De-cluttering for Christmas with eBay


Okay so I said it, the dreaded C word, in September, and although I am still very much in denial at where this year has gone, I realise that in just two months time it will be December and there is literally nowhere for any new toys to go!

Last year we had a new playroom built and everything had a place for a whole week (if that!) and it was amazing to have a clutter free house. And then slowly but surely the toys started creeping into the lounge, the kitchen, piled up infront of the toy boxes and balanced precariously on shelves. And with having four (very spoilt!) children, I realised that we simply have too much stuff!

So last week I decided that unless we get rid of all of the old toys, there will be no new toys allowed in! With a Christmas list a mile long the children weren’t overly happy about this and so helped me to separate their favourite toys from the ones they no longer played with.

With several boxes of unwanted toys, many of which were still like new, I donated those of a lesser value to the charity shop and any larger items I decided to sell on eBay. I wasn’t quite sure how easy it would be to sell via eBay, I thought it might be too time consuming or too much hassle faffing around with postage and packaging, but actually it was surprisingly easy!

Having downloaded the ebay app it was a case of following four easy steps to make a sale –

1. Snap it

Treat the photo of your item like you would a selfie, getting the best lighting, angle and taking several shots until you find the perfect one. The better your photo the more chance you have of making a quick sale, nobody wants to buy an item that is too blurred or dark to really see what they are bidding on!

2. Write it

Use keywords to write a description of your item making sure that it is interesting, informative and honest. I made sure that I wrote a clear, concise outline of what each toy did, any features or sounds it had, and the condition it was in.

3. Price it

I found this quite tough to know how much to price my items, especially as some had been used. eBay gives you the option to sell your item as an auction or a buy it now price. If you know an exact price you are happy to sell for then a buy it now option is perfect, for those items you aren’t quite sure of how much they are worth, its best to start it as an auction with the minimum amount you would be happy to receive.

4. Post it

If a buyer is local then collection is always the easiest option, but obviously that isn’t always the case with eBay being global! I loved that eBay gave suggested postal costs for a variety of couriers and also the option to buy a postage label after making the sale, pay on line, print out and parcel up to conveniently drop with your local courier! Simple!

Armed with all of these tips, and even more over on the simple selling guide from eBay, I listed two items last week to test the water, easily done via my eBay app, and allowed the auction to run over the entire week. By the second day I had bids on both items, and by the third day I had even more. By the time my auction ended this weekend I had made a total of £70, literally from items we had lying around the house! I couldn’t believe how easy it was! 

The best thing for me is that not only am I decluttering, but I am raising funds to put towards Christmas so that my children can have all of those items on their wish lists. It’s lovely to think that other children will be able to enjoy the toys that my children no longer need, as a big fan of Toy Story I would hate to think of those toys thrown out and unloved!

I now find myself wandering around the house looking for things to eBay and with just a few snaps on my phone I can have it auctioned amongst millions of users and the money into my PayPal within the week. Christmas is usually quite a worrying time for us as a family of six with only one income, so it is a relief to know that we can have that money put away ready to treat our children at the end of the year. And next year, no doubt sell many of those toys back on eBay!!

You can read how other Mums found selling their unwanted items on ebay here .

*This is a collaborative post. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.*



  1. September 25, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I really need to pull my finger out and look at getting some bits on eBay as it is of course a great way to make space and make a few extra pennies for Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Definitely, and super easy too! xx

  2. September 25, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    I would not have sold anything on E-bay if it was me. I would probably buy a treasure box and put it there. And yes with your point, click it, I will click and put it in an album in case my stuff gets destroyed.

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      I doubt there is a treasure box big enough for all of the toys we had to get rid of! Don’t worry they didn’t get rid of anything of sentimental value! xx

  3. September 25, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    Christmas really is just around the corner. In some countries, the celebration starts in September. Super cool! Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Wow that is early! xx

  4. Joanna
    September 25, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    This is exactly what I am doing now! I have just sold a bunch of Wii games that I didn’t use in years and it’s amazing how much money I’ve made on some items which were just taking space in my house and were never used.

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      It’s crazy isn’t it? Usually I dump the lot at the charity shop or even throw it out! I love that I can make some money for Christmas just from my phone! xx

  5. September 25, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    I love ebay! I sell all my daughters dance costumes on ebay and you are right it is so easy with the ebay app. The only hard bit is getting to the post office!

