With the first rays of sun, it’s time to breathe new life into our homes after a long winter. And, boy, has this winter been long! As you discard expired products and recycle unneeded paperwork, you will come across ornaments, books, kitchen utensils and other knick-knacks you no longer have use for. Rather than chucking them out, why not try to sell them? Maybe you have things in your house that some enthusiastic connoisseur will genuinely treasure.

Turn spring cleaning into a positive business case

This is easy if you have high-value objects, like crystal glasses, gold items, jewellery with natural pearls, paintings, works of art or vintage musical instruments. But for anything else, get things valued before letting them go and, if necessary, seek professional help. If you have a collection of stamps or old coins inherited from your parents or grandparents, find out more about them from a stamp- or coin-collectors’ club. Some collectors are prepared to pay considerable sums for specimens that have become rare.

Vintage typewriters or sewing machines are also collector’s items, which can be worth hundreds of euros in some cases. Comic books from a few decades ago and in good condition are also very sought-after, as are film posters dating from the 1930s to the 1980s. By way of example, a 1965 Batman comic book currently sells for over €1,500, according to Barnebys, the online platform for art and collectibles.

Model cars are also popular. If you have any model cars made by famed French brand Majorette, don’t throw them out, whatever you do. They could sell for as much as €1,500. And, if they aren’t old enough, keep them because experts say they should increase in value over the coming decades. 

Similarly, don’t underestimate the value of your old newspapers. People will pay an arm and a leg for certain issues published at important times. Lastly, remember that second hand sales for clothes and accessories are booming right now.

Where to go with all your stuff

Privately organised jumble sales and car boot sales were a possibility prior to social distancing rules. For this spring, you’ll have to go with second-hand shops, jumble sales and car boot sales in your vicinity. Enquire with your commune to find out where these are located or take place.

Consignment shops are specialist second-hand shops that value your things and offer them for sale in their premises. If it is sold, you get back the sum promised in the contract you signed on the day you brought in your item. Otherwise, you can pick your item up again after a few weeks. Pawnbrokers represent another option. They will buy your stuff, if they are sure they will be able to resell it at a profit, depending on current demand.

You could also sell over the Internet, either using online classified adverts, social media platforms or through auction sites. Be careful though: online scams are always possible. Happy spring cleaning!

Find this and similar articles in the lifestyle section of the ING blog www.ing.lu/mymoney.