Whether we’re looking to downsize or to simplify our lives a bit, most of us experience the need to get rid of stuff that we’ve accumulated over the years.
If you need to re-home a significant number of things, a yard sale or donating to charity may be the way to go. Some organizations will even come to your home to pick up furniture, clothing, or household goods. However, some things are easier to part with than others. While it can be easy to sell discarded sporting equipment, decorative items that you haven’t used in a while, or that table saw that’s been sitting in the garage for years, you may feel more personally attached to other things.
Letting go of possessions that have been in the family for years or that hold sentimental value is never easy. And some of these possessions are valuable monetarily as well as emotionally.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to saying goodbye to cherished possessions, the following tips may help you to decide on a method that makes you feel comfortable.
Keep it in the Family
Before you decide to sell or donate items, check with family members or close friends. They may enjoy using them as much as you did. Realistically, though, as much as these things mean to you, they may not have a place in the homes and lives of your family members. Chances are that you’ll still find yourself needing to find homes for some things.
Get it Appraised
Some things, like comic books, baseball cards, vinyl records, jewelry, or antiques, have the potential to be valuable. Unless you are an expert in these fields, you’ll want to do some research before you try to sell them. Otherwise, you could find yourself letting them go for a fraction of what they are worth.
A professional appraiser can evaluate your items before you sell them. You may be able to find a qualified professional in your area at www.appraisers.org.
Host an Estate Sale
If you have a significant number of valuable items to sell, an estate sale could be a good option. If you’re feeling ambitious you could organize your own. However, the easiest way to hold an estate sale would be to hire a company to run it for you. Most estate sale companies will only agree to work with you if your possessions are worth several thousand dollars, and they keep a percentage of the proceeds. Many of them also employ appraisers. They will take care of pricing, advertising, and selling your things. You may not even need to be present during the sale if you would prefer it that way.
You can find a reliable estate sale company by getting recommendations from a local real estate agency or by looking online at www.estatesales.net.
Selling Individual Items
Posting and selling on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is free and easy to use. That said, these options are limited to people who live close enough to make pickup or delivery convenient.
Listing items for sale on websites such as eBay or Mercari will allow interested people to view them regardless of where they live. This may not be a practical option for large items since shipping to far off locations isn’t always possible.
You may also find retailers that specialize in a specific kind of item. For instance, Replacements is a company that will purchase some china, crystal, flatware, jewelry, and collectibles.
Sell on Consignment
Depending on where you live, there may be consignment shops that specialize in anything from clothing to furniture to antiques. Consignment shops keep a percentage of the sale price (usually around half) but it saves you the work of having to advertise, sell, or ship items on your own.
It’s never easy to organize or downsize. Selling stuff can be a daunting task, and when the stuff has a history or sentimental value it’s even harder. Ultimately, though, you’ll be happy that your treasures went to someone who will truly enjoy them. And when you’re done, you’ll enjoy the benefits that come from simplifying.
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