The excuses are gone now.
The holidays are over. Family is no longer bursting out of every free space. You can’t say New Year’s Eve was wild and you’re still recovering — you’ve recovered.
It’s time to get down to business.
For many folks — including me — the new year is a time to go through junk drawers, forgotten closets and all the detritus hiding your basement floor.
I’ve got an ulterior motive — with a move coming up, the more stuff I can get rid of, the easier it’ll be.
But you can have an ulterior motive as well. Getting paid.
Because while most people think of a spot of cleaning as a chore, for you — it’ll be a game.
A game with, potentially, some serious prizes.
Whether you know it or not, your storage closet likely has some hidden valuables in there. If we’re talking about collectibles… or artifacts… or a bit of vintage fashion that’s come back in vogue, I can virtually guarantee you’ve got something that other people will pay for.
Something you no longer want.
So here are the best places to look for value as you clean out your home and reclaim your space.
The Toys That Survived Cleaning in Springs Past
There’s a huge market for antique — and newer — toys.
We’ve already covered how items like windup tin toys can be worth a small fortune.
And you probably know that old Star Wars figurines — from the days of the original trilogy — can fetch a king’s ransom, if they’re in good condition with original packaging.
But you’d be surprised how many other types of toys have value:
- A Strawberry Shortcake collectible can be worth over $100 — and over $1,000 for rare items…
- There are a number of My Little Pony dolls that are over $100, even without original packaging — and the My Little Pony kid’s suitcase goes for around $120…
- The Missile Command Headquarters for G.I. Joe is worth around $500 out of the box — and around $1,000 in original packaging…
- He-Man and She-Ra have a surprising following — with fans shelling out hundreds, even thousands, for certain vintage action figures…
The point is whatever toys you enjoyed as a kid (or kept around from your own kids’ childhood) most likely have some serious value, assuming they never went through a vacuum cleaner or became a pet’s chew toy.
You could easily have thousands of dollars in painted plastic in your closet. Time to reclaim the space — and count up your earnings.
Make Space for the New by Auctioning off the Old
If you already have a favored collection of any sort — perhaps sneakers, or liquor pitchers, or vintage keychains, or really just about anything — you probably already have an idea what it’s worth.
But here’s the thing about a collection. No matter who you are, or how much money you make, your collection will always outstrip your ability to store it all.
Even Jay Leno has to get rid of cars from his massive warehouse when he wants to get a new one.
Which means your collection likely could use a cleaning itself.
It’s worth it to sit down and figure out which items you’re least attached to… and give them the boot.
Send them to auction — or sell them off online on sites like eBay. Then you can use the proceeds to sponsor your next collectible purchases.
The truth is every collection needs curating. But rather than think of this as a chore, remember it as a way to make money — and improve the quality of your collection at the same time.
Finally, All That Flannel and Denim Are Useful Again
Fashion is cyclical.
And we’re now hitting a fun time in the fashion cycle.
All sorts of clothes you’ve probably got stuffed away in the back of your closet are back in vogue. Specifically, the ’90s are very in.
So dust off that plaid flannel shirt… Break out the jean jacket… See if you’ve got any flared pants hanging around…
Then list them all on Depop, or another vintage apparel site.
Because — hard truth time — you’re probably never fitting into that clothing again. It’s just taking up space.
But — happy truth time — you were right! It would come in handy! Today — as a potent moneymaker.
All the Things You Wish You Valued More…
This is a fun catch-all category.
Because we’ve all got valuable things… that just aren’t that valuable to us. Usually things we’ve gotten as gifts.
Maybe someone got you a very nice bottle of wine, or fifth of whiskey, before you became a teetotaler.
Perhaps an old college friend sent you a fine cigar — in memory of old times — not realizing you never let tobacco touch your lips anymore.
Or someone got you a very expensive broach… which you just never use, and never would.
Whatever the case, whatever you’ve got in your closet, it will be worth a lot more to you as cash than as a reminder of something you don’t like.
Especially since some of these items — like wine and cigars — will go bad if not stored properly.
It makes a lot more sense to make some money off them, instead of letting wine turn to vinegar or seeing a cigar become dry, harsh, tasteless leaves.
Whatever you’ve got taking up space in your closet, let this be the year you finally unload it.
Which will give you the cash to purchase the things you really want. Or invest in the rare, tangible assets that mean the most to you… and will earn the largest returns going forward.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
Ryan Cole is the editor-in-chief of Unconventional Wealth. He’s been covering the alternative investment space for nearly a decade and writing about finance and investment for almost 20 years.
Ryan has walked the walk for years, living a very unconventional life. He’s led snowmobile tours through the mountains of Colorado, settled in Japan for five...