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.
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
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
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.