Whether you are looking to clear some clutter that has built up over the years at home, or dealing with the difficult and sad process of clearing a deceased friend’s or relative’s house, the following tips can help reduce the costs.
With a bit of extra time and effort, there are plenty of ways to save money on Crime scene cleaning – you could even make some money from it too.
Before starting the process, find a quote from a clearance company. You will then have a benchmark to see if you can save money by following some of these suggestions yourself.
Sell items of value
Depending on how much time you have, you can sell a whole host of items potentially being cleared. As well as generating revenue, this also reduces the quantity of stuff you need clearing, and can help reduce costs.
For anything of significant value, such as antiques, jewellery or works of art, you should take expert advice and sell through reputable independent auctions. If you do sell to a dealer or an individual, make sure you have got a second opinion on the item first. It is easy to email a picture and a brief description to an auction house, and they will give you a trustworthy estimate.
For less valuable stuff, such as ordinary furniture, crockery, records, clothes, books and bric-a-brac, you can list the items on sites such as eBay, Etsy and Gumtree. With a bit of research you can find what similar items have sold for. It is much more useful to know actual sale prices that have been achieved, rather than the asking prices some sellers are seeking.
For the truly enterprising, selling at a car boot sale is a great way to make a profit on bric-a-brac when clearing a house. Every weekend there are hundreds of car boot sales all over the country. Entry fees are typically around £10 per car. Be prepared for an early start to make sure you get in, and brace yourself for some serious haggling!
But do not undersell
But a word of warning when selling your items. Whether through dealers, auctions, online or at a car boot sale, you need to make sure you do not undersell the items.
Any professional house clearance company worth their salt will factor the value of resalable items into their charges. So if the charge to clear the rubbish and non-saleable items is £300, but there’s £100 of resalable value in the clearance, the clearance company may reduce the charge by £50. (NB the clearance company, like any dealer, will need to make a profit on the items ‘bought’, so if they think they will sell the items for £100, they may ‘offer’ £50).
So in order to reduce the overall costs, you need to sell these items for more than the clearance company is offering. In the example above, it would be more than £50.
Donate to charity
Charity shops and furniture donation networks are always in need of good quality stock. And because they have lower running costs than private sector shops (due to volunteers, zero rates, subsidised rent etc) they sometimes accept items that wouldn’t be viable for the private businesses.
But charity shops still have costs and need to make money, so they will select items that they think they can sell well at a decent price – they are not free rubbish tips however!