If you are a regular reader of our articles about simple and effective ways to boost earnings, you might remember that we like to remind you about some of the most often overlooked resources. For instance, we’ve explored ways you can get paid to recycle ink cartridges, as well as getting paid for other goods you might otherwise toss. The old laptop, mobile phone or appliance can often earn you some unexpected income, and we’ve even looked at the different ways you can actually recycle a lot of different goods as a full-time or part-time gig.
However, we have yet to explore the ways you can monetize your home and home office to the greatest degree. There are, quite literally, apps and sites that allow you to turn your home into a money-making machine, and if you also spend time blogging about it, you will find you can boost earnings further through such things as referrals and even affiliate marketing.
Apps and Sites to Help Monetize Your Home
How can you do all of this? Let’s look at each area of the home and consider whether there are ways you can monetize them.
- The roof – Did you realize that your rooftop (if it you own a free standing home) can start to bring in a tidy monthly income and monetize your home? If you have appropriate exposure to sunlight, companies like SolarCity can install solar panels that cost only small amounts of rent each month and which are offset by bringing in enough solar energy to pay for the rent and put some money in your pocket. While direct ownership is the most lucrative, when you lease or rent the system, there is “no upkeep, no need to consult with an accountant to take advantage of tax credits, and at the end of the lease you may have the option to upgrade to a new system featuring the latest solar technology. Leasing a solar system is a hassle-free way to lock in low affordable energy rates, which means your savings grow over time when rates go up unpredictably.” The moment the panels are active, you start seeing lower utility bills. If you are very attentive to energy consumption, you may even see zero balances or returns.
- The Attic – Did you know that there are sites like Spacer that allow you to offer your attic space for rent as an alternative to traditional storage solutionsand monetize your home. It is, essentially a space sharing or peer to peer storage community. The site or app work to connect those with spare storage space with those who are looking for it. The organization is able to help most renters “Save upto 50% off traditional self storage options…[with] convenient and affordable self storage unit near you. Your items are protected to the value of $5,000 whilst in storage” Not only can you offer up your attic space, but if your garage is well-suited to the purpose, that too can be made available. The site also encourages people to make parking spaces available in difficult urban areas as well as vehicle, RV, boat and inventory storage if they have suitable spaces. That means it is not only the attic but the garage, any secure and well-suited sheds or barns, parking spaces and other areas that can generate income. Even oversized closets and empty porches might work! Other options include com, Spacefinity and SimplyStow, among others.
- The home office – Almost everyone has a space allotted to the “home office”. Whether that is an oversized or double-door closet, a spare room or even an alcove or corner of another space, the office is still the office. In it are all kinds of gear and supplies. And as we already pointed out, by simply saving typically discarded items (think empty ink cartridges and outdated electronics), you can start to monetize your home.
As an example, a website like SellaGadget lets you get fast cash for items like unused desktops, laptops, phones and other components. They also buy robot vacuums, smartwatches, cameras, gaming systems and much more. Go through the office space (as well as any closets or storage areas) and put together an array of these electronics. Get in touch with the site and find out what they will pay on your returns.
In previous articles, we have actually looked (in-depth) at the many firms that are able to take single items and pay you for them as well as organizations that can work with large companies to buy all kinds of electronics. The point is to never consider office equipment as dead weight. You can also list it for sale on sites like Craigslist, where many DIY and builders are eager to acquire the machines. This means you get them to come and get the gear, get a bit of money for it, and know it isn’t tossed in the local landfill.
In addition to recycling ink cartridges and toner for cash, and turning in machines and equipment for money, you can also rethink your time in the office as a way to monetize. For example, there are websites that need at home, remote tutors and teachers. This means you can map out a set span of time each day in the office to earn income teaching, tutoring, mentoring or offering instruction via the Internet. If you don’t already have a home-based business, this can let you establish one and start deducting the office (and its expenses) on your taxes and monetize your home.
Sites like Studypool even have referral and affiliate programs that boost your potential for earnings through the site. Refer a new member and get $10. Become a publisher and get $3 for everyone who signs up and asks a question through the site’s “Easy Question” forum. Other, similar at-home teaching gigs can be found HomeworkMarket, StudyDaddy, BrainMass, Brainly and more.
