How to declutter and make yourself some extra cash

One person's clutter can be another's treasure.
Picture: Getty Images

One person's clutter can be another's treasure. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Most of our homes are littered with things we never use. We may keep them for sentimental reasons, because they might ‘come in handy’ one day or because we just haven’t got round to off-loading them, writes thrifty living columnist Sheena Grant.

But one person’s clutter could be another’s treasure, or, at the very least, something that will make a few pounds and free up some valuable space.

I’ve caught the selling bug this summer and so far, have made around £200. I’m going through more possessions now, after a holiday when I spent a little too much on the irresistible luxury of eating out (it was worth it for just a few kitchen-free evenings).

So, how do you decide what to sell? A good rule of thumb is to do a kind of domestic stock check - anything you haven’t used for a year is probably surplus to requirements (though obviously not if it’s something of real sentimental value). Then you’ve got to decide how to sell - from classified newspaper ads to online sales, car boots or yard sales, there are many ways to go. I’ve employed a variety of methods, usually based on the fees involved, the amount of my time it takes and the likelihood of success.

Some things are more popular than others, of course: branded goods often go well, as does anything collectable. I’ve been going through my book shelves and have got a stack of 30 titles to sell. Do your homework before advertising anything to see what you might get. While most of the books I plan to sell will probably fetch little more than a couple of pounds it looks like two could go for a lot more.

I’ve had both for at least 30 years and have repeatedly tried, and failed, to read either, so think it’s safe to say I won’t miss them - and they’ll free up some space for something I’ll enjoy far more, which brings me to an email from Jackie Willard, who wrote in after reading a previous column about the thrifty benefits of buying second-hand books.

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Jackie says: “In Frinton we have a wonderful charity shop dedicated to books and jigsaw puzzles. Having come across a Clive Cussler book on holiday three years ago, I have since used this shop to acquire some 30 of his novels, at about £1.50 a time. Much cheaper than downloading to a Kindle.”

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