How to Turn Your Possessions into Cash


One of the most overlooked sources of ready cash is what we already have in our homes. How many of you have a cupboard cluttered with old clothes, or a stack of books gathering dust on a shelf? How about that box of old music that hasn’t seen the light of day for years?

If your mind is travelling to an old junk drawer or a cluttered attic as you read this, you will be looking at a potential source of quick and easy money. Unless you live the most minimalist of lifestyles, you are bound to have some clutter that you can turn into cash. And you’ll be amazed at how therapeutic a good clearout can be. Try it with a drawer or a cupboard. It feels liberating to get rid of a pile of clutter and have a clear, orderly space. You will also have the satisfaction of turning your old junk into money when you sell it.


Whether or not you believe in the magical effects of clearing clutter, however, there is no doubt from a practical point of view that a life full of clutter leads to disorder, confusion, and, eventually, inefficient work performance or wasted leisure time. A cluttered desk, for example, will cause papers to go astray when they are needed. No one can work efficiently at a desk cluttered with unfiled papers and unnecessary objects.

If clutter can wreak that kind of havoc, what’s the point of hanging on to it? It is much better to clear it all out and turn it into money. So start now. Clear a room at a time, or, if you have a lot of clutter, start with a cupboard or even a drawer at a time. Remember, if it’s not being used, get rid of it.

Identifying cutter

It’s easy to go around your home and identify obvious piles of clutter, such as old clothes and books, but clutter can often be found in all kinds of less obvious places. What about old photos, for example, which often get stuck into albums and forgotten, or, worse still, hidden away in dark corners and cupboards? Cosmetics are another source of clutter: do you have a make-up bag or toiletry bag full of items you never use? Or how many aftershaves and shampoos do you have going to waste?

Unwanted presents are another source of forgotten clutter. How many unwanted presents are you storing that you haven’t been able to bring yourself to throw away? What about that hideous item of furniture a relative gave you years ago, which you’ve never liked but always felt too guilty to get rid of? Unwanted presents often pose this kind of problem. You never know when your aunt might ask you about that particularly ugly ornament she gave you last summer, so you keep it in the garden shed, just in case.

The problem with this is that other people are choosing what you should have in your home. We all have different tastes, and it is very likely that what one person likes another will detest. But it is your home, after all, and you should be the one to decide what goes into it. So keep only those items you really love, and get rid of the rest.

This brings us to one of the main difficulties of clearing clutter -the emotional aspect. Is there an item that fills you with remorse as soon as you think of getting rid of it? Family ‘heirlooms’ are often the culprits here. You may hate the vase you inherited from your uncle, but you can’t face getting rid of it, so it sits in a cupboard out of sight, forgotten for years until the next clearout, when it will probably be looked at, dusted, and put back in the same cupboard. This is the kind of thing you need to tackle. If you don’t love and use the vase, sell it: your uncle would probably be much happier knowing that his gift was able to help you financially when you most needed it.

If you’re in any doubt about what you truly feel about an object, a good way to decide is to pick it up, look at it, and pay attention to the feelings it raises within you. If it invokes happy memories, or it makes you feel joy or pride at owning such a lovely object, then it should stay. However, if it provokes tinges of sadness, guilt, or frustration because you don’t really want it, then it should go.

One of the most common excuses for not getting rid of something is ‘It might come in handy one day’. Such items rarely do come in handy one day, and you have a far greater need now, which is money. By hoarding things for a later time, you are also putting the suggestion into your mind that there may be more lean times ahead, and this is counter-productive: it should be your aim at all times to think positive, and expect good fortune to come to you. Such a positive attitude can only improve your chances of succeeding. So make that item ‘come in handy’ now by selling it. If a day eventually comes when you do need that particular item, you can always go out and buy another one.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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