Everyone has the fear that they may accidentally give away something that will prove to be necessary or even valuable. It isn’t surprising then that, when spring cleaning comes along, one of the biggest chores is simply making decisions on what to get rid of. However, clothes, knickknacks, jewelry, antiques, and other items that have the ability to clutter up the home, eventually need to be sorted out.
Clothes accumulate, either from the fact that styles are constantly changing or the hope that we will eventually be able to wear that special outfit that has hung in the closet for the last ten years. Take stock of that overcrowded closet. There are undoubtedly items that you don’t especially like, never wear, or can’t fit into.
The rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn an article of clothing for several years, the chances are that you won’t wear it in the future. Unless they have special sentimental significance or are costly enough to be resold, donate the never worn items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or some other charitable organization that can make good use of them.
While you may be fairly certain that those boxes of costume jewelry that have been passed down through the family have no intrinsic value, there is always the off chance that one or two pieces may be valuable. If you are in doubt, take the pieces to a jeweler who will usually appraise these free of charge. Even some costume jewelry can be highly collectible, and it is a good idea to look for signatures or company names on the piece.
Many people are overrun with knickknacks and decorator items that are often merely stored away in boxes. For the most part, these may be relatively inexpensive items and can be donated to organizations or fundraisers. However, there are some exceptions. If you happen to have inherited a box of glassware, artwork, or even collectibles such as comic books, or baseball cards, it is vital to have these items appraised before you get rid of them. If you are not knowledgeable about various antiques, you will need to find someone who can tell you which pieces are valuable. Many people have accidentally disposed of items worth thousands of dollars.
Books and magazines are valuable resources, but if you are running out of room to put them, now may be the time to thin out your inventory. Research books are always a valuable resource. And should be kept, but novels and other outdated books that haven’t been read for years may be better off donated to libraries, nursing homes, or schools. In the unlikely event that you have the first edition of any book that is extremely old, it is important to research it before donating.
By researching what you have to dispose of, and evaluating its value, you stand a better chance of being able to clear away some clutter without regrets.