Your home may be hiding hundreds of dollars just waiting for you take advantage of it. Old jewelry, partially used gift cards and small change that you've tossed in the kitchen junk drawer are just collecting dust. Here are some ways to turn those items into cash that you can use right now.

Precious Metals

The gold and silver market are both big now. Increased mining costs of new metals has created a demand for recycled products. Companies like Advance U Cash will give you cash for items that are broken, worn and damaged. The condition of the item is not important as long as the gold and silver are accessible. Look through your house for these items and make some extra cash:

  • jewelry
  • watches
  • awards
  • collectibles
  • souvenirs
  • flatware
  • coins
  • bullion

Small Change

You could have thousands of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters scattered around the house. Go on a treasure hunt and collect all you can find. Many grocery stores and some banks have coin changing machines. You dump in your loose change, the machine sorts and counts it, then gives you a store card, gift card or cash back. There's often no fee if you take the card and a small fee if you take the cash.

Besides the dish in your bedroom where you dump your pocket change, here are a few less obvious places to check:

  • at the bottom of old handbags, tote bags and clutch purses
  • in the pockets of old coats, jackets and blazers that are rarely worn
  • in the cup holders, ashtrays and glove box of your car

Small change can add up if left to accumulate in these places for months or years.

Gift Cards

Have you ever received a gift card from a friend for a store where you never shop? Or do you have a stack of partially used gift cards that you keep forgetting to use? There are now services that will buy the remaining balances of those gift cards from you and give you the cash. You can find these in kiosks in a mall or automated machines in the same stores that have the small change converter machines. Take your stack of cards with you and the service will tell you what it will give you for each one. They keep a small percentage for the exchange but you'll have cash that you can work with now instead of a piece of plastic you'll never use.

Don't let these items continue to take up space in your home when you can have the cash in your pocket.