A guest post from money-blogger Emma Drew about how she dealt with...
Clear your clutter – make some money!
On Saturday, Jasmine Birtles, founder of MoneyMagpie.com, is running the first National Clear Your Clutter day. She hopes to encourage people all over the UK to de-clutter their homes and their lives and gain freedom, peace and a useful pile of cash in the process. See more details at Clear Your Clutter Day where you can also get a free eBook on how to de-clutter.
In the meantime, Jasmine’s here on MoneyAware to share her de-clutter know-how!
The average home is hoarding thousands of pounds-worth of junk that they could be clearing and turning into cash. Research from eBay has found that we hoard £7.3 billion worth of unused items in the UK. We might as well convert that into pounds and pence!
We want to help you make money, and save money from items you no longer want or need right now. That’s why we’re launching Clear Your Clutter Day on Saturday 19th March. Let’s take a look at the easy peasy ways you can get involved…
Sell your CDs, DVDs, books and games
What’s more, you may have a rare video game or album that could go for a chunk of change on eBay. Why not clear those shelves and sell those DVDs, CDs and games you don’t need anymore?
Many people are put off by selling these things because they think that listing them online is more hassle than it’s worth. Luckily, the whole process can be pretty simple.
Go to Music Magpie or Ziffit.com and scan the barcode of your items (or input the ISBN number on the books) into the website or their app. If you accept the quote they give you, they will pay you by PayPal or send you a cheque.
With Ziffit.com you can expect to make roughly £4 per item – not bad for a bunch of junk that you were probably never going to listen to or play again. What’s more, the postage is free and if you have lots of stuff to sell a courier will come and pick it up.
Turn your clothes into cash
Think of it from another perspective; right now, in your wardrobe could be lying someone’s dream item of clothing. It’s only fair that you set your unwanted clothes free to find their forever home.
With clothes that you don’t want anymore, try ASOS Marketplace. Unlike with eBay, you wouldn’t need to pay listing fees to sell your items. They just charge a flat 10% commission on any sales you make. The site is particularly good for vintage clothes too so you could make some money helping your elderly relative sell their old collection.
It’s also worth searching Facebook for any local buy and sell groups in your area. Someone could be living around the corner who’d be more than happy to take your unwanted stuff off your hands.
Another eBay alternative worth considering is CQOUT, an auction website that’s frequented by people from over 80 countries. There are no listing fees to worry about. They also have a handy Comparison Feature to make sure you’re getting a good deal selling through them versus other leading online auction sites.
If you have something really good, like a Hermes bag or Dior shoes, however old, it’s worth getting it valued at a local auction house. Even the big London auctioneers like Bonhams or Christies might be interested in valuing something that’s from a well-known designer house.
Make the toys pay
As most parents know, kids change their mind about what they like on an almost daily basis. This is especially true for toys! It’s worth going through your children’s cast-off toys to see what might be valuable as there can be some surprising gems there.
Here’s an example: Lego can have an astonishing resale value, particularly if it’s complete, has its box around and is rare. The largest percentage rise in price for any Lego set has been on ‘Cafe Corner’, a model of a hotel which went on sale in 2007. The set, originally sold for £89.99 but the second hand price has recently risen to £2,096 since it went out of production.
Disney DVDs can also be surprisingly valuable if they’re from the ‘Disney Vault’, in other words they’ve had a limited stock sold. For example, Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray 3D Diamond Edition which Amazon is selling at £74.99 now would have cost no more than £24.99 when it was released in 2011.
Get the gadgets out
From nosehair trimmers to waterproof shower speakers, there’s a gadget for almost every occasion. For every new gadget that comes out, there’s an abundance of old gadgets lying around in nearly new condition.
Rather than letting them gather dust in your drawers, they could be making you some much-needed moolah.
Take your old mobile phone, for instance. You might think that it’s too old to have any value, but think again! Some people out there love retro phones, especially if they have a distinctive feature such as a flip top. Even the super ancient ones that weigh a ton in your pocket can be sold for a bit of cash.
iPhones very rarely go out of fashion, and even an older version could net you up to £200 if it’s in decent condition. There are various companies that will recycle your phone for cash.
Your old printer cartridges can bring in some money too. Cash for Cartridges will pay up to £4.50 per empty cartridge while Inksave also offer some very competitive rates. Also, you’ll always get more for ‘virgin’ cartridges – i.e. cartridges that have never been recycled – than from second hand ones.
Also, people often sell a bundle of broken electronics to enthusiasts or engineers who need the parts. Put them in a box and upload a picture with a description of the contents to eBay and see what you get. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Save by upcycling and mending
De-cluttering can uncover some hidden gems – like that second pair of blue shoes you got because you didn’t realize you already had one in a drawer, or the Christmas decorations you bought in the sale last year and then lost.
If you turn out cupboards and drawers you can save you money by finding what you already have to use!
If you’re a bit creative you can also save by ‘upcycling’ items you already have. Take a look on Pinterest and YouTube for thousands of ideas for altering, updating and mending things that could still be used if they just had a bit of TLC.
You can also get more life out of your clothes without too much effort. Boring white t-shirts and skirts could be dyed in the washing machine with Dylon and turned into a completely new outfit. Sometimes just a bit of glue or a few minutes with a needle and thread will give you new outfit options without breaking the bank.
Then there are throwaway things that could be painted and used in the home. Homemaking queen Anthea Turner has some ideas for these: “Baked bean tins are brilliant for storage in sheds, garages or work rooms,” she says, “just take the wrapper off and spray paint them any colour you want. Jam jars are also fabulous and can store a million and one things such as drawing pins, buttons and clothes pegs”.
Set up healthier spending habits for the future
There’s nothing like getting a fiver for something you bought for £200 to show you how easy it is to lose money by spending on junk. Although it’s nice to sell things on and make money, it’s even better not to spend it in the first place on something you didn’t honestly need or even want.
So make this a turning point. Now that you have de-cluttered and even, perhaps, got rid of a few cupboards and shelves, make sure that from now on you will question all purchases asking yourself “Do I really need this? Will it give me joy long-term?” Usually the answer will be “no” so cut out the middle-man; take joy in not buying something and you’ll have the freedom of a de-cluttered and richer life!