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      Yes! I am going there tomorrow! xx

  6. hannah Wood
    September 25, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    Yeah we need to do this in our house we have sorted them all out in the shed but that is as far as we have got.

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 11:05 pm

      It’s hard work isn’t it? Good luck! xx

  7. Jen S
    September 25, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    I tried using ebay to clear some stuff out once when I was moving and it just ended up being way more work than it was worth for me! I ended up just dropping most of my stuff off at a Goodwill. Kudos to you for having the patience!

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 11:05 pm

      I think anything you can do from your phone makes life easier, and printing the labels at home even simpler! xx

  8. September 25, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    I’m proud to say that I know what “faffing” is now and will be trying to launch it here in the States.
    And thank you for donating those toys to the charity shop….I donated around 30 books to my local shop today as well.
    Great minds think alike!

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 11:04 pm

      Hahah Patrick “faffing” is such a good term, you can use it in so many contexts, I hope you manage to get it to cotton on!! I always donate to our local charity shop, they always run out to help me as they know I’ll have lots to carry in! xx

  9. Joline
    September 25, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I used to sell old books on eBay to make room for more books! 🙂 It’s a great way to make some side cash.

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 11:03 pm

      Definitely! I didn’t realise just how simple it was! xx

  10. September 25, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    Yes Christmas seems to come round earlier every year. Looks like you are getting organised though

    • Laura Dove
      September 25, 2017 / 11:03 pm

      I need to make some space for the influx of toys! xx

  11. September 26, 2017 / 12:59 am

    We did exactly the same thing with our toyroom and then yes it lastest a whole week too! I’m also in the process of decluttering and simplifying things, with the first hit list being the toys!

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 10:00 am

      There’s just so many of them isn’t there?? I’m sure they multiply! xx

  12. September 26, 2017 / 2:07 am

    In India, I think we cannot sell things on Ebay ,but yes we have few other platforms. But this is really good way , decluttering and raising funds together for something new. Shall try doing that with ample of my son’s redundant but functional toys.

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Ahh that’s a shame, it’s such a great way to sell things. I’m glad you have something similar! xx

  13. September 26, 2017 / 5:37 am

    I used to love eBay until someone hacked my account and also spent a fortune on it but otherwise it’s a good place to sell and glad you made some money

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Nooooo! That’s awful! Sorry to hear that Anosa. xx

  14. September 26, 2017 / 5:44 am

    I so desperately need to declutter, but I’m so lazy when it comes to eBay I end up just putting it all to the charity shop, lol! I’m missing out on making money though.

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 9:59 am

      That is me all over, but some of the toys were really quite expensive and if I can make just a little to put towards Christmas it helps to take the pressure off! xx

  15. September 26, 2017 / 6:06 am

    I love Ebay! we use it to buy baby clothes as well as Christmas presents but it’s a fab way to get rid of unwanted stuff!

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 9:59 am

      You can buy just about anything, it’s great! xx

  16. September 26, 2017 / 7:29 am

    Love this post and the motivation behind it: decluttering while making some money for new Christmas gifts. I think too few of us use eBay to get rid of unused stuff because we fear the whole process is too much effort. But your post showed the opposite. It is easy and rewarding. Thank you 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Definitely! It’s really quite easy! xx

  17. Susan R
    September 26, 2017 / 7:33 am

    It’s good to know how easy it is to sell something on Ebay, I’ve never done it but there are definitely a few items I could do with selling

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Oh you should try it! It’s quite addctive! xx

  18. September 26, 2017 / 9:02 am

    I love selling items on Ebay and making room for new items x

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 9:56 am

      Me too! It’s so therapeutic! xx

  19. Laura H
    September 26, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    I made a similar decision where I said I couldn’t buy any new clothes til the old clothes had gone! I actually managed to make a couple hundred quid by selling stuff xD Great idea to declutter on eBay 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Oh yay!! It’s fab when things sell and you can make some money! xx

  20. September 26, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Thanks so much for writing this. I must be one of the few that has yet to sell on ebay and I found your tips really useful. I could do with making some room at home.

