All that clutter could be worth hard cash

Households across the UK are sitting on a treasure trove of £3,540 worth of unwanted or unused items according to research from online local noticeboard

Sunday, 25th March 2012, 6:35 am

Over a third (35 per cent) of people in the South East admit to hoarding a large number of unused items in their home. Though the majority say they don’t like clutter, more than half reckon they have enough unwanted items to fill their downstairs loo from floor to ceiling.

Households are being urged to convert their clutter to cash. As well as helping with space around the home, a good declutter can free up head-space too– 39 per cent of people in the South East find that clutter makes them feel disorganised, over a quarter (26 per cent) feel stressed by it and a third (33 per cent) feel worried about their home appearing messy.

The trend to keep up with the latest gadgets is leading to a gadget graveyard. Research reveals that people in the South East have on average one spare television, one unused mp3 players and two unused laptops or computers at home. They also have on average six pairs of shoes they never wear. Almost half of people in the South East (42 per cent) keep hold of these items as they feel they might need them one day.

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Declutter expert Jamie Breeseb says: “The vast majority of households in the South East underestimate the value of their unwanted items so aren’t aware of just how much value is sitting in their cupboards and under their beds.

“And with some people even stashing their clutter in car boots and in washing machines, it’s obvious that it’s time for a spring clean.

“I’d urge everyone to set aside a weekend to have a good declutter session and think about what they could sell. By selling unwanted items not only can you clear out unwanted items really quickly, but you can turn your clutter into cash.”

Jamie Breese’s top tips for converting clutter to cash

> Don’t feel guilty about letting go of items that you received as presents – it’s amazing how good you feel when you get extra cash for that ‘unwanted gift’

> Set aside a weekend to clear out your clutter – it can take a while to sort through your clutter and decide what you want to sell. But you’ll feel better about it if you do it all in one session and the quicker you sort, the quicker you can start to make money

> Sell items with the instruction manual if you still have it to get extra value – this is especially important for technology items or gadgets and kitchen appliances. Think ahead when you first purchase items too and make sure you keep the manual somewhere you can find it – even if you personally don’t need it

> Group lower-value items and sell as a job lot – so rather than selling dozens of books individually, group them together. You can do the same with a toaster, kettle and sandwich maker. Not only could this add appeal, but it saves you time as you only have to sell once

> Sell things in-season – more people are likely to be interested in buying a sun lounger or a barbecue at the start of summer than in middle of winter – so not only will you get more interest, but you’ll most likely be able to get more money for your item too

> Look for first editions or rare albums - books and music are some of the most hoarded items in the UK, so if a book has a dust jacket or is a first edition, then it could be worth a lot of money

> Present the product well – to get the most from your Gumtree gem, give the item a good clean or polish and present it well in your photos as this will help catch the eye of potential buyers. You wouldn’t buy something if it was grubby and it works the other way around!

> Consider how old the item is – to help determine your Gumtree price, ask yourself – is this a trusted brand, how old is it, and how much did it cost new? A mobile phone which was worth £300 new may only be worth £30 now as technology can move fast, so as a general rule, the newer the item, the higher the proportion of its original value you can ask for

> Compare prices – see how much other sellers have listed their items for to help guide you. If you want a quick sale, offer a better price

> Have an open mind – just because you don’t want an item anymore or it doesn’t work, don’t assume that no one else will want it or be able to fix it. Remember than one person’s cast-offs can be another person’s treasure!