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How to declutter and make money

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Unless you live a very minimalist lifestyle, you’ve probably experienced the problem of having too much stuff lying around your home at some point. Clutter can be almost anything — the shoes you’ve worn twice in two years, the collection of DVDs that you never watch, or the jewellery that you can’t remember wearing last. These are belongings that we collect and hold on to, often because we’ve paid a lot of money for them, they have sentimental value, or we think we might need them in the future.


The trouble is, there are quite a few negative consequences of keeping so many extra things around. A study from the Princeton University found that people performed poorly when completing tasks in an unorganised environment when compared to organised surroundings, while another research project from UCLA found that stress hormones spiked during time spent dealing with belongings. Having so much clutter around us can affect the way we feel in our homes, impacting how we relax and our happiness. The good news is that it is quite easy to sort out your clutter, and, as an added bonus, make some money during the process.


In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the ways you can free up space for a more streamlined home, and the variety of options that you have to move on some of your belongings and earn and earn some cash too.


 


How should I declutter my home?


It can be difficult pin-pointing a starting point for the whole decluttering process, and it can often depend on what your objectives are. Moving from room to room slowly is a good method for those who don’t want to dedicate hours and hours to the task or have other responsibilities to work around, like a family or a job. On the other hand, there is the tactic of going through everything in one go, which can take up a more substantial amount of time — perfect if you have a day or two free.


Whichever method you prefer, the act of decluttering is usually pretty simple in itself. Simply take an item, evaluate whether you actually need it, then put it in either a ‘keep’, ‘sell’, or a ‘throw away’ container. Be honest with yourself when making the decision and keep asking yourself questions like ‘when did I last wear this?’, ‘when did I last listen to this?’, or ‘when did I last use this?’. In most cases, if the answer is more than six months ago, there is a serious case for it being sold or thrown away.


 


Where should I sell my clutter?


The question of whether your unwanted belongings should be thrown away is becoming less and less clear cut. With so many options available online, you have so much more choice in how you can sell items, and you may be surprised at what people will actually buy. You can then go on to use the funds generated for essential purchases, like fuel or groceries.


Below, we’ve listed some of the places that you can sell a lot of your clutter for cash, as well as many of the items that they will be interested in.

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Auction websites


If you have any items that you know will attract a lot of interest, an auction website is a great option where you are likely to get a good return, as people try to outbid each other in an effort to grab a bargain. The items you list don’t even need to be in demand, you can list virtually any of your clutter on big auction sites and there will always be a chance that someone will place a bid.


A popular choice is eBay, which can give you access to a huge audience for your items. This is because millions of people log on every day to look for deals that are lower than the retail price. It’s very easy to use — you simply need to register as a user and can begin to sell your stuff. You also need to create a PayPal account, which allows for quick, easy, and secure payments for buyers.


You then have the freedom to list items individually or as part of a larger batch. You can set your own starting prices, add reserves if you only want to sell at a certain amount, and add pictures and descriptions to show off your listings. Postage and payment details also have to be decided upon.

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Listing websites


Similar to auction sites, listing websites have a wide scope for selling your clutter, though most people tend to favour them for larger items, such as furniture or exercise equipment. Where they differ, though, is that no auctions take place and items are simply sold for, or near to, the asking price. Sales are also less straight forward and usually need to be organised between buyer and seller over email or by phone.


Gumtree and Craigslist are the two most popular listing websites, and both are great for finding items in the local area — ideal if you are selling a larger piece of clutter and can only offer local delivery or pick-up. Each of these websites is also generally free to list on, so you don’t need to watch out for any hidden listing fees. However, it should be noted that some listing sites may have fees, so it’s always best to double check.


Amazon Marketplace is another listing service that allows you to advertise used goods that the store also sells as part of its main website. A big advantage of this is that you gain access to the huge customer base that shops on Amazon, though you will have to pay a small per-item fee to do so.

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Cash-for-clutter websites


There are some businesses that focus on buying both small and large batches of items like CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, games, books, and mobile phones.


They specialise in the easy bulk sale of these items, making them a handy choice if you don’t have the time or patience to list and dispatch each individual item on an auction site or elsewhere. Many will even collect or provide free postage to them, making the task even easier and cheaper for you. The downside to these services is that they often don’t offer as much value per item as you might get selling them individually — a trade-off for their convenience.


Many of these websites, such as Music Magpie, Zapper, and Ziffit, allow you to include multiple products in your order via their barcode or ISBN numbers, before giving you an approximate valuation for the items. From there you can finalise the process, and a way to send your items will be provided — usually either a courier pick-up or a printable freepost label that can be affixed to packaging. Some firms offer same day payment for a quick and easy transaction.


There are also cash-for-clothes websites, such as Cash4ClothingUK and Enviroclothes, that operate on a similar basis to other cash-for-clutter services — the main difference being that they value items on weight rather than individually. This makes them a good option if you want to quickly empty a wardrobe. But, as they don’t differentiate between labels or materials, they’re a poor choice if you own a lot of expensive designer clothing (see our specialist buyers section to find out more about decluttering designer items).

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Cash-for-gold merchants


If you find that you have a lot of gold among a jewellery collection that you want to declutter, you will find that it is in high demand, thanks to its value and rarity. There are services that will value your gold and offer you a price for it, even if it is old, broken, or scrap.


Here at H&T Pawnbrokers, we offer a quick, convenient, and reliable cash for gold service that always looks to offer you the best price possible price for your jewellery. We even have a gold price calculator where you will be able to get an estimate before you send or drop-off your items. We’re constantly on the lookout for jewellery, coins, sovereign, bars, rings, watches or anything else and our expert valuations team are always on hand to appraise your collection..