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 4:51 pm

      Oh you definitely should try it! xx

  21. September 26, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    These are all great tips and I so need to have a clear out before Xmas thanks for sharing 😊

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 4:51 pm

      Thanks Louise. xx

  22. September 26, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    I never tried this before but it looks a good idea to sell out old stuff, I’m really amazed how easily we can do it through ebay 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      So easy, you should try it! xx

  23. September 26, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    We do this seasonally! It’s great to get the house decluttered and make some extra pennies x

    • Laura Dove
      September 26, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      I’m so going to do this every Autumn, I think I can raise enough funds to cover Christmas! xx

  24. September 26, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    This is such a great idea! you can make so much money off of ebay!

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Definitely, and unclutter your home too! xx

  25. September 26, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    I love selling on ebay but haven’t given it a go for a while. You’ve just spurred me on to get listing some things

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Oh you really should, it’s so easy isn’t it? xx

  26. Dannii
    September 27, 2017 / 10:59 am

    We just moved house and we have SO much stuff. We need to get rid of some, so will put it on eBay.

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Oh you should, you could make a fortune! xx

  27. September 27, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    I totally need to get on the ebay band wagon, we have so much toys and clothes my daughter has worn once, which should go to a good home. Plus it is great way to make a few extra for Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      Yes definitely, there’s a lot of money to be made! xx

  28. September 27, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    We haven’t used Ebay for years but need to have a clear out before Christmas too to make way for all the new gifts no doubt x Might give it a go!

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 7:15 pm

      Its definitely worth it to make some extra cash! xx

  29. September 27, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    I am always nervous about trying to use Ebay. But this is so cool. Thanks for all the great information about how it all works.

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 7:15 pm

      Ahh you should give it a go! It’s so easy! xx

  30. September 27, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    So many things to get rid of, so little time haha! I have the rule that if you get something, you have to get rid of something you don’t need, but it would be awesome to get some money in the process! Ebay sounds easy enough!

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      Yes! One in one out, it’s a great rule! xx

  31. Helen
    September 27, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    You’ve done so well with your first listings. I really love eBay and am forever selling and buying things there. It is quite addictive though isn’t it!

    • Laura Dove
      September 27, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      It really is, I’m looking for what else I can sell! xx

  32. Sarah Ann
    September 27, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    I’ve been using Ebay to declutter and I feel so much better because I’ve managed to sell items I forgot I had! It’s nice to have an organised house and to have made some money too.

    • Laura Dove
      September 28, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      I totally agree, it feels great when everywhere is tidy! xx

  33. September 27, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    I’ve got a whole load of stuff I need to sell, I haven’t used eBay for a while but I think it’s all going to go on there.

    • Laura Dove
      September 28, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      You should try it, it’s super easy! xx

  34. September 28, 2017 / 5:27 am

    I have never put something up for sale on Ebay as when we are decluttering at Spring or anytime of the year we give the stuff away. At Christmas, I would not sell anything, but give it to those who really need them,

    • Laura Dove
      September 28, 2017 / 12:20 pm

      We give SO much to charity our local charity shop often has to turn away the things we send, but for the bigger items that are very expensive, I find ebay is great especially when we have little money to afford christmas. xx

  35. September 28, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    This is a great idea. I have to try eBay myself too. As the saying goes ” One person`s trash is another person`s treasure”.

    • Laura Dove
      September 28, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Yes! So true! Thank you for reading. xx

  36. September 29, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    That’s a great idea. I really don’t like clutter around my house.

  37. September 29, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    This is such a good initiative. It’s so cool that Ebay has a user-friendly app that makes it super easy.

    • Laura Dove
      October 1, 2017 / 4:48 pm

      Yes, anything with an app is great isn’t it? xx

  38. October 1, 2017 / 11:27 am

    This is such a great way to declutter and also put your stuff to good use. I love that ebay’s app is so user-friendly and makes decluttering a breeze.

    • Laura Dove
      October 1, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Yes its super easy Aditi! xx

  39. holly
    October 5, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Great post! I love using ebay for clearing out unused/unwanted things. Such a great place for making a bit of money for Christmas.

    Holly x

    • Laura Dove
      October 5, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      It’s so easy too isn’t it?? I’m a little bit addicted! xx

  40. October 5, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    This is exactly what I will we be doing as soon as I move into my new house – sifting through all the stuff that I’ve accumulated, and deciding if I really need to keep it. Anything that I don’t need I will sell on eBay or Gumtree 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      October 5, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      It’s so easy to accumulate things, I don’t even know where to start in some rooms! xx

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