How do you know when you should sell your unwanted things and when to simply donate them? In today’s video, I’m sharing with you my 3 criteria for deciding when you should sell your clutter versus just giving it away during your home organizing and downsizing efforts. 

If we are meeting for the first time, HI! 🙋‍♀️I’m Certified Professional Organizer Katherine Lawrence and I help you live with less clutter so you can have space for the things that truly matter.

Working as a Professional Organizer and someone who facilitates whole home downsizing, I handle a lot of things for my clients that they no longer want or need. Bags of clutter, carloads of stuff, and sometimes even truckloads of belongings, still in good condition. My clients often ask me what can be done with all these things and I guide them through the decision-making process of what to sell and what to give away. SO today I’m sharing with you my 3 criteria for determining what to just give away versus taking the time to find a buyer. 

Criteria #1 What is the item worth?

Sometimes this is an easy determination and sometimes it’s not. Diamond rings are valuable, a pair of socks are not valuable. You’ll want to find out if there is even a market for something. If you don’t know already, do a quick search on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Google to see if there are buyers and sellers for this kind of thing. As a Professional Organizer, it is important to be aware of the buyers in your community of clothing, home decor, jewelry, as well as appraisers for art and more unique collectibles. If an item is actively being bought and sold for high dollar amounts, it could very well be worth your time to find a buyer. 

Criteria #2 How much time do you have to dedicate to finding a buyer?

If you have ever sold anything online, you know how time-consuming it can be – listing items and waiting for someone to make an offer and then arranging for a pickup or packing something up to ship to someone. If you are taking items to a local consignment shop you must drive there, wait for someone to go through your things, and make you an offer on how much they will pay or list the item for. And anyone who has sold on consignment will tell you, they rarely take everything that you bring in, so you may still be left with the cast-off items after taking them to the potential buyer. Decide for yourself what your time is worth. If you run all over town only to earn $20, it may just not be worth your time to locate a buyer for those things. The downsizing and decluttering process can be stressful and time-consuming, and looking for buyers will add to that time and stress, whereas a quick drop off at a local charity is typically quick and easy 🙂 

Criteria #3 Is Volume – How many things are you Eliminating?

If you are an empty-nester, or senior looking to downsize, or have inherited a house full of belongings, it may be worth the time and effort to sell everything in one lot, like at an estate sale. An estate sale is like an indoor yard sale that lasts multiple days. If you are working with an estate agent or auction house, they may sell some things online or transport them to a live auction. If you have a very large volume of things you want to eliminate find a reputable local agent to review the whole lot to determine if there is value in selling everything in an estate sale. 

So, there you have my 3 criteria – the value of the item, the time you must invest in finding a buyer, and the volume you are eliminating. And keep in mind the good feeling you get by giving things away, supporting local charities, and your community! And that donating is a faster and less stressful way to eliminate the things you know longer need or love. 

If you are in the Metro-Richmond Virginia area and looking to downsize, click here to book a planning session.