Want to declutter your life? These apps help you get paid to do it.
Sell, digitize, organize, and clean up your junk.
You’re hemmed in with physical clutter, piles of stuff you don’t really need. This doesn’t just get in your way, but also takes up room you could be using for new purchases. But figuring out what to toss and what to keep, and then following through, is incredibly stressful. These apps can help you organize, digitize, and generally get rid of junk—and maybe make some money while you do so.
Try Shpock, the self-described “local way to sell and buy,” if you want to unload your unwanted stuff on your neighbors—and make a little cash along the way. We like this app because it’s so easy to use: You type up a few words, set a price, and upload a picture. Then the app makes it simple to share this listing to social media. When you have a potential buyer, it lets them make secure payments with PayPal.
On top of that, Shpock charges no fees for listings or transactions. However, to boost the visibility of your for sale listing, you can opt to pay for a range of promotions. These cost anywhere from $2 to $12, depending on how you choose to advertise.
Shpock keeps things in your local area, but to reach more people, you can’t beat the classic eBay. It lets you create a listing right from your phone, complete with a text description and a photo. Then decide whether to sell that unwanted item via an auction process or with a set price. In some cases, you can even offload damaged goods, although you should make the dents clear in your listing.
Once you make a sale, you’ll have to ship your old item to your buyer, so eBay might take more time and effort than Shpock. It also charges 10 percent of the final price for its services. On the other hand, you’ll probably reach more potential buyers, which means you can often charge higher prices.
Some of the mess in your living room comes not from items you can sell, but from a hodgepodge of documents and files. Save those pages digitally, and you can empty your filing cabinets (and then sell them with another app). CamScanner is one of the best tools for this job: It lets you scan papers at high resolution using only the camera on your smartphone. Then, the app can convert your documents to PDFs and help you store them on your local disk or in the cloud. It’ll even straighten out skewed pages for you and make the text searchable.
The basic version of CamScanner comes free. But if you pay a premium fee of $5 a month or $50 a year, you get 10GB of cloud storage space for your files. You also receive the option to edit the text of your documents after you’ve scanned them.
Depending on just how much junk you’re dealing with, you might not have the energy to create separate listings for each one. If you don’t mind a slightly lower price, Decluttr makes it even easier to sell your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, video games, books, and tech gadgets. Rather than hawking your items to other users, you sell directly to the company behind the app. To do so, either scan the barcodes of your items or enter their details manually. Decluttr will offer you a price, and if you’re happy with it, you’ll receive packaging that lets you ship your junk for free.
Although it requires less work, Decluttr also tends to yield less money than selling directly to buyers. On the other hand, it’s fast, easy, and safe, and payments arrive within days.
Clearing house, and finishing the chore within a reasonable time period, is a task that requires high levels of organization. Evernote can help. Put it to work tracking your schedule, managing your to-do lists, scanning documents, pinging you with reminders, and saving information from the web (like a link to this article). Essentially, you should treat this note-taking app like an organizational tool for your entire life.
You can access all of the aforementioned Evernote abilities for free. But if you want advanced features like offline access and improved search, you’ll have to pay $8 a month.
Speaking of organization, you’ll need to start the decluttering process by assessing what’s filling up your home, and then tracking these items as you get rid of some and keep others. Sortly lets you photograph, list, categorize, and search through everything you own. Even if you end up keeping everything you enter into the app, the process will help you organize these items and keep them out of the way.
The free version of the app lets you count up to 100 items. Premium subscribers can go past this limit, plus they get to sync their inventory across three devices.
The free app Snupps has three purposes: collect, organize, and share. All three can be helpful when you’re trying to clean up your junk, whether that means keeping track of your shoe collection or selling clothes that no longer fit. You upload pictures of your various items, then arrange them in “collections,” which you can make public or keep private. Once you’ve gotten started, you can also ask other users for organization tips, join groups related to particular interests (such as comics or watches), and track of how much you’re spending on new purchases.
Sometimes, putting your home in order takes more than one person. Don’t be afraid to get help: Handy makes it easy to hire a professional cleaner or housekeeper who can give you some assistance with tidying up. One of its benefits is its flexibility: You choose the time and date for a person to drop by, select the level of service you need, and then check availability.
Although you use the app itself for free, you do have to pay once you hire someone. Prices can vary depending on the task you need help with, and Handy might not be able to find contractors in certain geographic regions, so make sure to check all the in-app details before you select your service.
If you want to make clearing out the attic or tidying the fridge a family event, give EpicWin a try. It takes the basic concept of a shared to-do list and adds some gamification to keep everyone motivated. Through the $2 app, you and your family or roommates can earn points for performing assigned tasks. This makes decluttering more fun, and at the same time, lets your household track the chores you’ve completed and those that remain outstanding.
10. Google Keep
At first glance, Google Keep looks like a fairly standard free note-taking app. However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see how useful it can be when you’re trying to organize the decluttering process. Add tags and color coding so you can see at a glance what type of task or item each note lets you track. Then share them with friends so you can collaborate—say on a to-do list. To make sure you don’t forget to complete a chore, set a reminder on certain notes. You can even photograph a receipt or form, turn it into a note, and then search the text within these images.