Spring Cleaning Empties Closets, Fills Pockets


Published: May 1, 2008

Spring is finally here, which means it’s time for your clutter to go. And lucky for you, there’s no better place to get rid of it than New York City. Whether you’re facing the daunting task of moving all your stuff out of the dorms or just need to get rid of winter junk, you have plenty of options. Not only can you clean out your space and reorganize your life, but you can make money off old items to put toward a new spring wardrobe or warm weather activities. No matter which items you need to get rid of, there are places in the city that will buy them from you.


The most obvious place to start is your clothing. With sweaters and scarves being packed away and tank tops and shorts coming out of storage, there’s bound to be some things that you no longer want to keep. Thrift shops and resale stores exist for exactly this purpose! There are hundreds of stores all over the city where you can either sell your clothes and accessories for cash or trade them in for store credit and pick up some new additions to your wardrobe. Beacon’s Closet is a popular stop for those wishing to resell items, and with a location in Williamsburg, it’s only a short subway ride away. You can stop in anytime with items you wish to sell, and they will evaluate their worth on the spot. The store is loved for its convenience; with no appointments needed, you can walk in with your stuff and walk out with cash in a matter of minutes.


Everyone has a pile of books in the corner of his or her room. Some may not have even been opened, and the traditional ways of getting rid of them aren’t really profitable. Selling fiction books back to the Fordham bookstore only reimburses you about 10 percent of what you originally paid. An easier alternative would be visiting the stores right here in the city that will buy your books from you. Westsider Rare and Used Books, located right up the street at 80th and Broadway will buy back used novels and plays for a much higher price than the Fordham bookstore. Who knows, you might even find a unique summer read to swap your boring textbooks with.


The trendiness of electronics causes them to go in and out of style at lightning speed. The DVD player you got for your birthday in February could already seem ancient next to the newest gadget on the market. Sell your old electronics to Pratico Technologies Inc. They will buy back everything from TVs and stereos to computer electronics. Dying to have the newest iPod? Sell back your old one to get a money advance towards your fund


Who doesn’t have those odd items lying around that don’t fit into the categories of electronics, housewares or clothing? The New York City Official Web site provides an easy solution. By going to www.nyc.gov/html/stuffex/html/sell/where_to_sell.shtml, you can type in your zip code and item and be given a comprehensive list of all the stores within a five-mile radius who will buy it back.

If you still cannot locate a place that purchases your item or have a hard time finding a store willing to buy your particular piece, there is always the king of resale to turn to: eBay. Starting an account and listing items is a click away and provides you with a much larger database of consumers. For every item you have collecting dust on the shelf, there is someone out there willing to purchase it.


Feel selfish just pocketing the cash? New York City provides a solution for this as well, allowing you to get rid of your junk and simultaneously help a good cause. There are hundreds of thrift and resale stores looking for donations. Inform the store that you’re going to pass on collecting any cash, and when your item is sold, the profit will be donated to a charity. One of the most famous charitable thrift shops in New York is Housing Works, which has six locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. The location most accessible to Fordham is their Columbus Avenue shop. They accept all usable items including clothing (men’s and women’s), accessories, shoes, housewares, books and furniture. Profits from the shops help raise more than $10 million a year to support homeless men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS in the city.

No matter what your junk may consist of, there is a way to get rid of it this spring. So put on your sweats and get cleaning. It’ll totally be worth the effort once your room is empty of clutter and your wallet is full of cash.