One of the little joys of spring cleaning is finding loose change between the couch cushions, or in that coat that hasn’t been worn in years. As I moved about my home cleaning, I started to wonder about better ways to get rid of clutter that might give me more than just couch cushion money. My list of items to assess was long: toys the kiddo has outgrown, collectables, clothes that don’t fit, jewelry that isn’t ever worn, books, kitchen gadgets, garden tools, furniture that never quite fit a room, inherited items from the passing of a loved one…you get the idea. No matter the length of the list, I had to come to terms with letting an item go (and I am super sentimental).

Broker/Realtor Claire Anne Aikman
Broker/Realtor Claire Anne Aikman

It’s easy to get caught up in hanging on to stuff. When my mom passed I felt like some items had to remain in the family, but when my siblings did not want them I felt like I had to keep them, even though I did not like them. The thought of getting rid of these things weighed on me. I had to remind myself that although my mom may have loved them, it is OK that I do not – and it would be better if someone else did. That is when I started thinking about ways to process my treasures. I utilized a simple three-category sorting method that has helped me (and others) declutter, and get some extra cash for the effort. Are the items valuable, sentimental, or even needed?

Do you have highly sought-after collectables? There are high-end estate sale companies that can help you sell your high-value items. They charge a fee, list the items, sell, and ship them, and give you money afterward. If you just have a lot of stuff, you can call an average-joe estate company, and estate sales do not have to be for people who have passed. You can also host a garage sale for those things that you would be happy letting go of for a few dollars. Local or online consignment spots like Poshmark and eBay are great places to sell items, as is Facebook Marketplace.

Is it of sentimental value but sitting in a storage unit or tote (and therefore not needed)? If it has no cash value but lots of heart value, and nobody in the family wants it, donate it. I have been having a blast going to thrift stores and seeing glassware and decor similar to what I had growing up. The memory of that is great. Not having the clutter, because it is not my style, is even better.

Donations are also great for belongings that are simply not needed. Lately I have changed how I cook meals, and I noticed that there were several large gadgets that I simply did not use, so I gave them to a recent college grad who needed help furnishing their kitchen. I can’t say I gained tons of cabinet space, but what I did gain was the ability to open a cabinet without things tumbling out – and I consider that a win.

Contact Claire Anne Aikman by scanning her QR code for all of your real estate needs!

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