When a loved one dies, you might have the huge responsibility of doing the house clean out. Of course if the person does not die intestate, but instead has a will, that would help, but generally that won’t take care of all of it. That deceased person’s taste may not be your taste and having been on a fixed income then the furniture, vehicles and other personal contents may be quite dated. If there aren’t enough valuable things that would fetch a good price then an auctioneer may not take the job, and donations or recycling may be your only answer.
AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS:
The Salvation Army, The Goodwill, and Amvets (American Veterans) are national agencies that can help, but each one has its own set of rules. Amvets generally will not cross a threshold, meaning if you can’t get it outside then they won’t come in and pick it up. The Goodwill will take most anything, however they no longer will come to you for free. They no longer have their own truck in most states, but instead refer you to another company something like Starving Students or College Hunks Hauling, which do charge you. They will still allow you to drop off the items yourself and most locations and many even have a drive through now. If there isn’t a store front location near you, then sometimes they have satellite stores, which is nothing more than a truck in a parking lot at a grocery store. Any location will give you a receipt with date, and the clerk’s initials and then you attach your own list of the items to that form for tax purposes if you are filing the long tax form. The Salvation Army will also provide a receipt and still come to your home for pick-up, but not all locations provide the pick up service. They don’t charge you for the trip, but they will not go into any attic, even walk-up attics, and they will not go into basements even if they are dry. They also will not pack anything (like dishes) and they will not take any clothes on hangers, but only those in boxes and bags. They will not take anything apart like bed frames and they bring no tools on the truck. They will not take anything with rips or tears like an easy chair with damaged upholstery. Many times they don’t even want sofas, couches, or chairs to have stains. Amvets also won’t take broken items. Both Salvation Army and Amvets rarely take old televisions, and approximately anything older than 14 years old, which as of this writing would be 2002 would not be an acceptable donation. You may have to spread the wealth around and give to many of the agencies, because not one would take it all. Additionally, the receipts may come in handy to write off against what has been gained by being the main beneficiary of the will.
If you have a few miscellaneous items that do have some value, but not enough valuable items worthy of having an auction, then you might want to list it online. Craigs List may be good for items that are too heavy and expensive to ship or because you know there are a wealth of buyers in your local area. If you have something that is pretty rare and does not have mass audience appeal, but would be of interest to a collector, then you might want to try listing it on eBay to solicit those few collectors that would be willing to bid. You can your eBay items with both a minimum price and still say “no reserve”, so that it might sell only for the minimum value you have placed on it for the starting bid, (and maybe no more) but at least you would get the minimum. For items with limited audiences you may want to start your list price closer to the amount you want to finish at, because you may only get 2 or 3 bidders. If however, the item is extremely rare and with more potential bidders for that item, then you might want to start lower in your price and let the bidders out do one another. The competition is healthy and often bidders get caught up in the drama of the “win” that they continue to bid. You would want to research your items that you want to sell online first, to determine how rare the item is and your target audience.
Recycling old items or even broken items is also a venue you might explore. Since agencies won’t usually take the broken items or televisions (TVs), you might for example, give items to people that own their own small businesses. You could give broken lawnmowers or weed wackers to a person that does small engine repairs. The old televisions (TVs) can be given to TV repair shops or to someone that sets up survelliance in homes with the use of cameras. Also old computer monitors can still be used for video games and if a video gaming shop won’t take it, then maybe your neighbor wants it for his kid. You could also find recycling centers that specifically will take electronic waste known as eWaste. Try to find local places, whereas shipping might cost you a fortune, depending on the weight. For smaller eWaste, there are companies that will pay you for cell or mobile phones, because of the gold and metal in the electronics. There are many places that provide all kinds of recycling and some pay.
Churches, schools and landfills (the dump) are also places that can be pursued. Of course you can always offer it to “pack rats”, because they keep everything and can’t say no. If the item(s) has such little value or you have alot of it, then you might want to consider listing it in the newspaper or listing it for free on Craig’s List. Just list what the item is and say “free”, just come get it,” and watch how many calls or e:mails you get.