How to make money from your messy room

Make money decluttering

So, if you’ve clicked on this article you’ve probably realised you have far too much stuff. Whether you’re fed up of your room being a mess, you’re moving soon and want to cut down on packing, or have just run out of cupboard space, we’re going to show how to get rid of all your excess clutter and make some money off it.

How to declutter

The best way to declutter is to pick an area of your room, and empty it all out onto the floor, and don’t stop until the whole floor is sorted. If you’re nervous, start with somewhere small like one shelf of a bookcase or one drawer of your desk.

Once everything is laid out in front of you sort it into four piles: to keep, to sell, to donate, and to bin.

If you get stuck, think about whether you’ve even looked at the item in a calendar year, if the answer’s no, it’s time to get rid of it. If you come across something that you want to keep but you haven’t used in a whole year place it in a box and seal it, if you feel like opening the box at all in the next month you can keep it, if not, you obviously don’t really need it.

Once you have your piles you then need to work out the best ways to make money from your ‘sell’ pile.

How to make money from it


When it comes to selling online, there’s one site that’s the big daddy. You can sell almost anything on the site, and we’ve written an article about the best ways to make money on eBay, but the main points to maximise your profits are:

  • Find out how much it’s going to cost you to post.
  • Remember that eBay fees are 10% of the final selling price AND the p&p.
  • Use attractive and accurate pictures, lighting is really important.
  • Tracked postage can help you avoid eBay scammers.

Remember that if it doesn’t sell, then you don’t pay any fees, so you may as well put stuff up that you’d otherwise throw away. Even “junk” like old magazines does sell on eBay all the time, and you can even make money selling smelly old shoes to perverts!


Your items will reach less people on Gumtree than eBay, because people tend to only look in their local area. However, there are a couple of big advantages to selling on Gumtree: the first is that it’s totally free to list something, so there’s no-one taking a cut of your profits, and the second is that because it’s all local you won’t usually need to arrange postage.

Some things to watch out for:

If someone offers to pay via PayPal and arrange their own courier, this is a common scam and you should stop emailing them straight away. They’ll say it never arrived, and apply for a refund on PayPal, which they’ll get because you have no proof of postage.

If meeting someone in public try and deal in cash, if they want to do a bank transfer wait until you can see the money in your account before handing over the item.

Facebook selling

It’s getting more and more popular to sell your old belongings on Facebook. To find a selling page near you just type “*your town* selling page”. People tend to bargain you down in the comments, so make your price a little bit higher to allow for some negotiation.

As with Gumtree, be wary of scammers, and follow the recommendations we made to avoid the most common ones.

H&M clothes recycling

If you shop at H&M a lot, then this might be good for you. You can hand over a bag of clothes from any brand (not just H&M) in exchange for a voucher for £5 off a £25 spend. The voucher has a long expiry date, so even if you don’t want to shop now it’s worth doing. You can use any clothes you have in the bin or donate pile because H&M are recycling the clothes, instead of reselling them like at a charity shop, so even ruined clothes are fine to hand in.


It’s easy to accumulate a massive collection of books at uni, and a lot of them are course set texts you’re unlikely to ever look at again. The worst thing about this is that they’re actually quite difficult to get rid of, often on eBay books that cost you £20 brand new only sell for 99p, and the postage cost is huge because they’re heavy.

The best and easiest way to sell them is by advertising them to people in the year below you doing your course, because you know they’ll want the exact books you have. If your department has a noticeboard or a Facebook page, it’s the perfect place to post them.

Does that sound like a lot of effort? Try using Fatbrain, you can use the app to scan the barcode on your books and get an instant price for it. Then just send them off to get the cash! Be warned though, some of your books will only be worth a penny (depressing).


Old phones, consoles and TVs cost a lot to buy but when you stop using them they’ll languish in a cupboard. Why not sell them?

Phone trade in

When you’re finished with your old phone it’s always worth recycling it with a company like Envirofone - not only will you make a bit of money, you’re also being eco friendly. We can’t be the only ones who always forget to do this, even retro handsets can be worth something.


You can sell all sorts of electronics on MusicMagpie, everything from phones to games consoles, as well as DVDs, CDs and games. You’ll get an instant quote and a payout on the day your items arrive.

In store

It can be a bit of a hassle to package up an old XBOX and post it off, but you can get money for old electronics on the high street too. Try CashConverters or CeX (you can see how much you’re likely to get here), they take all sorts of things, including jewellery and musical instruments.

If you’re selling games or consoles, then GAME’s preowned trade-in scheme might be the right one for you. It promises to give the highest offer for your stuff, and you’ll be given more if you choose to get your payout as a GAME voucher.

Still short of cash? Find loads more ways to earn in our make money section.