Summer is over and I am looking forward to the fall and winter activities. It’s around this time I start rearranging rooms since we will be inside the house more than in the summer. I always find myself asking “Should I toss something out or Keep it?” Maybe you find yourself perplexed by this as well. When my grandmother passed away I inherited boxes of “stuff”. Nothing of real value but some quality items that are still useful. I’ve learned some easy ways to determine what to keep and what to toss. Ask yourself three questions to help you decide!
1. Is it sentimental?
I grow attached to different things. I have items from my childhood that seem to almost be apart of me. I have items from the kids growing up and other things I have just accumulated along life’s road. All of it, is sentimental. We’ve seen in the movies and TV when people ask, ‘What will you take to a desert island? ” or “If you could grab three items in a fire, what would you take?” These would be your sentimental items. I hesitate to answer those questions. In my mind, I am not a fan of permanently living with sand going everywhere it shouldn’t or watching a perfectly good house turn to ashes. Let’s just say a U-haul would come in handy for me in both instances.
2. Is it still useful?
Obviously if the item in question is still useful I’d recommend you donate it. So many charities benefit from your donations and if my tablecloths or curtains can be used again it’s worth it. I would recommend doing a little research on where you are donating. Some organizations, well-known one’s included, pay their executives outrageous salaries and only donate small amounts to their true cause. I have found out that one in my area is donating around 90% to the cause they support and that makes it wise to donate to them. Be sure to check out where ever you donate to make sure they meet your standard because some well-known charities are dropping the ball these days.
3. Is it valuable?
Here’s the fun step! I am a huge fan of Antique’s Roadshow. Finding a hidden treasure among your possessions has to be exciting.Everything isn’t going to be worth keeping, but some things that at first just seem old could be valuable. First, always look for a mark or brand name. I end up using a search engine to find out more about the company or manufacturer. If I find a picture I search by images to bring up an estimate of its value. Now, it is helpful to remember that just because someone posted an old colander on Ebay for $300 doesn’t mean it’s actually worth it. I look for an average price among listings online and if I find something I want to know more about I take it to the antique shop. It is nice to know what things are worth and if you have a place to sell it, it’s worth a try. As they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
Lastly, if your really ambitious you can try your hand at re-purposing. However, I have noticed that to me, “re-purposing” means that I keep an old table in the garage for eight years because some day I want to make it into a book shelf! Has anyone else done that?