March 15, 2021
Spring clean your space with help from these online resources.
I've spent the first part of the year trying to declutter my life. With what feels like a world spinning out of control, this exercise in organization has proven almost therapeutic to me.
I've rummaged through the eaves of my attic for old boxes of VHS tapes to convert to digital files, pulled out new clothes with tags to sell in online consignment shops and boxed up toys and books my daughters have outgrown to donate to those in need.
Thanks to these online resources, you can easily follow my lead by repurposing items you no longer need and possibly putting some extra cash in your pocket.
Digitize Days Gone By
The longer you wait to digitize your media, the greater chance it will deteriorate. Irreplaceable memories like your VHS wedding tape, the MiniDVD of a first trip to Disney, those treasures in your dusty photo albums, even that family heirloom box of 8mm film can be preserved and enjoyed forever thanks to companies like Southtree.
Purchase credits for your media of choice, and you'll receive a postage-paid box to ship your items, which will be returned within six to eight weeks once digitized on your choice of DVD, thumb drive or digital download.
Cash in with Cyber Consignment
Thrifting is all the rage these days, and it's even easier online. No longer must you take a trip to your local consignment shop to haggle prices on clothes you'd like to sell. Sites like ThredUp simplify the consignment process. Send in your gently used clothes and accessories in their kit. When eligible items sell, you can cash out or use the credit to refresh your own wardrobe with the site's wide selection.
Transform Old Tech Into New Dollars
It's often tough to part with that old cell phone, tablet or video game console, just because you spent so much on it in the first place. But with Decluttr, you can get reimbursed for those items collecting dust on a shelf. The app allows you to search for or scan the barcode of your old gadgets, wearables, CDs, DVDs, video games, even Lego bricks, and alerts you of their buy-back value.
Accept the offers you like, then send in your items. Decluttr takes care of the postage, and you'll receive payment via direct deposit or PayPal within one day of acceptance.
Clean Out, Cash In
A free app called OfferUp can help streamline the clean-out, cash-in process. You're able to take pictures of items — everything and anything, from clothing, electronics, furniture, even cars — upload details, privately message interested buyers in your area and even check their rating and transaction history.
Clear Your Shelf, Find Your Next Read
Book lovers can clean off their bookshelves and find their next page-turner at sites like PaperbackSwap. List books you've finished, and once a fellow reader accepts it, simply pay for the postage to mail it, then choose a book you'd like from among the million-plus listings available. Mail, receive, read — and repeat as you see fit.
Paying It Forward Pays Off
If you'd rather pay it forward, the Freecycle Network allows for a free “gifting" of items among neighbors. Comprised of local volunteer moderators, this site boasts no bells and whistles, but instead takes a traditional online bulletin board approach to let you share and peruse “Offers" and “Wanted" postings.
Give Back to the Charity of Your Choice
If you prefer to donate your unused items to your favorite charity, GiveBackBox can make it happen. Purchase a mailing label for $15, and then send your items directly to your charity of your choice. Each charity lists what they accept, making it easy to practice some goodwill — and good riddance — to those things you no longer use.