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Saving money and increasing income

De-cluttering and selling unwanted items

Many people may be hanging on to unwanted items that could be sold for a significant amount of money. 'De-cluttering' isn't just an effective way to earn money quickly, it can also increase the space in your home. which can be good for your mental wellbeing.

When was the last time you sold any unwanted items in your home? What if your clutter could help you make some extra money? In compiling this list, we've had some help from Jasmine Birtles at MoneyMagpie.com.

CDs, DVDs, books and games

In our current age of digital downloads and streaming services, your CDs, DVDs and games might be taking up space in your home without being used very often. It's worth checking your collection to see if you have a rare video game or album that collectors might want to buy.

Many people are reluctant to sell these items because they think that listing them online is more hassle than it’s worth. Luckily, the whole process can be pretty simple. There are selling websites where you can scan the barcode of your items (or input the ISBN number on the books) into their app. If you accept the quote they give you, these sites will then pay you by PayPal or send you a cheque.

One example is Ziffit.com. Here you can expect to make roughly £4 per item, depending on the rarity of the item and its quality. The postage is also free, and if you have lots of items to sell, a courier will pick them up.

Making money from your clothes

Selling unwanted clothes is a brilliant way to make a little extra money. There's likely to be at least one item in your wardrobe that you don't like but someone else will love - and pay you for.

With clothes that you don’t want anymore, you could try ASOS Marketplace. Marketplace does not charge listing fees to sell your items. They only charge a simple 10% commission on any sales you make. The site is particularly good for vintage clothes too.

It’s also worth searching Facebook for any local buy and sell groups in your area. Selling to someone locally means items can be collected, and neither you or the seller will need to pay postage fees.

If you have something really valuable, like a designer bag or shoes, it’s worth getting it valued at a local auction house. Even bigger London-based auctioneers might be interested in valuing something that’s from a well-known designer house.

Old toys and playthings

Most parents know that their children change their minds about what they like on an almost daily basis. This is especially true for toys.

It’s worth going through your children’s old or unwanted toys to see what might be valuable, and could be re-sold.

As an example, Lego can have a surprisingly high resale value. This is particularly true if it’s a complete set, and you still have the box in good condition, and it's a rare item.

Disney DVDs can also have a high value if they’re from the ‘Disney Vault’, in other words they’ve had a limited stock sold.

Take a look at your gadgets

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, it's possible they could be worth some money

Mobile phones are a great example of this. You might think that it’s too old to have any value, but you could be surprised. Retro phones have a genuine market value, especially if they have a distinctive feature such as a flip top. Even really old ones that can sometimes be sold for a little extra money.

iPhones very rarely go out of fashion. Even an older version could net you up to £200 if it’s in reasonable condition. There are a number of companies that will give you money for recycling your phone.

Even broken items can be worth something. People often sell bundles of broken electronics to enthusiasts or engineers who need the parts. You could put them in a box and upload a picture to eBay with a description of the contents and see what you get.

Save by upcycling and mending

De-cluttering can uncover some hidden gems. With a little creativity you can also save by ‘upcycling’ items you already have. Pinterest and YouTube have thousands of ideas for altering, updating and mending things that could still be used with just a little repair work.

You can also get more life out of your clothes without too much effort. Boring white t-shirts and skirts can 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 having to spend money on new clothes.

Then there are throwaway things that could be painted and used in the home. Baked bean tins for example can be used for storage in sheds, garages, cellars or wherever else you could need them. All that's needed is to take the wrapper off and then spray them a new colour. Jam jars can also store countless things such as pens and pencils, buttons or clothes pegs.

Try these easy tips for de-cluttering and selling unwanted items

Aside from looking at different items you can sell, these easy tips can improve your chances of making some extra money.

  • Consider de-cluttering your home in 'stages', and start small. You might want to attack your clutter all at once, but this could be overwhelming. Breaking down your de-cluttering into weekly or monthly 'chunks', or taking an hour versus a whole day to de-clutter can make it easier to manage.
  • Are the items you're wanting to sell looking their best? If they'd benefit from a quick polish or wipe, then do it. Presentation counts for a lot.
  • If you're listing an item online, including photos with your listing can greatly increase the chances of someone buying it. In fact, many online buyers won't consider buying an item if there isn't a photo included.
  • When taking the photo, make sure the room is well lit and there's minimal clutter in the shot. Having too much going on around the item can be distracting.


Set up healthier spending habits for the future

Once you've done some de-cluttering, and possibly made a little money in the process, it's worth giving yourself a top-to-bottom 'spending M.O.T'. This means:


    • Take a look at your spending habits. Do you have 'spending triggers' such as shopping at lunchtime when you're bored? 

    • Start a spending diary to understand where you're money's going from day to day
    • Put your money in 'spending pots' each month, and only spend whatever's available in that pot. For example, you could put some money each month aside for clothes. If you've already emptied your 'clothes pot', you'll have to wait until next month to buy clothes again. It might feel a bit strict at first, but it's worth sticking with it. You'll find that the longer you do this, the more disposable income you'll have.

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