I know this is daunting. My client Dick spent three months going through his belongings, clearing out, giving things away, making plans for what to take with him to his new, smaller duplex. At one point he just stood in the middle of the room and said, with quite a bit of distress in his voice: “I’ve spent my whole life traveling the world and collecting all these things and now I just need to figure out how to get rid of it all.” I think Dick would have benefitted from the assistance of a professional organizer and I’ll discuss their role in a senior move in another post. Here I want to focus on taking inventory.
- Hire an appraiser and and estate sale expert to asses the value of the items in your home.
The first step to rightsizing is to know your numbers. What numbers? The value of your personal property, of course! You’ve spent a lifetime collecting, acquiring, storing and buying all your belongings, also known as your “stuff.” For many people, the thought of getting started with the rightsizing process can be completely overwhelming but it is a critical step in making a move. Many of your belongings may have little or no value in today’s resale market, but some items may be of great value when appraised by a professional.
Here is a list of items that will bring the most money at an estate sale or auction: Gold, jewelry, model cars, oil paintings, antique posters, water colors and other art, antique dolls, toys and games, antique lamps, World War l and ll items, metals, and ivory. A qualified estate sale expert can assess your belongings and can advise you on the best way to reap the most money for your things.
Antiques: The estate sale expert will categorize your antiques into those that should be sold at auction a and those that should be sold in an estate sale. This list will include furniture, fine arts, figurines, bronzes, brass, pewter, sterling flatware and other silver (but not necessarily silver plate – no market for that really), china, glassware, crystal stemware, vases, hand painted china dolls, clocks, mirrors.
NOTE: You may think that something is very valuable and then it turns out to have little value at all. The very best way to approach the actual sale of your “stuff” is to determine what to take with you, move that to your new place and then let the estate sale expert take over. Remove yourself from the emotion of the process.
Jewelry: Even costume jewelry has some value! Inventory all costume and fine jewelry, gem stones, 14K gold anything and antique jewelry.
Arts: Frames prints, oil paintings, pastel water color paintings, movie posters, poster prints.
Furniture: Sofas and love seats, chairs, recliners, tables, table and floor lamps, pianos, card tables and chairs.
- Some of your items will have more value than you were expecting and some will have less. The best strategy is to remove yourself from the emotion of the decisions.
Other items: Antique quilts, books, picture frames, bar items, fireplace screen and tools, plants, planters, sewing machines, computers, book shelves, dresser drawers, yard equipment, patio furniture.
Items that will have little value – let the estate sale expert sell these in the sale: Cassette tapes, 8 track tapes, CDs, videos, most radios, candles, fabrics, yarn, office supplies, old pens, umbrellas, paper goods, perfumes.
The estate sale expert will have a referral for an appraiser if one is needed for higher value items. Feel free to check the Better Business Bureau for ratings. As I have built my own referral network I have interviewed and checked references for all my referral partners and I check back with clients who have utilized their services to make sure everyone is happy.
You may want to get the estimates from more than one appraiser and be sure to let them know that is the case. Also, remember that donating to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, the Women’s Shelter and other non-profits provides a great tax deduction so check with your accountant on how that can benefit you. Many organizations will pick up your donations.
- Hire and expert and let him or her do her job! You’ll be glad that you did.
The Austin 55 Realty Team can provide the names of professionals who can assist you in getting the started with your inventory so call us at 512-789-1871 and visit our website at www.austin55realty.com
To search for homes in the Austin/Central Texas area feel free to visit our home search site at www.austin55realty.com