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Cash In On Spring Cleaning

Chicago Tribune.com (Website) - 3/15/2009 by Carolyn Bigda Getting started
Sell goods online, swap with friends or donate for tax deduction


Spring cleaning is a time-worn ritual for decluttering closets, garages and basements. But it has become a financially savvy thing to do too.

Let's face it: Everyone has clothes, kitchen gadgets, books and CDs that they no longer use. Sort through that stuff, tag it and sell it and you may be able to raise a little extra money toward, say, your emergency cash savings fund.

Swap

Although you may fetch a decent price for big-ticket items, on less-valuable goods, you may be better off doing a swap.

Clothing swaps are especially popular (or at least much talked about these days). You can organize one easily: Rummage through your closet for gently worn shirts, shoes, belts and other items you rarely or never wear. Ask friends to do the same in their closets. Then invite your fellow swappers over for a party and begin exchanging.

Although the majority of clothing swaps take place in a residence, you can find other swap events through sites such as ClothingSwap.org and ClothesSwap.Meetup.com.

But clothes are not the only thing that people are swapping these days: Books, DVDs and CDs are also regularly exchanged.

At PaperbackSwap.com, for example, you unload books for the cost of shipping. In return, you receive a credit, which you can use to select one of the more than 3 million books on the site.

For now, there is no membership fee, although the site warns that eventually a $10 or $20 annual fee may be charged to help support the group.