How my spring clean is making and saving me money

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I do know that I’m not the only person who starts getting the urge to air the house, have a massive tidy up, and start getting the place ready for a sociable summer.

As part of my month-long March Spring Clean, I’ve been doing one small, manageable activity each day to improve my finances, my standard of living and my home environment, and each day I’ve been writing about those individual experiences in the hope that it might inspire other people to give themselves a boost too.

spring clean selling Penny Golightly and Gumtree
What I’m going to sell

What you lovely readers might not be aware of is that in addition to the simple tasks I’ve been writing about, I’ve also been doing a whole lot more around the house etc than I’ve had time to write about. That’s because we’ve had some pretty major building work done, and despite the dust sheets and floor protectors, the whole house has pretty much been trashed. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, the place is always going to end up covered in piles of dust, building materials are going to end up where they shouldn’t be, and dirt gets ground into all your carpets. Dust like this collects on surfaces where it defies gravity – I’ve even had to sweep ceilings.

Selling your unwanted junk has more than one benefit

Having emergency building work carried out is enough to try the patience of a saint, and by the time the builders were gone, the other half and I were desperate to reclaim our personal space, and get our home back in order. We’ve done a deep clean around the house, and had a massive declutter and organise. As part of this we’ve been looking for things to sell, to cover some of the cost of all the building work and get the place tidy.

We now have quite a collection of saleable goods and a much nicer, more streamlined home. We’ve both joked that it feels like getting paid to do the cleaning, and that it’s welcome compensation for the time spent.

We have so much in our ‘to sell’ crates: clothes, bags, shoes, books, fitness equipment, gadgets, homeware and a whole load more. The plan is to sell one or two things straight on to friends who have expressed an interest, and put most of the rest up for sale on sites such as Gumtree. Any small remaining bits and bobs will probably get sold at a table top or car boot sale, and then we can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

If you want to give your home a really good declutter, I’d say don’t put it off – start today, maybe with a small area that you can sort out in an hour or two. Then just keep chipping away at the rest of it, one area per day until you’re finished. You’ll probably be amazed both at the amount of rubbish and the amount of potential treasure that it turns up.

Remember to include all the areas of your home, not just the rooms you use the most often. You might strike ‘seller’s gold’ in places such as:

  • The cupboard under the stairs
  • The garden shed
  • A garage or lockup
  • The boot of your car
  • Your attic or other built-in storage
  • A home office
  • The spare room
  • Low or high shelves, cupboards or drawers (often neglected, and also used for hoarding clutter)


pennygolightly cocktail

Full disclosure: I work with Gumtree from time to time.

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