[November 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage]
What better time than the holidays, when family and close friends gather, to sit down with them and talk about all the treasures you’ve collected over the years. Where will it all go when you’re ready to downsize or simply de-clutter? (And, we all need to de-clutter, whether we want to admit it or not).
Sometimes, we have to accept less may be better: empty nesting, too much house and property to maintain, prefer to travel rather than stay home and do housekeeping and garden work. Maybe declining health or a newly-widowed status fuels the “Double D” decision. Whatever the reasons to downsize and declutter—they are your reasons, first and foremost, so you can share your decisions, but don’t let someone else make them for you. When the gang is “home for the holidays,” carve out time to talk about what you want to do, where you want to live (if moving is one of your choices), and where, when the time comes, your treasures might find a new home.
The Mooving Store in Montrose is a great place to consign and sell what you no longer want or need. AND to find something else you might want or need. Win- win! Photographed at the Mooving Store. © Tammy Molone
That discussion could be painful, or filled with happy surprises. Great-grandma’s antique soup tureen you’ve saved for your daughter? Now you know she doesn’t want “that ugly monstrosity.” Nor does she want back every Mother’s Day card she’s ever sent you or all of her old report cards from 20 or 30 years ago. That collection of hand tools collecting dust on the pegboard out in the garage? “Yes, please,” says your brother, who you never thought of as “handy.” The box of baseball cards you’ve collected since you were a kid? “Don’t give that away!” says your son, who wants it.
Learning what their views are when you are all together helps a lot when you start the de-cluttering process. Walk your future heirs through your collections. Make a list of who wants what and what things they have no interest in. If you’re ready to let go of your treasures now, they could take them home with them or have them shipped and, hey, you’ve saved on Christmas shopping! If you’re not quite ready to let stuff go, why not do what my grandma did: put a sticker on the bottom of things with the person’s name on it, or make a list and have them sign off. That way, there will be no confusion or fighting later on when somebody discovers that gaudy painting that hung over the sofa for years was actually valuable!
If you want to sell some of your things, Internet sites, like E-Bay, Amazon might be an option. Use “due diligence” when picking a site and considering pricing, shipping, etc. Don’t list your address, and be careful of having strangers coming into your home to view things you’ve listed on local buy, sell, and trade message boards, or Craig’s List; you don’t want to become some low-life thief’s next target.
A better choice might be to donate, consign, or take to a resale store. Many local non-profits like Salvation Army, Habitat ReStore, and Heirlooms for Hospice will gladly take the surplus from your years of collecting all those “must-have” items. Most will pickup, especially the larger items. And, you even get a tax donation receipt to boot.