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How spring cleaning can save money

Date posted:  6/1/17 03:15:00 PM Spring cleaning can mean more than just throwing out old stuff.

Spring is a great time to clean those hard to reach spots, dispose of unused household items and freshen up your finances. Although some people find it difficult to motivate themselves to do these things, the effort can have health, well-being, and financial benefits.

Research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that a messy environment can cause detectable changes in brain activity as measured using MRI scans. Additional research outside of the lab has shown that living in a cluttered home causes the body to produce much higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Abnormal cortisol levels are correlated with a number of diseases. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to relinquish unneeded and unwanted belongings that are cluttering your home.

  • Amazon's Trade-In feature is one easy option that provides an extra incentive to clean. The service makes it easy to send in books, electronics and more in exchange for an Amazon gift card. However, trade-in values tend to be much lower than what might be possible by selling items directly to buyers.
  • Many people also use websites like Craigslist to sell more valuable items. Craigslist functions as an online classified service where users can buy, sell and trade goods after meeting in-person. Craigslist is a public listing website, so be sure to only conduct transactions in a well-lit, well-populated public area, and only accept cash to avoid payment issues.
  • While less high-tech, yard sales, flea markets, and donations, are still popular options for people who need to offload unwanted belongings. They are a great way to ensure that usable items aren't needlessly discarded in the trash.

Financial spring cleaning

When disposing of old bills, account statements, and budgets don't overlook this opportunity to freshen up your finances. Set aside time to review these documents to find opportunities for savings.

  • Research interest rates on savings accounts, certificates of deposit and other products.
  • Research budgeting apps like "You Need A Budget" and "Mint," which may make financial planning easier for you.
  • Look through bills and credit card statements for any subscription services that you might not be using and cancel them to save a little extra.

By downsizing, and developing effective cleaning habits, you can partake in spring cleaning that could improve your health and psychological wellbeing. When combined with a spring financial review, you might even find that it could save (or earn) you money.