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with two huge piles of maybes or just in cases and nothing in any of your other piles.

So, set a limit on the number of items for each one, say 5 to 10. And stick to that limit!

Then once you’re done sorting things, go back to those two piles again and ask yourself whether you really need to keep those things. On second glance, you might decide you’re better off tossing or donating them instead.

Awesome Decluttering Tools

9. Choose a designated declutter day

Decluttering isn’t something you can do once; it’s an ongoing process.

So pull out your calendar and designate a specific day for tackling your big decluttering tasks. There are a few ways you can do this.

For example, you could put a day to declutter:

  • Each month
  • Each quarter
  • Every six months

How often you declutter your home depends on how quickly things tend to pile up. If you’ve got a major mess to work through, you might want to pick one day a week to start.

Then as things begin to get sorted, you can spread that out to once a month. Once you’ve got your schedule set, it’s easier to get into a decluttering groove.

10. Set up daily mini decluttering routines

Most of these decluttering tips are good if you’re planning a major home clean-out. But there are smaller things you can do every day to keep clutter from taking over.

For example, my morning routine includes sweeping the floor and wiping down the counters in my kids’ bathroom. (‘Cause that place is a straight-up swamp most of the time.)

Then at the end of the day, I fold all the throw blankets, clean off the kitchen counters and sweep again. These are little things but they help me feel like I’m staying on top of the mess.

So pick one or two things you can do each day to declutter, like sorting through the junk mail or wiping down the counters. Small things can add up when it comes to keeping your home clean and organized.

how to declutter your house

Use Apps and Online Tools to Declutter Your Finances

It’s important to declutter your house regularly but it’s also important to clear the clutter in your finances.

The more organized your money is, the easier it is to stay on top of your budget and bills, keep a handle on your debt and grow your savings.

Bookmark this post to learn how to simplify your finances if your money feels like a mess. And in the meantime, here are my favorite picks for apps to declutter your financial life:

1. Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame is a free credit monitoring service. If one of your personal financial goals is improving your credit or paying off debt, this app is a huge help. It’s the one I used to get rid of my $70,000+ in debt.

Check your credit score for free now!

2. Trim

Trim is a financial manager that helps you lower your bills and cut out unnecessary expenses. If you’re looking for an easy way to plug money leaks in your budget, Trim can help.

Trim reviews your financial picture to find unnecessary expenses you can cut out. For example, it can help you avoid hefty bank fees or cancel unwanted subscriptions. It’s a super simple way to save money and declutter your finances at the same time.

Sign up for Trim now!

3. Rakuten

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is one of the best financial apps you can use for saving money.

When you shop with Rakuten, you can earn cashback on purchases and/or snag discount codes for savings. You create a free account, browse shopping deals and click through to complete your purchase. It’s an easy way to earn cash rewards on almost anything you shop for online.

Get $10 free when you sign up for Rakuten and make your first purchase!

4. Personal Capital

If you’re saving and investing money in different accounts, having them all in one place can help you declutter your finances.

Personal Capital lets you sync your investment accounts, bank accounts and other financial accounts. It’s a handy tool to have if you’re tired of logging into multiple accounts online to track your finances.

Get your free investment checkup now!

cash on a clothesline

How to Make Money From Your Clutter

Once you declutter your house, it’s time to make some cash right? There are several ways you can make money from your clutter fast.

1. Download the Delutter app

The Decluttr app is a quick and easy way to sell everything from books to games to electronics.

Heck, you can even sell LEGOs through the app which is great if your kids want to make some extra cash!

It’s free to download the Declutter app and start making money. You tell the app what you have to sell and you get an estimated value of what it’s worth.

If the value works for you, you pack up your items and ship them to Decluttr’s warehouse. Once your items arrive, Declutter pays you the next day.

It’s an easy peasy way to pocket some cash after you declutter your house.

So get the Declutter app today!

2. Sell electronics and cell phones on Gazelle

Gazelle works very much like Declutter. You tell the app what you have to sell, they give you a price and you can decide whether to accept it.

If you do, you simply drop your items in a prepaid mailer that Gazelle provides and send it off. Once your item is received and inspected, you get paid.

It’s free to use Gazelle to sell your electronics; they pay for shipping. The app is worth a look if you have old cellphones, iPods or other electronics you’d like to trade for cash.

Download Gazelle and start selling

3. Sell your books on Second Sale

If part of your plan to declutter your house involves getting rid of books, call me–I’m a huge book nerd.

But seriously, if you want to sell your books instead of donating them you can do that with Second Sale.

Second Sale pays cash for books. You type in the IBSN for each book you want to sell to get an estimate price. If the numbers look good, you can print a free shipping label to mail your books.

Payments are processed within three business days of your books arriving. It’s a legit way to make money from your clutter and you can sell almost any kind of book to the site.

Sell your books with Second Sale

4. List your clutter on eBay

At my house, we love eBay for selling off extra stuff. If you’ve mainly used eBay for buying things in the past, listing things to sell is easy.

The key to selling on eBay is taking good photos of your items and using keywords in your descriptions so they show up in search results. As far as pricing, I always prefer Buy It Now but if you have something you think can fetch a decent price, you could try the auction format instead.

Sell your clutter on eBay

5. Turn clutter into crafts and sell on Etsy

Etsy is my daughter’s go-to shopping spot for all anime and fandom-related but it’s also a good place to make some money the next time you declutter your house.

If you’ve got some extra stuff to sell, consider whether you can list it on Etsy.

For example, you might have some vintage items that someone else might love. Or some craft supplies you could use to whip up some quick and easy crafts.

Selling on Etsy is just like selling eBay or any other online platform. You have to create an account and set up your profile. From there, you can start filling out your shop with items.

Create your Etsy shop now

6. Sell clutter locally

If you don’t want to deal with shipping items, you can always go old school and sell your clutter locally.

Here are some of my favorite ways to make money selling clutter locally:

  • Facebook marketplace
  • Facebook bargain groups
  • Consignment stores
  • Craigslist
  • Yard and garage sales
  • 5miles (this app lets you post things for sale locally)

All of these are great options if you want to declutter your house and make some cash while doing it. If the idea of selling stuff locally to strangers makes you nervous, pick a safe spot for making the sale.

For example, we live in a small town where everybody knows everybody so a lot of people drop off and pick up at the Walmart. But your local police department may also let you make sales in the parking lot so you feel safer doing it.

Do you have tips for selling your clutter? Head to the comments and tell me about it!

About Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, freelance writer and homeschooling single mom of two. Since 2014, she's paid off nearly $100,000 in debt and grown her net worth to seven figures. Her work has appeared online at top personal finance websites, including Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Investopedia, The Balance, CreditCards.com and U.S. News & World Report. Find out more.

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