How spring cleaning can actually make you money

Andy Webb

Giving your home an annual clear-out could bring about more rewards than a cleaner living space…

If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll be thinking spring is the perfect time to deep clean your home. A top-to-bottom tidy can be therapeutic, as can getting rid of anything you no longer need or use. But stop. Don’t just throw this stuff away.

You see, though it might be junk to you, it could be exactly what someone else is after. Selling online is easier than ever, and if you don’t fancy the likes of eBay there are plenty of places you can sell to directly. Even broken items could get snapped up for parts.

Alternatively you might uncover long forgotten items that are as good as new, meaning you don’t need to shell out for something similar. And if there’s something unopened and unused you could give it as a gift rather than buy something new. You could even see if friends would like to swap items, particularly clothes, with you—a great way to get a new look without spending money.

So as you take your duster and hoover to every corner and cupboard, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions. You might just be able to turn that clutter into cash.

 

1. Is it broken?

First things first, and sticking to the whole intention of a spring clean, there’s no point hoarding things that don’t work. Unless you are a dab hand with a soldering iron or a sewing needle, ask if you’re ever likely to fix it yourself. If not, you’ve a few options. 

See if you can pay to get it repaired, which might be cheaper than buying a replacement. If that isn’t on the cards, don’t immediately throw it away—you might be able to sell it. It’s been known for people to buy all sorts, whether for parts or projects. Apparently even cardboard toilet rolls are big sellers to be used for arts and crafts.

 

2. Do you need it and will you use it?

Assuming it’s not broken, audit everything to see if you actually need it. You might have a surplus of shoes, or more books than you’re ever going to re-read. If you identify your favourites that you don’t want to part with it’ll make it easier to pare down the rest.

Even if you think you do need to keep hold of something, will you actually use it? From clothes in your wardrobe through to gadgets in the kitchen, if you’ve something that hasn’t been worn or used in a year it could be about time to say goodbye.

 

3. What could it be worth?

This is an important question as you don’t want to let something go for less than it’s worth. Do a little online research to see what things have previously sold for so you know how much to charge.

Any rare items, collections or antiques you have should be taken to experts or specialists who can assess a fair price.

At the same time, if it looks like you’d only get pennies for something, then the time it takes to sell might not be worth it. Instead try to recycle broken items at the tip, or donate working things to charity.