In The Know – Issue 7

Newcastle Hospitals charity logo

Monthly Bulletin by Citizens Advice Gateshead – Issue 7

How to get the most out of your spring clean out

If you’re considering a spring clear out, or even if the thought hasn’t crossed your mind,
have a look at some of the main reasons why you should.

Selling your stuff has never been easier

Whether it be the cost-conscious consumer, environmentally aware buyer, or vintage
connoisseur, second-hand shopping has seen tremendous growth in the past few
years. From clothes to cobweb covered plant pots in the shed, you’ll be surprised with
what’s in demand.

Ethically beneficial

You can make your fast fashion more ethical by selling it. Through giving your clothes a new
life in someone else’s possession, you reduce its carbon footprint, contributing to better
environmental practices.

Health and wellbeing – Mental

A lot can be gained from decluttering that one drawer, the space under your bed, or specific
room in your house. Through finding time to reorganise and deal with these spaces, you
start to make your house feel more like a home, a place where you can relax and unwind
from life’s daily stresses.

Health and wellbeing – Physical

Cleaning items such as worktops, floors, bedsheets, and furniture, can reduce the build-up
of bacteria, mould, and dust. This reduces the chance of infection and helps your immune

Removing clutter can also reduce the chance of injury. If you’ve ever tripped, stubbed your
toe, or fallen because of obstacles in your home, you’ll be aware of the risks and benefits of
dealing with these items.

Some changes to your physical environment may be out of your control. If you’re living in
rented accommodation that requires major repairs or has safety issues which deem it unfit
for human habitation; your landlord is responsible to make these changes happen or deal
with the problem. Some examples of these are: mould, pest issues, damp, and structural

If you would like to see more examples or require advice regarding the steps you should
take if you are experiencing any of these, check out our website.

Spring clear-out advice

Whether you’re looking to make some extra cash, declutter, or bring a fresh new feel to your
home, there is some important advice to take note of to make the most out of it and to avoid

  1. Selling- what, where, how

    Apps and Websites
    Depop: Clothes, particularly quirky and vintage pieces.
    Vinted: Largely fast fashion and high street brands, but also have home, entertainment and
    pet categories.
    eBay: Almost everything- home, fashion, motor, shoes, jewellery, electronics etc.
    Facebook Marketplace: Local sales, similar to eBay (huge variety of items).
    • Displaying items: make sure picture is in frame, multiple angles, display signs of usage, and ensure image has good lighting and is not pixelated/blurry.
    • Write an honest description
    • Sell seasonally minded.

      It is important to be aware of tax liability when selling items online. The GOV website has a quick and simple self-assessment to check if you should be informing HMRC about this additional income: Check additional income tax. For further tax advice there is information on the Citizens Advice website or on the Gov website.
  2. Organise your physical environment

    Throw things out: If you don’t use it, you probably don’t need it. Try getting rid of clutter and
    unnecessary items.

    Put things away: Lesser used items can be put away into storage, drawers or out of sight.
    Whilst more frequently used items should be made more easily accessible.
    Keep it minimal: Everything should have a clear purpose; excess items will create unwanted

    Making your physical environment work for you can often have obstacles, especially if you
    have a disability. If you rent your home or if you’re looking to rent, the Equality Act 2010
    requires that ‘reasonable adjustments’ be made to help you live there. To check if you have
    a right to these changes, have a look at our website.
  3. Clearing your digital space

    Records management: try organising and deleting digital rubbish. Be thoughtful and ruthless
    with what you really need.

    Clearing your email inbox: getting rid of spam, unsubscribing from automatic emails,
    deleting unwanted emails, and organising emails into folders, will all contribute towards
    better organisation.

    It is important to note that scams can come in many forms, if something doesn’t seem right
    or you want to check its validity, Citizens Advice provides a scam checker to help you avoid
    these. Citizens Advice scam checker.
  4. Taking out the emotional rubbish

    Find a colleague, friend, or family member to talk through your emotions and current
    challenges. Getting a fresh perspective may help you make better decisions on how to face

    Work on establishing new habits as you clear out the negative.

    Take short breaks throughout the day: this can help you reset and find mental clarity.
    There are matters which Citizens Advice can help with (discrimination, relationships, money
    advice, gambling support etc.) take a look at Citizens Advice Gateshead and the National
    website for ways we can support you and offer advice.
  5. Green Clean

    Although killing the germs around your home is beneficial to your health, many of the
    chemicals used inside cleaning products can be harmful. There are some everyday
    products lying around your home which can be just as effective at cleaning, whilst also
    being more cost effective. Bicarbonate of soda, lemons, white vinegar, and salt are some of
    these products which can be used in a variety of combinations to clean.
  6. Make it fun

    Let’s be honest, although necessary, cleaning is a chore. Playing a podcast, playlist, or
    favourite album can really help motivate you or even allow you to have fun.

Remember you can get in touch with your Citizens Advice Gateshead team for
impartial advice, information and guidance. Email [email protected] or call 0191 814 4215 and
we’ll be back in touch with you within 1 working day Monday to Friday.