It’s sentimental, or it’s worth money: the two most common reasons people hold onto things. When it’s time to re-organize and de-junk, it often comes down to deciding what to toss, and what to sell for cash.
Tackling your attic or storage unit can be a formidable task, but, hopefully, with these tips it will feel a little more doable, and a little less daunting.
What to Keep and What to Toss
As you go through your old possessions one by one, it can be difficult to figure out what’s worth holding onto. As far as sentimental but largely worthless items go, it may be helpful to take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book: hold each object in your hands for a second, and decide whether it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, or if you hesitate in answering at all, then get rid of it. Sounds harsh, but it has proven to be a highly effective decluttering tool for many people. Whether that means to donate it, sell it, or trash it, it’s totally up to you.
Tips for Getting a Fair Price
The next step is determining which items have any monetary value. Appraisers charge a fee for their service, which can often be upwards of $100. So depending on the item you’re looking to sell, it may not be worth it to hire an appraiser. The auction site eBay can be a good pricing resource. The asking prices are often unrealistic, so make sure you search for prices on items that have been sold already.
If you’re fairly certain an item has some value but is still not worth the money you’d spend on an appraiser, there are websites devoted to virtual appraisals. You send them photos of the items and they get back to you with a price. Some examples of such sites include Value My Stuff, which charges $15 for one appraisal, $35 for three, and $100 for ten; and WorthPoint, which has a subscription-based model starting at either $20 a month or $200 a year.
Another option is just to visit your local antique shops and talk to the owners and/or vendors. Be savvy and don’t agree to a sale without getting multiple opinions.
If you know you have an item that is worth a large sum of money, it is definitely worth hiring an appraiser. Their expertise is invaluable, and you will often need an appraiser’s report to prove an object’s authenticity to prospective buyers, or to purchase the right amount of insurance for your item. Hiring a broker may also be worth your while, as you will then have access to their buyer network and negotiation skills.
Take Advantage of Online Classifieds & Yard Sales
Some items, like collectibles, are relatively easy to find buyers for. Other items, like clothes for example, typically don’t sell for much, so if you have a lot of these, your best bet might be to hold a yard sale. Another option is an online classifieds site such as Craigslist, where you post an item with its picture, price, and description, and the interested party calls or emails you about it. Or if you are a Facebook user, there are local “yard sale” groups you can join in your area that function in basically the same manner.