Tchotchke, collectibles, curios, curios. By other name, it’s just a thing. And it’s possible that nobody wants that.
The daunting task of sifting through a lifetime’s possessions can be complicated if you’re laying off your retirement or cleaning your home after the death of a loved one.
Apart from a rare first edition book, a vintage record in immaculate condition, or a box of pristine Cabbage Patch Kid, few may get their hands on it.
“Times have changed. People are living longer. If your parents are 85 and they’re in their 50s now, you don’t need crockery or a dining set. It’s a generation, they just don’t have the same love for things,” said Jennifer Pickett, associate executive director of the National Association of Senior Specialty Move Managers.
Also driving the younger generation are trends such as a minimalist sensibility that favors experiences over trinkets, and Marie Kondo encouraging her to let go of items that no longer bring her joy, experts say. increase.
“Big, heavy oak furniture that was once popular – antique malls are full of just that,” says Pickett. “Mid-century modern furniture, art, and jewelry are valuable and should be appreciated. Some types of collectibles are valuable as well, but it depends.”
Carol Achterhoff, auctioneer and cataloger for the Thomaston Place Auction Gallery in Thomaston, Maine, said: “Original paintings, jewelry, silver, watches, coins, anything of intrinsic value should be entrusted to an appraiser.”
Akterhoff said many auction houses offer informal walkthroughs of properties for free, but more formal valuations for tax and insurance purposes charge a flat fee that varies by market.
American households have an estimated $580 billion in products they no longer use, or about $4,517 per household. According to the Mercari 2021 reuse report, quantitatively that means 23.6 billion items, or 184 items per household. It’s for average home use. Imagine shrinking your home or liquidating your entire estate.
“Start early. Many people wait until a crisis occurs and make decisions in stressful situations. It’s never too early,” said Kay Ginsberg, founder of Peace of Mind Transitions, an Atlanta move manager. Don’t tell yourself, 3-4 hours at most, but more than that is exhausting and taxing, and getting small wins like clearing a few ledges increases your chances of repeating the same thing. increase.”
Train yourself: A fine dining room table, or a Lladró or Hummel collection you’ve collected over the years, might not be worth reselling much or might not be wanted by young families, Ginsberg warned.
“Be prepared to hurt your feelings. Think of creative ways to convey your memories. I’ll pass it on to my grandchildren, and telling them the little things in a note could mean a lot more,” Ginsberg said.
It may be tempting to put off such a difficult project, but that comes at an emotional and financial cost. “When I clean up my parents’ house, the ultimate goal is to move it away from the storage unit, because that just moves the problem,” Pickett said.
If you have the time and inclination to sell your own items, there’s no shortage of places to pitch your items, from Facebook Marketplaces to eBay, second-hand clothing stores, and sites like Poshmark and RealReal. Other items may be sent to yard sales, consignment stores, or newspaper advertisements. Another batch might go to a charity, and finally to a junk hauler.
However, that takes time, effort, and the ability to sift through potential scammers to find true buyers. If you’re working on a complex real estate or dealing with long distances, it makes sense to bring a friend or hire an expert who can help you make fair and speedy decisions. consultant or migration manager, said the expert.
In addition to sorting belongings and sending them to the appropriate auction houses or charities, move managers can also coordinate with realtors and handymen to get a home in a form they can sell, Pickett said. , move managers typically charge anywhere from $40 to $80 a national average hourly wage, depending on the market.
Regardless of who leads the cleanup, be sure to carefully inspect all belongings and downsize or give that person time to adjust.
“Poorly managed mobility can put seniors in a downward spiral. You can’t shrink 48 years in 48 hours. Take the time you need,” said Pickett. Our stuff defines us.When we scale back, do we move away from who we are?The key is to let go of possessions while retaining memories.”