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Budget 2011: Clean Out Your Closets

In 2011 I will be doing a short series on how to budget in the New Year.  But there are a few small steps you can take before 2011 to help start things off with a bang!  Last week I did my first post on creating a price book [1]

My next suggestion is to take the time and do some “winter cleaning”.  And the week between Christmas and New Years is a great time to do it.

Now you may ask- what does cleaning out my closets have to do with budgeting for 2011?  Much more than you might think.  Let’s look at some of the reasons to get this project completed BEFORE 2011:

1- Begin the year with “new clothes”!  And nope, I don’t mean the ones under the tree.  Did you know most women only wear 20 – 30% of what is in their closet?  Buried inside your closet are clothes that you have totally forgotten about.  By cleaning everything out “new” pieces will emerge at no cost to you!  A new skirt or shirt, a cute pair of shoes, or a nice comfy sweater will be at your disposal.  New outfits will be created before your eyes!  By starting 2011 with so many new wardrobe pieces, you will minimize the need to go shopping.

2- Finish the year by grabbing the tax write off– Now I am not a tax advisor, but for most people dropping off unwanted items at a local thrift store is a tax write off.  So grab your old belongings that are still in great condition and drop them off where they can be re-sold.  Be sure to get a receipt and throw it in with your 2010 tax information.

3- Make Some Money- Some of your things are probably worth some cash.  Utilize Craigslist and ebay.  Or, if your clothing is good enough, consider a local consignment store where someone does the selling for you in return for a percentage of the profit.  In addition, you can store things in your garage and make plans to have a yard sale in the spring!

4. Paperback Swap- I can’t say enough good things about this site.   If you are an avid reader and want to swap out your old books for some new ones, this is the way to go.  Click here [2] to read my post all about it! 

So take a few hours, get some help and clean out your closets.  Not only will your house feel more organized and less cluttered but it can put some money in your pocket!