Unwanted gadgets cluttering up your kitchen? Old furniture in your living room? Jewellery and clothes you never wear? Here’s how to turn unused and unwanted items around the home into a tidy sum.
Now we’re spending more time at home, many of us have realised just how much ‘stuff’ we have lying about. In fact, the average Brit is sitting on £1,600-worth of unused items. Not only is that clutter taking up valuable space, it’s tying up cash that could be spent on something far more enjoyable. The time has come for a major clear out, and the end result could benefit a lot more than your bank balance.
“The more clutter we have around us, the harder it is to relax,” says Vicky Silverthorn, professional declutterer and author of Start With Your Sock Drawer. “Our brain processes every single thing we see, every single second, of every single day. If you’re surrounded by lots of items, your mind is over-stimulated by all that extra information. This can lead to feeling tired, stressed and overwhelmed.” So less clutter equals less to process, helping you feel calmer and more in control. To get started, pick a room and start dividing your items into three piles: keep, donate or sell, or dispose of (responsibly). Then it’s time to swap your clutter for cash…
Selling your clothes
The key to selling clothes is to make sure you do so within two years of purchase, unless it’s a high-end, designer item. After that, fashion will move on and it will be 30 years before you can call it retro or vintage. Taking decent photos is vital when selling online; put clothes on a nice coat hanger and make sure the item isn’t creased. Selling unused items such as clothes is also a great way to make your home a little more minimalist.
eBay is a great marketplace for clothes because of the large audience; gauge the value of clothes by searching through sold listings for similar items. For quality vintage and designer items, look up Cudoni, Wearnot Want Not or Vestiaire Collective. These companies may ask for photos to assess your clothes before offering a price, and will take a percentage of the final amount.
Handing down your books
Books are often given to charity shops but you can sell yours, provided people actually want them; The Da Vinci Code and 50 Shades of Grey frequently top of the most-donated book lists. Websites like We Buy Books and Ziffit can tell you how much your books are worth before selling. Got some old uni textbooks? Try AbeBooks, where savvy students shop for discounts. If you’ve got any old or unusual books, take them to a second-hand bookshop or auction house. And if you can’t bear to part with your child’s favourite bedtime story book, for example, declutterer Louisa Wood suggests making a memory box and keeping it in there, along with other sentimental items.
A new lease of life for your jewellery
Jewellery often has an emotional attachment, so the first step is to be sure you are totally happy to sell. If the answer’s yes, then, “Visit your local second-hand jewellers with the idea to get it valued, not sell, as that can help you make a decision,” says Silverthorn. Ebay is a popular site for jewellery listings, but if you’ve got a lot of items, try Vintage Cash Cow. You can send them a bundle of old jewellery to be valued, free of charge, and then sell if you’re happy.
Easily sell your unwanted gadgets
Around 45% of us have up to five unused gadgets, like mobile phones, laptops or games consoles, at home. Your best bet is to see how much they’re worth on sites such as Envirofone, musicMagpie or Cash In Your Gadgets. Depending on their condition, you could make a decent amount of money.
Make space and sell your furniture
Bulky items like tables, desks or sofas can be difficult to sell, but not impossible. Wood says, “If you list an item on Facebook Marketplace, there are no charges and a local buyer will even come and pick it up!” Gumtree and eBay are other options. If you’d rather donate your items, some charity shops will come and collect free of charge, or you can upcycle your furniture. Decluttering expert Dilly Canter says, “Repaint it in cool, modern colours or add plants to make it your own. It’s better to turn an item into something you love, rather than something you don’t enjoy having in your home.” Just try not to cover your revamped table or desk in more piles of clutter…
Selling your unused and unwanted items is a great way to make some extra cash, all of which you can put into your savings. That money can be used towards a mortgage deposit, going on holiday or even treating yourself to something you’ve wanted for a long time.
Are you looking for ways to save more money and become a cash-savvy? Sometimes you need reset your saving habits and start from fresh to get back on track.