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Make money from your home: garage, garden and attic
In these times of austerity more and more people are looking for ways that they can make money using the assets they’ve already got, so we’ve put together a guide on how you can make money from your garage, garden and attic. With everything from off-street parking, to short-term storage. Read on to find out more.
Make and Save Money with your…
- Garage – renting it out for cash, top garage sale tips
- Garden – making and selling your own food, keeping chickens
- Attic – turning your trash into cash
Rent out your garage
If your garage is full of bits and bobs that you neither need nor want, it’s time to clear it all out and start making money by renting it to others for parking on sites like Park Let and ParkAtMyHouse.
The money you make will vary depending on your location – if you live somewhere popular, near a city centre, stations or sports ground, you could make some serious money.
Even if you need your garage space for your car you can always just rent out your driveway on the same sites.
Have a garage sale
It’s an American concept but it’s pretty popular here, particularly if you can’t be bothered going all the way to the car boot sale. Get all your junk together from the whole house (and whatever is lurking in the garage already) and have a sale.
Here are some top tips to help you maximise your money-making potential:
- Take some time to sift through your ‘junk’ and organise it into piles – eg kitchen and dining items, toys, clothes and books.
- Price items clearly – use labels and either mark each item individually or say that all books are £1 for example, or all clothing items are £3. Stick to round figures to make it easier.
- Collect some carrier bags so people can take their items home easily.
Tell all your mates and ask in your local shops if you can put up a flyer to spread the word. It’s also a good idea to put up a notice on Gumtree telling people when and where the sale will be.
3. Be fair
Price things fairly – but be willing to haggle. Everyone loves a bargain, so it may be worthwhile setting a slightly high price on certain items (the ones in the best condition/worth the most money) then accept a lower price if they want to haggle.
4. Be sensible
Don’t sell any precious items – if something is worth a lot of money it’s probable better to sell it online or at a specialised fair.
Rent out your storage space
Once you’ve made some room in your garage you can rent out the space for storage on a site like Spareground.
This is such a simple way to make extra money and involves almost no effort on your part. People may want somewhere to store sports equipment, furniture or machinery and will be willing to pay you to use your free space.
Listing your space on Spareground won’t cost you a penny – all you have to do is register your name and address. People needing storage space can then get in touch with you through Spareground.
There’s no obligation on your part to pick any particular person to rent your space to – the owner is always in complete control and decides how much to charge.
Find out more in our full article on renting out your driveway or garage.
If you don’t use it, put it on Park Let and ParkAtMyHouse. Again, how much you can make from it will depend on where it is (for example, how close it is to a station or attraction).
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Get the weeding done for free!
Trade your skills with someone else and you can get the chores that you hate (like the dreaded weeding) done for free.
Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS) have been set up all over the UK allowing people to swap skills and bring communities together.
You can join your local scheme for just £25 per year. No money is exchanged – instead each scheme creates its own unit of currency called ‘Mutual Credit’ which can be collected when you use your skills and then used to ‘buy’ the skills of others.
For example, John might give someone a piano lesson and earn 30 units of credit, which he could then use to buy some vegetables off Alice or a birthday cake off Rebecca.
You don’t have to do a direct swap with someone but you can earn credit with your skills to pay for the skills of others.
Go to LETSLinkUK to find your nearest scheme.
Rent it out
Turn your garden into allotments and rent patches out to keen gardeners for cash. This is particularly good for any city dwellers who have a garden and don’t mind people using the space to grow fruit and veg or flowers.
Not only is it a great way to make a little extra money with no effort, it’s also a rather useful way to avoid the weeding!
See our article here on how to rent out your garden as allotments.
Grow your own veg
Growing your own fruit and veg is a fantastic way to save money – or even make money.
This isn’t as difficult as you might think. There’s lots of help at hand on the web. BBC’s Dig In has some great tips to help you get good results, both as a beginner and for more experienced gardeners.
Growing and eating vegetables in season is a great way to eat healthily, have food that actually tastes of something and save money on your grocery shopping.
Once you get some practice under your belt you could even try selling your fruit and veg to friends and family.
Have a look at the VegExchange website where you can find people in your local area who want to buy your vegetables.
Get more tips in our full article on growing your own fruit and veg.
Keep hens for free eggs
Keeping hens is an eggcellent way to cut down your weekly supermarket bill – it’s also a lot of fun and relatively easy.
You can find out where to buy hens online on various websites like Hens4Homes and even on Gumtree.
First, think about the kind of hens you’d like to have. There are lots of breeds and hybrids to choose from. Breeds known for being good egg layers are ISA Brown, White Star, Lohmann and Black Rock.
For an attractive looking bird pure breeds like Light Sussex and Barnevelder and Rhode Island Red are lovely looking birds.
Get some advice from a breeder who can guide you through which breed is best for you. There is a list of poultry breeders at Poultry Allotment.
If you’re serious about setting up a chicken coop in your back garden and you don’t have anyone nearby who can advise you, get in touch with someone on that list.
Alternatively consider adopting an ex-battery hen. This costs just 50p a bird. Get in touch with the Battery Hen Welfare Trust for more information.
Get yourself a trampoline and get fit for free in the garden. It’s much more fun than slaving away at a gym and even better, once you’ve made the inital payment it’s free. Trampolines are ideal for families and getting the kids away from the computer screen.
You can buy them fairly cheaply on Amazon and don’t forget to check freebie sites like Gumtree, SnaffleUp and Freecycle. You can also get some ideas for exercise routines from Trampled Underfoot – this site even has a useful trampoline-buying guide and some safety tips.
Turn trash to cash
Have a good spring clean and sell anything you don’t use any more at your local car boot sale. Sites like eBay are great for getting an idea of how much something is worth.
Other options are…
- Selling items on eBay – there is a small fee to list your items for sale. Find out more about making money on ebay here.
- Post an ad on Gumtree in the ‘Stuff For Sale’ section – It’s free and really easy to do – simply click on the ‘post an ad’ tab on the left, choose ‘Stuff for Sale’, then the category that’s most applicable to your items and then fill in a few basic details (location, price, description etc). After that all you have to do is wait for people to get in touch with you
- If you have any old phones lying around use the Moneymagpie mobile recycling tool, you could make up to £450 for an old phone!
- Some things you could even rent now. As we show in our article called make and save money from renting, there are websites now where you can rent anything from a ballgown to a baby bath. If you’ve got old equipment, baby things or tools in your attic, dust them off and rent them out.
- If you’ve got old sofas, big bulky electrical goods or furniture you just can’t be bothered to sell, get it taken away for free by the British Heart Foundation charity which has a collection service.
You could be losing a quarter of your heat by not having an insulated home. Insulating your loft is a simple and effective way to reduce your heating bills and you can even do it yourself.
According to Energy Saving Advice you could cut your heating bill by as much as £205 a year by installing the recommended 270mm of insulation.
Check out Energy Saving Trust where you can find Government grants to cover the costs. Find out more in our full article on insulation.
Rent it out
Why not convert your attic into a loft and bring in a lodger for an extra income? Have a look at EasyRoommate – it’s free to post an ad.
How much you make will obviously depend on where you live and the size of the room but the good news is that you can earn up to £4,250 a year from renting a room without having to pay a penny in tax! Take a look at our article on renting a room for tax-free cash.
As with your garage, you could also rent our your attic simply as storage space by advertising that space (for free) on Spareground or Gumtree. Simply register your details then wait for someone to get in touch with you – you decide who to rent to and how much to charge.