The process couldn’t be easier, either. Once you’ve used our calculator to determine a value, we will send you a free pre-paid envelope into which you can safely package your gold items. The postage is insured for up to £500, so you can dispatch your collection with peace of mind that you are well covered. Once our expert valuations team have tested and valued your pieces, we will send you a cheque on the very same day that we receive them.


Alternatively, you can bring your gold into one of our 180+ branches that can be found across the UK, where we will be happy to help you access the full value of your collection — simply use our store locator to find one near you. If you have any questions, you can visit our FAQ page or give us a call on 0800 838 973 and we will be happy to help.

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Specialist Buyers


Just because the jewellery or watches you are looking to get rid of are not made with gold doesn’t mean that they are worthless. Other precious metals like silver, platinum, and palladium are worth quite a lot, and there are many pieces that are made by designer brands that retain much of their value.


You can ensure that you achieved the best valuation by finding the right merchant to buy them. Specialist jewellers and watch shops should probably be your first port of call, as they will be able to identify your items’ true value thanks to their vast experience in the area.


Furthermore, if you are planning to declutter your home and have items that you think may be of value — such as antiques, artworks, electronics, or designer fashion items, among many others — it is worth seeking expert advice to secure the very best deal for them.


Here at H&T Pawnbrokers, our team’s knowledge is not just limited to gold — they are able to accurately evaluate items of high value like the ones listed above, and have collectively accumulated over one hundred years’ experience of doing so. We will buy unwanted jewellery, watches, antiques, and art, among many other things, all evaluated through our easy online valuation service.


All you have to do is tell us a little bit about an item and its condition, as well as upload a couple of photos, and we will get back in touch with an initial offer within 24 hours. From there, you can send us your asset or take it to one of our many stores to complete the transaction.

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Vintage clothing shops


Vintage fashion has become incredibly popular in recent years, which is great news if you own a lot of vintage clothing or accessories and are looking to declutter your wardrobe. Off the back of this, there is a whole industry of retro fashion stores — both online and on the high street — who are always on the lookout for items they can buy and turnaround as stock for their shops.


Obviously, not every single item of clothing from a few years back will be of interest to these businesses. Prioritise decluttering the items that you think carry a quirky or unique style, though you should remember to keep an open mind as people have different tastes. So, something you think might be hideous may be just what someone else is looking for.


Shoppers will want to wear the vintage clothing or accessories that they buy, so ensuring any items you sell are in good condition is likely to earn you more money. However, you shouldn’t rule out a piece just because of a minor tear or missing button as they can often still be saleable with a minor repair. Vintage stores are usually open to haggling too, so if you feel some of your items are worth more than what’s on offer don’t be afraid to say so.


As well as bricks and mortar stores, there are also options for selling your vintage clothes online. Independent dealers often have their own websites and can be found with a quick internet search. They’re often a good outlet if you have one or two items to sell. If you have some designer items, you can also use our simple designer fashion valuation service, which will quickly assess them and offer a great price.


If you have quite a large collection of vintage clothing, it may be worthwhile applying for a boutique on ASOS marketplace or setting up a store on Etsy, both of which are great platforms for longer-term trading. You can also do something similar on auction websites like eBay.

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Car boot sales


If you are fan of more traditional ways of selling your belongings, there are still many local car boot sales where you can haggle with people looking for a bargain in the fresh air. There is usually a pitching fee that has to be paid before you can set up shop. Use sites like Car Boot Junction to locate an event in your local area.


One downside to these sales is that you have to transport a lot of your clutter to the location without the guarantee that it will all sell, so you may find that you have to take some items back home with you. Another is that, because they are generally hosted outside, you are at the mercy of the weather, which may drive many people away. That being said, car boot sales can be a good place to shift items that you don’t think will sell for a particularly high price.

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Classified adverts


This is another more traditional option, but will give you the opportunity to advertise directly to people in your local area, as well as those who are not tech-savvy or connected to the internet. There are quite a few places that you can take out a classified advert, such as newspapers, magazines, the windows of local businesses, and community centre notice boards. Sales from these adverts can be slow, as it relies on the right person to spot the ad and decide they are interested. It’s also important that you are able to write a concise yet appealing description that will convince people to get in touch.

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Charity organisations and recycling projects


If you have some items that you are not so motivated to sell on, there are a number of charity and recycling causes that you can donate them to instead. Many charities run shops that rely on donations of bric-a-brac and other assorted items for their stock, and they are usually more than happy to take books, CDs, ornaments, or pretty much anything else to help them raise funds. Generally, you can bring items straight into the store if you don’t have a lot, though some charities may need notice beforehand if you are making a large donation. Take a stroll down your local high street or do some internet research to find a worthy cause near to you.


Recycling projects are also a great source for donating unwanted clutter. Thanks to today’s technology, more materials can be broken down and reused than ever before, so many of the objects you pass on will be able to disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. Furthermore, you might be surprised that some items, such as furniture, can be upcycled — restored and remodelled — and sold on to raise funds for the organisation. The Furniture Recycling Network has a charity finder tool where you can discover a nationwide network of re-use organisations to donate to.


If you explore some of the selling options that we’ve included in this guide, you’ll find plenty of places to find buyers for items that you’ve sorted as clutter. Remember, here at H&T Pawnbrokers, we are interested in the belongings you are looking to move on, whether its gold, electronic products, designer jewellery and watches, or almost anything else. Get in touch with us by email at info@handt.co.uk or give us a call on 0800 838 973 if you have any questions or would like some advice on your decluttering process.