This is a side hustle that I’ve actually done before. And believe it or not, it is actually quite profitable… especially in smaller towns where there are a lot of trees and larger yards.
In this side-hustle, you basically go around your neighborhood offering to ‘clean up’ people’s yards. But can you really make money cleaning yards, or is this just another one of those ‘gimmicky’ side-hustle ideas?
Why Should You Make Money Cleaning Yards?
So first off, what makes this different from lawn mowing?
Well, you could tag this on as part of a lawn-mowing side hustle. But this is actually a little bit different. When you offer to clean someone’s yard, you are actually offering to do things like…
- Rake up leaves
- Pick up fallen branches
- Pick up trash
- Weed-eat around poles, buildings, etc.
- Organize lawn furniture
- Take down seasonal lawn ornaments (this is especially popular after Christmas or Halloween)
- Or pretty much anything else that involves cleaning up someone’s yard
If you’ve ever lived in a small town, then you probably already know that there are actually a lot of people who don’t clean their lawns. Eventually, these lawns can tend to get quite messy—and a lot of people would rather pay someone $20 to clean it up than to clean it themselves.
(Note: Some yard cleanup jobs are worth far more than $20! Keep in mind that it is all about time! You have to charge enough to make the job worth it.)
This can be especially true after a bad storm, or right after a holiday season has passed.
During a bad storm, hard winds can blow down branches and cause chaos in almost any yard. And after a holiday, there may be a ton of decorations that need to be put away.
In the United States, you might almost find the same kind of situation happening after holidays like Independence Day and/or Memorial Day. Often, these days are marked by barbecues and outdoor festivities… which means that quite a mess can be made in a short amount of time!
And more often than not, people tend to avoid cleaning up themselves if they can help it!
That's where you come in!
How Much Money Can You Make Cleaning Up People’s Yards?
This all depends on how many jobs you get, how large the yards are, and how little you are willing to work for.
When I was in middle school, I actually used to do this for my neighbors. They would usually pay me $15 to spend 2 or 3 hours raking leaves, cleaning up trash, and tidying up their front and back lawns.
Of course, nowadays you could probably ask for more. I could easily see someone making $20 for a medium-sized lawn that'll take an hour or two to clean up, and that's without mowing.
This is sometimes a steady gig that people will want you to come back for… but oftentimes, it is seasonal. They might want their leaves raked up after they’ve fallen, or their decorations put away… but aside from these specific occasions, they may not be interested in having someone clean for them.
Still, if you can manage to find monthly work doing this, you could make some pretty decent regular cash while you’re at it.
Does This Side Hustle Cost Anything?
Thankfully, this is one of the cheaper side-hustle ideas I’ve looked into. As a general rule, if you are keeping the gig simple and low-key, you only need to bring a few things along with you. These things often include…
- A rake for leaves
- Trash bags, in case you need to pick up trash
- A weed-eater if you plan to clean up weeds around sheds, poles, etc.
- You may need to bring some boxes and some tape as well, especially if you are going to be cleaning up holiday ornaments
If you want to take things a bit more seriously, you may also need to add some items to your list. Some items could include…
- Leaf blowers
- Tarps for hauling leaves
- A truck (possibly a truck with a leaf vacuum) to haul the leaves/sticks/trash away with
If you show up nicely-dressed and hand a business card to someone the day after a holiday, and offer to not only clean up their decorations, but also to pack them nicely away in boxes… you may actually get some sales!
People really dislike packing up their own decorations, and they almost never put enough energy into boxing them up the right way. And yet, people love it when their stuff gets packed away nicely for the next year.
So this is a pretty awesome idea if you don’t mind being proactive and picking up some boxes before you start going door-to-door.
Another thing that you might need for this side hustle is a vehicle, as you’ll need to be able to drive from neighborhood to neighborhood. This is especially true if you will be bringing a rake, a weed-eater, and/or boxes with you.
Where Can You Look For Information About Starting A Yard Cleaning Business?
Most yard-cleaning businesses fall into the landscaping or lawn-care category. In fact, I found almost nothing online about the idea of going door-to-door and cleaning up holiday decorations.
But if you are interested in starting an actual lawn care business, then this article (published by Entrepreneur.com) can be an awesome starting point. It’s called “5 Success Tips for Your Lawn Care Business,” and I found it to be a pretty helpful read.
Of course, the size and scope of your vision will play into what steps you should take to get it going. Are you just wanting to earn an extra $20 now and then, or are you actually wanting to start a legitimate side-hustle business… complete with equipment, and possibly employees one day?
Keep your goals and vision in mind, as these will help you to decide exactly what you should do as you start your hustle and look for clients.
If you are looking more into leaf-removal and that kind of thing, there is a pretty cool video online that shows you how one smaller lawn-care company does it… and it is actually pretty interesting. You can watch the video on Youtube here. They have quite a bit of professional equipment, but this just goes to show how fast and efficient this process can be when you have the right tools.
There is truly money to be made on jobs like these… so if you are at all interested in cleaning lawns and/or removing leaves, give that video a watch and see what you can learn.
My Personal Feelings About Making Money Cleaning Yards
This is one of those side-hustles that could be very profitable. It really all depends on how much work you are willing to put into it, and on how serious you want to take it.
You are almost looking at two different hustles here. On one hand, you could try to pick up some easy yard-cleaning side-work. Or, on the other hand, you could move more in the lawn-care business direction and start building something bigger on-the-side.
Of course, you can always start small and move on to bigger and better things as well… so starting out with just a rake and a truck could definitely still be worth the time, regardless of whether you are just trying to make some extra money or have aspirations of building a successful lawn-care business.
You could even branch out in an entirely different direction and offer services in picking up trash for local businesses.
At the end of the day, your hustle is going to decide whether this one succeeds or fails. The simple truth of the matter is that almost everyone is going to need lawn care and/or yard cleanup work done at some point.
Do you want to be the one to do it? Or does this idea bore you a little too much?
Another thing to consider is that this is not going to be the greatest side hustle if you aren't a very physically active person. If you like to be outdoors and you enjoy activities like raking leaves and picking up trash, then yes… this could be an awesome side-hustle for you.
But if you would rather be indoors on a computer, you may actually end up feeling disappointed by it!
In the end, this is a pretty cool side hustle that could make you some pretty decent cash. You may not get rich with this one… unless you build it into a full-scale business and hire some employees. But at the end of the day, it could absolutely provide you with some extra spending money!
And there's nothing wrong with that!
Our Final Opinion Of Cleaning Yards
Should you give this side hustle a try and see if you can make some extra money with it?
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Some are good, some not, but ALL of them are still just trading hours for dollars.
Starting your own affiliate website really is the best way to build passive income and "make money while you sleep". Affiliate websites earn income in every timezone, and can be instantly accessed by billions of smartphones across the globe!