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Wading through a lifetime of memories

It happens to all of us. After years of acquiring items to make a home and a life, you realize there’s too much stuff. What can you do with it all?

The first place to start is family, think mementos and memorabilia. These items can be passed on to the next generation, whether that means kids or even grandkids. You might be surprised at what your family cherishes; give them the chance to have your items first. An important step when passing on to future generations is to tell the story of the item. Share why you have kept it all these years and the origins of the item. For photographs, label the people in the photo and assign a date if you are able; this gives meaning to the items. Be sure to use archival-type pens or markers and not regular ink, as these may bleed through, smear or damage the photo. For sentimental items like blankets, quilts or even some clothing items, pin a description to the fabric telling the story of the item.

Now that you’ve sorted through those family items, it’s time to get down to business. One way to start is to break your house up into sections – garage, basement, main level, bedrooms, etc. Breaking up your house into sections allows you to take bite-sized chunks and not become overwhelmed by the clutter.

Once you’ve organized all your sections and items, it’s time to decide what to keep and what to discard. The discard pile can break down even further into categories of what to throw away, give away and finally, what to sell. For giving items away, you can look at second-hand stores that take donations like the Help & Hope Center, Goodwill and ARC; all are local to the area. You can also call area churches to take the donations. If you have business attire or evening wear, you can donate to a variety of organizations. Google “formal/business clothes” donations and you can find several places.

For items that you want to sell, a yard sale or an online classified site are great choices. For yard sales, you will need to organize and price items, set them out and advertise the sale. On the day of the sale, have all the items marked clearly, make a sign if items are negotiable, have cash on hand for making change and neatly arrange everything.

If that sounds like too much work, you can go with online selling options. There are plenty of classified sites on the web, with the most familiar probably being Craigslist. There are also sites like Letgo, OfferUp, and even eBay. Keep in mind that many of these also offer a phone app, so you can do everything on your phone, including taking the picture for the listing.

Below are several resources for selling items online:

Setting up a yard or online sale involves preparation and a little effort, but the end result can be very rewarding, both financially and emotionally. Extra money and a clutter-free home is worth the effort it takes to hold a sale.



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