How to declutter or downsize your home, Part Two

How to declutter or downsize your Home, Part Two

How to declutter or downsize your home, part two. If you have time, have someone come over to your house and do an appraisal before you sell. This is if you are having an Estate Sale.  Or, look things up on eBay and see what they are selling for, if you want. Also, check to see if an item was appraised for insurance.  Note that the value will be on the high end, but it is an appraisal from someone that knows replacement value.

For Art, look the artist up on google.  If they are alive and/or their work is being sold out of a gallery, it might be worth something. Bigger original works are worth more, for some reason. Is there paperwork?

How to sell without a garage sale

Craig’s List  is good for larger, lower-end furniture like bedroom sets and desks and appliances.  Put in a good picture and list a cell phone, NOT a landline. Sell only to buyers who will pick up and pay cash, but, for safety, have the item in a truck and at a public place.  She mentioned a police station parking lot was a good public place if it is a high value item.

eBay is great for smaller, higher value items like collectibles and fine jewelry.  eBay has something called eBay Valet, which uses Fedex as a place to take your item.  They will  take a picture, value it, pack it and send the info eBay, who will put it on sale and send you a percentage if it sells.  If it doesn’t, you have to go get it back and do something else with it.

Always use PayPal.  That is the safest way to make sure you get your money before packing up your item and sending it off. Also, never send anything without requiring a signature. And insure your shipment.  A truck accident or a plane crash happens, and then what do you do?

What to do with what is left

When you declutter or downsize, there is always the leftovers.  This is stuff that really isn’t very valuable, but you don’t want to give it away.  Thus, there are vendors, consignment shops, jewelry buyers, auctions and even pawn shops.  All of these places are available ways to sell stuff that you don’t need or want.  Jewelry buyers, like ‘we buy your gold’, will give you the value as if it was melted down.

A Walk down Memory Lane

I remember selling my wedding ring that cost $7000.  I got $900 for the 3/4 caret diamond and about $100 for the gold. That was a downer, but I was desperate for money and that is what I got for it.

If you are going consignment, everything needs to be high end, dry cleaned or freshly washed, in excellent condition and have no visible wear, especially with shoes.

Pawn shops give you ten cents on the dollar. You are better off just giving things away to Good Will, or the library and take the deduction. However, that is your choice.

Auction houses are a good idea for truly fine antiques.  A local antique shop might want to buy and then take it to an auction house themselves.

Now to the Really Fun Stuff

Paperwork is like a rabbit.  It seems to reproduce very quickly all by itself.  So, the most important paperwork is your tax records. IRS stuff needs to be saved for a certain number of years.  Ask them how many. I think it is seven.

My tip on how to survive an IRS audit is to keep extra receipts in a box by year.  I still keep about three years back of those boxes.  Everything else is just the tax returns with accompanying paperwork.

Other Paperwork

Catalogs can be tossed after you throw away the inside info page and tear off your name.  I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to throw away catalogs that were years old because I might want something in them.  If you look through it and want to buy something.  Do so then, then throw the catalog out. Same thing is true for junk mail.

Important stuff like Marriage, Birth Certificates, Educational Records and Wills should be scanned and then kept in a safe place, like a safe.  They are not part of the declutter and downsize part of your life. You need them. And, surprisingly, many times people find all those types of important items, only when they do decide to downsize.

Giving to your Children

When you find birth certificates and school records, consider that children need all their own records for everything in their lives. I include school pictures because that is their childhood history.

I made picture books for each child with information from the baby book and all their school pictures. Walgreens does this very easily and cheaply.  I also saved their baby books and packaged them up as a sort of leaving gift.  That is a nice gift to give them when they move out or get married. You might ask them to take their most valuable treasure with them when that happens, so you don’t wind up being their storage place.