Could you make cash from your attic?

Anyone who is a fan of TV shows like Cash in The Attic understands the thrill you feel at the thought of something really valuable turning up in your home. Something that would, as the show says, “turn hidden treasures into cash and viewers’ dreams into reality”.

Unfortunately the current reality for many of us is that our attics, garages, cupboards and spare room wardrobes are filled to bursting with all kinds of stuff. But is any of it likely to make any money?

As we start thinking about the new school year and the gradual approach of autumn, wouldn’t it be great to completely declutter your home? Imagine the satisfaction of knowing that you have cleared out all those places where stuff likes to accumulate. And, in amongst all that, you’ve hopefully managed to make a bit of money out of it too.

To help you do this, in this article we will look briefly at:

  • Tips on how to declutter your home.
  • What to do with stuff you don’t want.
  • Where to get antique and vintage items valued and sold.

 

Tips on how to declutter your home

If it’s time to declutter, there are various ways you can start doing this. But the key thing to bear in mind is not to try and do too much at once. If you try to do this it can all become overwhelming, and you are likely to give up. It is much better to do a bit at a time over a period of a month or so, than try and cram everything into a weekend.

Some people prefer to focus on one area at a time, others may want to declutter by category of items. For example clothes / books / childrens’ toys / CDs and DVDs / kitchen equipment etc. But make a realistic plan that helps you to do things in a gradual way. 

It’s then very effective to declutter each area or category in three steps:

 

  • Step 1: The first cut is the deepest

It can be really helpful – and also very freeing – to be completely ruthless the first time you go through your stuff. For example, if you are sorting out clothes, don’t give anything the benefit of the doubt. If you haven’t worn it for the past couple of years, chances are you won’t wear it again. Get rid of it. 

Put everything you are planning to get rid of into black bags, then leave them alone for a while. Store them in a spare room for a couple of weeks while you get on with Steps 2 and 3.

 

  • Step 2: Love your space

Now that you have moved a lot of things out of the space they were occupying, you can get used to having more space. Give everything a really good clean. You may also want to move your remaining things around and reorganise where everything goes. It will all look and feel so much better.

Enjoy the sensation of having more space, and pledge to yourself never to let it become that cluttered again.

 

  • Step 3: Final reprieve

Now, before you get rid of those black bags completely, allow yourself to have a quick final check through them to see if there is anything you actually do want to keep. You’ll probably find that there isn’t, but this last stage will give you the peace of mind to know you’re doing the right thing.

Now all you need to do is work out where to take the stuff you’re getting rid of. Read on . . . 

 

What to do with stuff you don’t want

The next step is to find a new home for everything you are getting rid of. As far as possible, avoid just sending to landfill – especially if there are things that others could use.

The first thing to do is put to one side any items that may be valuable, particularly antique or vintage items. We’ll look at those in the next section. 

For the rest of your stuff you need to decide whether to sell it, give it away or throw it out. Let’s take a quick look at each of these options:

 

  • Sell your stuff

There are many ways to sell items you no longer want or need. Car boot sales are now running again, or you could place adverts in local newspapers or on community noticeboards. 

Then of course there are many online websites where you can sell items, including:

Some shops will also buy items from private sellers, particularly specialist items.

 

  • Give things away

Online sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle are excellent ways of listing items that you don’t want money for, just for them to go to a good home. 

Then of course there are local charity shops which are usually happy to accept good quality goods. It may be worth checking first whether there are some kinds of goods they are particularly in need of, or other items that they may currently have too many of.

 

  • Dump or recycle

If there are items that simply need to be thrown away, try and recycle as much of them as possible. Your local refuse tip may be able to help you with this, and separate out items for recycling or even upcycling by others.

 

Where to get antique items valued and sold

Earlier on we mentioned putting to one side any antique or vintage items. For example, jewellery, photographic or musical equipment, old books, artwork, coins or stamps, ornaments or other household items.

Before you get rid of these, it is a good idea to get them valued to see how much they are worth. You can then make a sensible decision as to whether to sell them, give them away, or perhaps keep them after all.

Look either locally or online for a specialist dealer in the item(s) you have. Check that they are members of a reputable organisation such as LAPADA, the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers. A golden chandelier symbol indicates this. They should be able to offer you an honest, unbiased assessment, and may even be able to do this via you sending them photographs rather than having to visit in person.

Once you have a valuation, the dealer may also be prepared to sell your item for you. But, if not, there are many other avenues to try, including:

  • eBay – the world’s online marketplace.
  • Etsy – creative marketplace with a big vintage section. 
  • Ruby Lane – a website catering to the antiques and collectibles world. 
  • Abe Books – a global online website for books, fine art, and collectibles. 

Some of the above outlets will charge you a monthly fee to be a seller; others will just charge listing fees and take a small percentage of the final selling price as commission. But if you have a lot of specialist items to sell, it could still make financial sense to do this.

 

We hope that the above information has helped motivate you to start decluttering your home and getting rid of unwanted stuff. And who knows, maybe you really will be able to make cash from your attic!

If you need any additional funding during this time, remember that Advantage Loans offer flexible personal loans that may help to boost your finances until you do convert your hidden treasures into cash.

Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Advantage Loans.