When money is tight, the first things we think of selling are our time and our things. Working overtime or getting a second job is a way of selling our time. Yet we may not be able to find more work or be able to work more due to child care limits or travel constraints. Selling belongings only generates money if you have items that you are willing to sell and others are willing to buy. Heirlooms may be too closely held to part with while other items are needed because of necessity.

When looking around the increasingly empty home and yard, it is important to realize that you can make money from this space.

1. Rent out a spare bedroom. This can be for a long-term roommate or for a single night to “couch-surfers”, who sleep at a cheaper rate in your home than hotels charge. Both types of renters can be found on websites or online bulletin boards for hooking up those with space with those who need it.

2. Do you have space in your yard? Is it secure? If so, you could lease the space for someone’s storage. Think of boats, recreational vehicles, and storage pods. If you can store it in your back yard without breaking local ordinances, you can rent the right to store stuff there.

3. Do you have parking space? This can be in your garage or in your driveway. During special events in town, consider renting out parking to others. This can be done through websites or bulletin boards. This is especially valuable if you are in walking distance to the event or to public transportation routes to the venue.

4. Do you have an unused home office? In some jurisdictions, you can lease a home office for use to others. Some freelancers can’t work in their apartment for lack of space and others because it is too loud or congested. Some freelancers need a faster Internet connection or more structured environment. In college towns, a home office can be rented out for a small fee to study groups who need the quiet of an office without the noise of a coffee house. Tutors can also use a home office to meet students, when parents don’t want a child home alone with the tutor or a stranger in their home. If you don’t mind the musical attempts, parents will also send children with a musical instructor to someone else’s home to avoid the noise.

These are just a few tips to get you thinking about how to make money from your unused space. Remember, the goal is to generate a little extra cash without a lot of heartache. If renting out your space becomes more of a headache than it is worth, it might be time to find another source of income.