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From Less to More

As a professional organiser and declutterer I have found that one of the biggest obstacles holding people back from decluttering their lives is the overwhelming guilt of having wasted their hard earned cash on the things filling up their houses. I bought it, so I should use it, goes the thought process. That's not a bad thing to keep in mind for future purchasing - will you really use it? - but it can cause our homes to fill up with unused, unwanted junk and our minds to dwell on relentless, damaging guilt and regret.

How to escape this cycle? Well, you can start by making some money by decluttering. As well as my decluttering and organising business, I also make money as second hand seller, both on eBay and various second hand sales apps. I'm a 21st century rag and bone woman, if you will. The market for second hand goods is booming and you can get in on it with ease. Follow these tips to make your clutter less, but your bank balance more.

Skip the guilt, give yourself a little pay check and learn that less really can be more! As an added bonus, your decluttered items are heading to new homes, instead of landfill. Let's join the reuse revolution and work together to close the waste cycle!

Just remember, selling your second hand things most likely isn't a quick path to great riches. You have to accept that you will probably make a financial loss on some of your unused goods. But just keep your mind focused on the 'more' of your end goal: a life focused on more joy, more financial freedom, more satisfaction, more calm.

Follow my tips below to make your bank balance a little "more" while you declutter today!

1. Sell your books, DVDs and CDs

Used books can make you a surprising amount of money. As a second hand bookseller I have been able to make literally thousands of pounds from a relatively small investment of several hundred pounds (plus a heck load of time and effort rummaging around charity shops). Selling my own books was a gamechanger in terms of motivation to declutter. In 2018 alone I've reduced the books in my bedroom (never mind the rest of my home!) from 500+ to just over 200, with about 50% of those decluttered being sold. The rest were donated.

I mostly use apps like Music Magpie, Zapper and We Buy Books to sell both my own books once read and books I've bought second hand in charity shops. Simply download an app, scan the book's barcode for an instant quote, box up your books (I use old Amazon boxes, etc.), print out a packing label and arrange a collection from your home or office. It couldn't be more simple. If you do this as a sideline business like me, there's the added perk of making great friends with the delivery guy. Hi Alec! He loves to hate me and my heavy boxes of books.

Particularly valuable books include textbooks (We Buy Books and some other resellers actually accept books with writing in the margins or highlighting on up to 20% of pages - check the T&Cs carefully of the individual seller), travel books and rare novels. The rule seems to be that the more popular a book is, the less valuable it is. So you won't make any money selling books from recent best seller lists. These are best donated to charity shops, where coincidentally they are the most commonly bought books. Consider this your free donation to a charity of your choice. Money saving all round.

I have had very, very, very, very few books rejected. Those that are rejected are not typically sent back to you so are a write-off. However, I've found that a book has to have really significant damage to be rejected. Rejected books are sent to recycling.

Many of these apps also accept DVDs, CDs and video games in the same manner. Scan, box, sell.

2. Electronics