Committing to a proper declutter is good for your home of course, but it’s also great for your wellbeing and can even make you money.
Below we explore the ground rules of decluttering and making some extra money whilst you do it.
Commit yourself to a real declutter
Step one is to go for it. Don’t just chuck out the obvious unwanted bits that are getting in your way, but take a step back and think carefully about what you can do without.
Be as objective as you can; get friends, family or neighbours involved.
Cast a clear eye over each room and don’t try and declutter in a mad rush. Take your time and plan your moves.
Consider the professionals
It’s easy to see decluttering as just taking belongings to the recycling centre or throwing them out. But there’s more going on.
You could have an emotional attachment to quite a lot of the things on your hit list.
Stuff gathering dust in the garage or the loft can have sentimental or nostalgic value, and having someone professional to support you can boost your confidence and help with tricky decisions.
There’s an Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers, with 180 members, who for around £35 an hour can help you declutter efficiently — and happily.
Decide where to start
You’ve committed to a proper declutter, so where do you begin?
Try pinpointing the areas and rooms where clutter is the biggest problem.
It’s often the places that you’re not using every day, like spare bedrooms, the garage or roof spaces.
So, start where clutter is most obvious — or irritating. You might well need to go box-by-box — assessing whether the contents are really needed, or really precious.
There’s no need to purge everything you uncover, but you’ll probably get your eye in quite quickly.
Clothes are common culprits. As your tastes change and fashions come and go, it can be all too easy simply to abandon outfits and old favourites, so check those overfilled wardrobes.
The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ factor stretches beyond wardrobes too.
You could start by checking under beds and out of the way storage spaces.
Don’t forget — charity begins at home
We’ll explore how you can turn unwanted clutter into cash shortly, but giving to charity is also a great solution, and can really help other people.
There are over 10,000 charity shops across the UK and they all rely on the generosity of individuals donating their unwanted goods.
Clothes are a particularly good source of revenue for them — especially dresses, trousers and shirts.
Your books, CDs, DVDs, kitchenware, games and toys, mobile phones and furniture can also help to generate vital revenue.
Obviously, you shouldn’t try and donate anything broken, dirty or unsafe, and it’s a good idea to call your chosen charity shop to make sure they want your clutter.
There are also some websites where you can list items you’re happy to give away, such as The Freecycle Network, Freegle and Recycle Now.
How to turn your decluttering into money
Your declutter can raise ready cash, and it’s probably easier to reach the right customers now than ever, thanks to the huge choice of websites, apps and events dedicated to reselling, recycling and repurposing.
Here we highlight a few of the biggest and best places to sell your stuff — from technology to coffee tables.
If you’re looking to sell books, or good quality films and box sets on Ultra HD or Blu-ray, this is a great place to try.
There’s a big audience for used products here, and you could find your unwanted copies of classic movies or textbooks are more valuable than you thought.
Amazon charges 75p per item sold, plus a percentage. For books or DVDs over £5 this is 15.3 per cent, or 5.1 per cent if they’re under £5.
You can sell pretty much anything on this huge auction site, but it’s a particularly good place to move on electronics.
New phones and laptops are expensive, so many people turn to eBay for a bargain.
You can go for the simple, Buy it Now option and sell your goods at a fixed price, or you can auction them and see what people are prepared to offer.
It’s free to sell on eBay, provided you don’t exceed 1,000 items per month. When you sell, you’ll be charged a fixed fee of 12.8 per cent of the total sale amount, plus 30p per order.
This platform is known to be a great place to sell beauty products — particularly to people in your local area.
So, if you find unopened beauty products are adding to your clutter, then you could give it a try.
This can be an effective way of selling quickly, locally and hassle-free.
You’ll find Gumtree is a good site for selling furniture in your local area and is completely free to use.
You can decide whether you want buyers to pay using cash, cheque, PayPal or whatever suits you, then arrange the ideal delivery method.
People often come to collect from an agreed location, or you can sort out a delivery for an agreed fee.
Always take someone else with you to pre-arranged meeting places, and don’t give out your bank details — it’s always better to be cautious.
When you’ve got old clothes to move on, the car boot sale might well beckon, but if you don’t fancy face-to-face selling like this, then Vinted.co.uk is a good site.
Simply photograph and price your stuff, upload the images and wait for a buyer, who must then cover the cost of delivery or collection.
It’s a free app, and of course like all these options, you can advertise all sorts of products.
Make space for a simpler life
A declutter makes practical sense, and it feels good too.
It improves your home and quality of life and can easily make you money.