Declutter, spare the landfill and make some cash

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decluttering-without-landfillAs you might be aware, decluttering is an on-going mission of mine.

I once stayed on the FlyLady bandwagon for the best part of a year, but I fell off and now I feel like I’m back at square one again.

If you’re trying to achieve any goal in life, a reward is good motivation. This got me thinking about how to combine decluttering with making money. Not only will this line my pockets a little but it means I can keep things out of landfill too, which is always top of my list of priorities.

Here are some ways I’ve sold my clutter before and I’d love to hear your suggestions.


Last month, for the first time ever, I took some items to an auction – a dining table, a sewing table and several smaller items such as crockery and ornaments.

This was a huge relief for me because most of these items belonged to my Grandmother, so I’d been holding onto them as sentimental items. The reality was they were stored in boxes in the garage and unloved.

I figured I could connect with my Grandmother any time – I don’t need ‘stuff’ to remind me of her – so I just kept one ornament and a couple of pieces of jewellery that I love and will wear; the rest I let go.

In the end I was £97 richer and it was hassle free. I took the items to the auction and 2 weeks later picked up the cash. The auction house took their cut and we were both happy.


I don’t personally like the hassle of eBay. One of my bug bears is packing things up, weighing them and standing in a post office queue to post them. However, I HAVE been successful on eBay in the past.

I used to think even if I made £1, that was £1 more than I had before, but now I’m not so sure if my time and stress is worth it.

If you don’t have the time to list things on eBay yourself, and have items that are likely to sell for at least £50, you can use a Trading Assistant. Trading Assistants are experienced eBay sellers who will sell your items on eBay for a fee.

Recycling Mobile phones

Apparently there are millions of unused mobile phones hiding in drawers and cupboards throughout the UK. Unfortunately, once you decide to get rid of them you need to do it responsibly; mobile phones contain many potentially toxic materials, that can leak out into the environment through landfill or incineration. On top of that, it doesn’t make economic sense to throw them away when you can get cash for mobile phones through sites like Top Dollar Mobile.

By recycling and reusing mobile phones, you are helping reduce levels of electronic waste that could pollute the environment AND assist people in poorer economic countries, as many phones are reconditioned and sent to areas which do not have landline infrastructures. Our old mobile phones can literally become a lifeline for others.

All you need to do with TopDollarmobile is enter the make and model of your phone to find out how much it is worth (TopDollarMobile won “Best Overall” from a selection of the highest paying phone recyclers in the February 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine), then send them your phone – using the freepost envelope they provide – and wait for your money to arrive. It couldn’t be easier!

Secondhand shops

We have a couple of secondhand clothing shops nearby. I prefer these to eBay because I don’t have to spend time listing items; I can just drop them off at the shop and they’ll deal with it for me.

Each shop takes 50% of the asking price and you get the other half, so you get less money but it’s less hassle to sell. Anything not sold can either be picked up by you within a fortnight or it goes to a charity shop.

What about you? What is your favourite way to declutter and make some money? I’ve not had the courage to run a garage sale – have you ever done that?


  1. Mairi Stones on May 8, 2012 at 8:28 am

    before we set off on our sailing trip I did a massive de-cluttering. I used:

    freecycle – we got rid of lots and lots of things I thought almost too old or obscure, with ease, and we don’t even live in a busy freecycle area.

    friends – When they came round to help me sort and pack I gave them anything they wanted which was in my “going” pile.

    library – books I loved but really didn’t need anymore or lovely ones the kids had grown out of we gave to the library along with DVD’s, they were very happy to get them and it means we can borrow them back.

    Charity shops – all the rest. one local charity shop says they recycle or sell for scrap anything they can’t use in the shop so to bring them everything, we did.

    In the past when I lived in a town I used to put things on the street with a notice saying ” free to good home” we cleared lots that way, including a tent to the local scout group!

    I’m going to do even more when we get back, lighten the load. Good reminder. I might resurrect some old clutter clearing post from my old blog, You can check these out at:

  2. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on May 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Oh what a great post and such awesome tips! I try to declutter on a regular basis and then it is not such a big job each time.

  3. Pinkoddy on May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

    As an alternative to eBay you may find a local selling group set up on facebook. I keep meaning to look at this music magpie too as we never use CDs anymore.

  4. Mrs Green on May 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @Mairi Stones: great idea about the library; especially as our libraries are facing huge cuts right now. And I love the idea of passing along treasures to friends too.

    @[email protected] eco friendly homemaking: I wish I was disciplined enough to do small and frequent declutters; maybe one day

    @Pinkoddy: I’ll check out FB groups; thanks pinkoddy. Have heard good reports about music magpie too though a local company will take them for 20p each and I’m all for convenience 😉

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