Estate Sale When Downsizing: A guide with tips and ideas.
Updated: May 30
You have years and years of things to sort through. Start in an area with little emotional attachment. The laundry room or linen closet are good options. This will help you to gain momentum for the rest of the house. Likewise, save the most emotional items for last. You will be a pro by the time you reach those.
Eliminate rooms you won’t have in your new home. If you’re moving to an apartment or town home, you might not have a garage or office space. Nearly everything in those spaces will need to go.
Get rid of duplicates! You do not need two large stockpots. This rule applies to almost everything in your home. Your over-sized roasting pan you use once a year for the turkey…..give to your child and have them bring it over when you need it.
Clothing ~ one easy rule to follow; If you have not worn it in the past 365 days, you are already done with it.
Make Yes and No piles – no Maybe piles. IMAGINE THIS; in your new home you are surrounded by nothing but things that bring you joy. (From Tidying up with Marie Kondo) who recommends holding your item and asking yourself "does this spark joy in me"? If so, keep it.
Reduce collections creatively ~ It can be hard to let go of a lifetime of collections, but they will eat up a lot of space or end up stored in a box where you’ll never see them. Instead, pick a couple of your favorites from each collection and take high-resolution photos of the rest, then have them made into a photo book that can sit on your coffee table or mantle. You will be able to enjoy them without the clutter.
Boxes of old photos ~ Go through them and take out the duplicates. You don't need 3 very slightly different photos of your daughter in her 3rd grade Halloween costume. Choose the best of the 3 and discard the other 2 (or give to your daughter)! The photos you want to keep can be digitized and turned into a canvas collage for the wall in your new home (as one example). Here in Denver Mikes Camera Has a wide range of services. Or you can mail your photos, VHS tapes and even film reels, to Foto Bridge to have them made into a DVD you can watch and enjoy.
Gather all unwanted chemicals for proper disposal: Old paint, solvents, Old expired cleaning solutions, garden chemicals, etc. Anything classified as hazardous. There are places you can take these and drop off with no cost to you. Visit Earth911.com for information in your area.
The estate sale ~ The most successful estate sales are the ones with a lot of items and variety. That is what draws people to a sale. Keep this in mind when planning. Virtually everything in a home can be sold at an estate sale from antiques, art, appliances, automobiles, books, linens, trinkets, china, collectibles, designer and vintage clothing, electronics, furniture, jewelry, kitchenware, rugs, tools and even everyday household goods, cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products, the list goes on and on, and never assume something has no value without asking us first, you would be surprised!..
WARNING: A common mistake families make is inviting family, friends and neighbors to come through their home and take what they want, before calling an estate sale company. In this case they have just taken the "estate" out of the estate sale, and now want us to try and sell things family members didn't want for free. The items are yours to do with as you please, but you must choose between these two paths. If you do choose to give most away to family and friends and are left with a lot of less desirable items, we recommend The Junk Trunk to haul away the rest. They are reliable and reasonably priced!