The home office (and many other rooms in the home) might also be full of books and textbooks you have no interest in re-reading or using. However, getting rid of them may seem like fruitless effort, so you just let them sit and gather dust. Fortunately, sites like BookScouter make it easier than ever to find eager buyers without doing much more than entering the books’ ISBN numbers and getting in touch with those interested. Yes, you may have to pack up a lot of books, but you get actual cash in hand for them. This frees up the space, eliminates a lot of clutter and dust and lets you re-think what you might do with the shelves or cabinets! BookScouter also has a rep program that enables you to earn money by referring other sellers to the site. Other book buyers to consider include Bonavendi, AbeBooks, Alibris and BetterWorldBooks.
- The spare bedroom – You may already know about Airbnb, and though it is quite involved to get a space up and running, it can be one of the most lucrative ways to monetize your home’s unused spaces. If you have a spare bedroom or unused guest room, it makes the perfect canvas to create a workable space for travelers to enjoy. There might be some limitations if you are in major urban areas, but it really pays to see whether it is a good solution for you.
Interestingly enough, you don’t even have to open up your home to visitors to earn income through the site. They have their “experiences” feature that can let you work from home as a local tour guide. For instance, let’s say you live along the Hudson River in New York. You can do guided tours of the many breweries and artisan refineries in the area. You can do a food specific tour that includes a visit to the Culinary Institute of America. Bring people on kayak tours past West Point and to the Roosevelt estate, and more. Similar options can be found at Vacasa, FlipKey, Innclusive and Kid and Coe. And always remember that most of the home rental sites also have referral programs to add to your earnings.
- The kitchen – If you are an amateur chef and eager to earn a living by cooking at home, sites like EatWith, AirDine, Feastly and MealSharing make it easier than ever to get your inner chef to work while earning income. You choose the kinds of meals available, the number of guests that can be hosted and sign up for work. Naturally, it is going to only work out for you if you are prepared to do a bit of classic marketing and networking. You also have to deliver 110% on your first few meals to ensure you get lots of good feedback. When you do, though, you can start to really get going with home cooking and monetize your home. Keep in mind, though, that another rising trend is for table-free restaurants (even of the utmost in gourmet dining) and that can create some heavy competition. Do the research and find out if the cuisine you are able and eager to offer is not already being made available for home delivery through an authentic restaurant. Even if it is, find out its latest reviews and see if you can improve on something they have failed to do.
- The driveway – We did mention the growing need for peer to peer storage solutions and how parking is one such issue. There is such a demand for this, though, that it stands as its very own entity. The ParkOnMyDrive site lets you search for all available sites in your area and arrange for long or short term parking. There are also apps like JustPark that allows you to obtain parking in seconds and Spot, which can be used on a phone to help you book a spot. Its tagline for those offering space is “It’s yours when you need. It’s cash when you don’t”.
If your driveway has more than just a single empty space, don’t forget that many people with RVs, boats, trailers and other larger gear may be more than happy to pay monthly rental on those out of the way and unused areas of the premises. If you have a garage that can be used, you can make even more.
And while we are talking about the garage, we cannot overlook the most obvious way to monetize the garage, and that is by using the machine most commonly parked there – your car. If you are looking for a lucrative side gig or a new full-time job, don’t overlook options like Uber and Lyft. These websites make it amazingly easy to monetize ownership of a car and fill in empty hours with a good and guaranteed way to earn income. Not all areas have them just yet, but it is likely that even the most remote areas soon will. We have done other articles on this topic, and if you are eager to learn every possible way to earn income driving, we encourage you to read them here.
- The yard – If you have a safe, fenced-in yard, you can actually earn regular and easy income as a reliable pet sitter or dog walker. Many people are happy to pay you to do drop in visits and daily dog walking, but you can also allow them to entrust you as their doggy day care provider. This is something you can easily do with a few dogs, but if you intend to make it a full-blown facility, you may be outside of your community’s zoning or business guidelines. However, if you like the idea of one or two friendly dogs to tend to each day, and you can allow them to romp safely and securely in your unused yard, it is a good way to earn income. The Rover website is the country’s largest network of dog care providers and you might find it a good way to earn a bit of income when playing with a furry friend.
Your yard might also be a good source of free food if you work with sites like YardSharing.org, FoodNotLawns.com, and FoodisFree. Let these groups turn your yard into a food garden and you can get free fruits and vegetables while knowing that others benefit from it, too.
And always keep in mind that, as we said at the beginning of this article, you can always blog about these activities. In doing so, you become a “publisher” who might find plenty of money making opportunities with affiliate marketing.
No matter what your current situation, there are ways to make money around the home, and we hope several of these will work out for you in the coming year.