The average home has $7,000 worth of unused items simply taking up space, according to a study by market research firm NPD Group. But there's no reason why your home should be doubling as a storage unit. "With the help of great websites and apps, it's easier than ever to get rid of clothing, books furniture, electronics, even art this spring — and to earn some cash," said Farrell Klein, spokeswoman at Thredup.com, a fashion resale website, who suggested using the following spring-cleaning sites to earn money while getting rid of unused items.
Electronics: Nextworth.com. Sell everything from smartphones to video games to laptops for cash (right now, an iPhone 4S can generate $100). They'll pay upfront within a week by Paypal, a check or a Target gift card, and they'll wipe your item clear of personal info. If the condition of your item is better than described when it arrives, they'll pay more than your original quote. If it's reasonably close to your description, they'll honor it and forgive price differences that are less than 10 percent or $10 — and you can ship and insure your items for free via UPS.
Furniture: Chairish.com. Upload your furniture details on the site, and this company will take care of payments — and in some cases, they offer white-glove pickup and storage services. They'll accept everything except used mattresses, convertible sofas or recliners. The pieces must cost at least $250 for larger items and $150 for items that are shippable via traditional methods. Sellers get 80 percent of the item's selling price. If you live in selected cities and have more than $1,000 of qualifying items, you can also use their concierge services and allow their team to take photos of the items and write the descriptions. For these, sellers get 60 percent of the item's selling price.
High-end art, shoes, clothing: Therealreal.com. Earn up to 70 percent of the resale value for your art, accessories, jewelry and clothing by selling your Chanel bag or Prada shoes — or any other luxury items to The Real Real.
Clothing: Thredup.com. Fill a prepaid, pre-addressed bag with used or new clothing and you can earn up to 80 percent of the resale value in cash or a shopping credit back to the site. They accept and sell adult and children's clothing.
Books: Bookscouter.com. Type in the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the site will search more than 40 book-buying sites that are buying used textbooks and other books to give you a quote for yours. It's a free site with no registration required that aims to help you find the best place to sell your used book.
Art, clothing, crafts, food, electronics and more: Shopify.com. This site allows you to create your own online storefront so you can sell almost anything you own. It helps you list your products, customize your store design, accept credit cards and ship your goods. A standard storefront page starts at $29 per month, and the credit card rates are 2.9 percent plus 30 cents for 1 GB of storage and unlimited products. Prices for lower credit card rates go up to $179 per month.
Gift cards: Giftcardgranny.com. Trade in gift cards you aren't planning on using for cards you will use — or sell them here for cash. The percentage back depends on the gift card you're selling and the merchant you sell it to via Giftcardgranny.
Antiques: Instappraisal.com. Get your antiques appraised via more than 100,000 collectors and appraisers. The service is free for a community response — or you can pay $10 for an expert response.