Spring cleaning is a great time for seniors to downsize and remove clutter from their lives. We did a thorough Spring Cleaning of our home in Tucson when we sold it before moving to Los Angeles. Other than a few personal momentos, most of the stuff could be put into one of three categories: give it away, throw it away or sell it. Here are some tips for senior Spring Cleaning:
Give it away
Go through the house and identify anything valuable for family members. Give that vase to the favorite niece who always complimented you on it, give those old baseball cards to the grandson who’s a baseball player. Consider friends and neighbors who would enjoy and treasure being the next owner of important items. For less valuable items, Goodwill is a great option, just drop it off and drive away. Other services like the Salvation Army will even send a truck to your location. Donations to non-profit services like Goodwill and the Salvation Army may be tax deductible, check with your tax professional.
Consult with family members or experts on valuable items. Consider auctions for high-value items like jewelry, artwork and cars. Ebay is a great option, third-party drop-off services can handle the entire process. They will photograph the item, list it, deal with the buyer, collect payment and ship the item. With fees, these can take 50% of the selling price, but the convenience can be worth it. Do some research on Ebay to see what similar items are selling for to confirm the value of your items.
A yard sale may also be a good option to sell unwanted items. Craigslist is the online version of newspaper classified ads and can also be good for individual items.
For collections like stamps, coins, dolls, watches, etc., I would suggest seeking out a trusted expert dealer to properly value the items. A fair cash offer, saving the time and hassle of trying to selling things individually or consigning to an auction may be a good option.
Throw it away
If you can live without it and can’t sell it or give it away, trash it. Most cities offer large item pick-up and commercial services like 1-800-Got-Junk will come and clean for you. Trash companies like Waste Management offer residential dumpster drop-off service, they deliver a trash dumpster to your home, you fill it up, they haul it away.