Decluttering

decluttering your home

4 Tricky Truths that Put the Brakes on Decluttering Your Home

When you’re 50+, decluttering your home is a typical activity when your next move is a downsizing move. The kids are grown and out the door. Home maintenance is becoming a drag.

In other words, your interests are evolving or your needs have changed.  Either way, a simpler setup in a smaller space appeals. It all makes sense.

To be honest, you might be feeling the proverbial midlife crisis (which I prefer to call a “midlife opportunity“). Bottom line: you yearn for something different, now that your life feels different! 

So when it’s time to start the downsizing process, does it unfold smoothly? Well … maybe not so much! Trust me, I’ve experienced all the glitches and more! Now what?

For now, sit back and relax. Read about these 4 decluttering facts that catch many of us off guard. Once you know these uninvited visitors tend to pop in unannounced, you can be prepared to show them the door! And then continue clearing space for your next exciting life chapter! Let’s go!

This post is about how decluttering your home gets easily sidelined when 4 facts hit us hard during the process!

how to declutter your home
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Truth #1: Hardly Anyone is 100% Ready to Let Stuff Go!

 

Deep down, no one really wants too much stuff! We feel the weight of it when we open a full closet or jam-packed cabinet. We see it when we are searching for something else in the house. And we grumble about it when it gets in our way. 

But when we have available space, it’s easy to hang on to things for now or for “someday”. Many of us were raised to not be wasteful. Others are simply more relaxed with what comes into the home and never leaves.

Yet there comes the day when it’s time to get serious about decluttering your home.

You feel sad to say goodbye to things you loved or needed at one point. And then your progress slows down And stops. Why is it so hard to get rid of what you truly don’t need or use? 

Well, our things are more than just things! They represent where we’ve been, who we’ve loved, and where we’ve longed to be. Even though the memories will stay with us, we still balk at releasing the symbols of our life story.

So we hang on, and, before you know it, there are dozens of boxes labeled “miscellaneous”. Where will these boxes land in the new place?

This post provides what you need to let stuff go: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools To Get You Going!

declutter your home
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Truth #2: Family Stuff is Sticky with Sentiment!

It’s a relief to release the odds and ends we accumulate over a lifetime. Goodwill is a common recipient of those items. Outdated clothing, obsolete reference books, assorted knickknacks … off they go!  

But when it comes time to consider Grandma’s silver tea set or your high school yearbooks, it’s a whole different story. We may not display all our inherited or nostalgic items but they can still conjure up heartfelt memories.

And now as we gaze at these things, it’s difficult to part with them. It feels like we’re dishonoring memories of loved ones or our own personal history! 

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few select items like a tea pot, a serving platter or a picture collage. Displaying or using treasured pieces makes a home uniquely our own.

But when they go from the old closet to the new closet … when they’re not claimed by your own children or used in your new home … does their continued storage make sense?

Check out this post for the resource which releases stuff and guilt: Declutter Like a Boss With The PopUpPurge™ Book!

declutter your home checklist
image by kampus production from pexels

Truth #3: We Lose Objectivity When It's Time to Sell!

Remembering what we paid for certain items makes it difficult to digest what today’s buyer is willing to pay. How about the low starting bid for the folk art collection you lovingly curated all these years? Or consider the pennies on the dollar you make when selling your 1990’s designer duds.

Of course, there is money to be extracted out of specific categories such as MidCentury Modern furniture or rare coins.

But the fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of 55+ aged sellers looking to offload housefuls of similar items. It’s really a buyer’s market, for the most part.

Again, you can make money but it will take time and effort to do so. And it calls for the willingness to price based on today’s demand … regardless what you paid for it!

Discover savvy ways to resell your stuff over here: 15 Premium Places for Selling Used Clothes to Clear Space in Your Closet.

tips to declutter your home
image by rodnae productions from pexels

Truth #4: Decluttering Your Home is a Bigger Job Than You Expect!

When things are hidden in drawers, closets and cabinets, it’s easy to underestimate just how much stuff we have! If you’re a highly organized person, even you can have far more personal belongings than you think.

Day One of decluttering your home is generally overwhelming for everyone! We work all day in one room. And then we realize how many more rooms there are to go.

Of course, you don’t accumulate all your belongings overnight. So it follows that it won’t be an overnight process to sort through when decluttering you home, either.

We can be in denial about downsizing as part of our future. But adopting a pragmatic stance that it’s inevitable can be quite helpful.

With that in mind, start early and declutter often.

If you want to pass things down to your children, ask them now! Don’t assume they want or can take everything. And don’t be offended if they say no. After all, isn’t that how we ended up with some of our own inherited stuff?

Would we want them to take something unwillingly and then just stow it in a closet? That’s passing along guilt, too!

Head here for a simple yet powerful decluttering plan: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This Post Addressed the 4 Facts That Will Slow You Down When Decluttering Your Home.

Decluttering ahead of a downsizing move is not for the faint of heart, no doubt about it!

In order to minimize the mindsets that can hold you back, start decluttering your home now, even if you don’t have your next destination finalized.

In fact, carving out a specific time slot each day or week to focus on decluttering will really put you in a good place. It’s surprising what 20-30 minutes a day will accomplish over time. 

Knowing that you’ll eventually have one or two fewer bedrooms or less storage space is enough intel to release what’s currently in those areas now. And be sure to allow for “breathing space”! 

Ultimately, the most important things are not “things”. They are “experiences”, which take up hardly any space at all!

Your Turn!

  • Have you recently started reducing your stuff? 
  • Which decluttering fact challenges you the most?  
  • In hindsight, what would you do differently?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

decluttering ideas

Decluttering Ideas to Release Other People’s Stuff (Without the Guilt!)

Consider using the decluttering ideas in this 4-step process so you can finally let go of things left behind from your loved ones.

Without a doubt, we all hang on to stuff for various reasons. But guilt is often the main culprit.

I mean, just think about your kids’ childhood stuff stashed in the attic. Or what about your mom’s Lenox china for 16 hidden in your dining room hutch. And Grandpa’s beer steins and National Geographic collection buried deep in the basement.

What’s wrong with this scenario? If you love all these things and cannot imagine life without them, then absolutely nothing!

But if thinking about these examples creates tension in your body, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider what’s occupying valuable space in your home! The stuff may be out of sight but it weighs on your mind. Time to set yourself free!

decluttering ideas
image from pexels

Today Features Decluttering Ideas That Honor What Matters To You!

decluttering your home checklist
image by winson from pexels

Step 1: Begin With Your Why

>> Do You Want To Function As A Storage Facility?

If it’s a temporary situation, put a time limit on how long the items will be tenants in your home. It’s universal that our kids leave stuff in our home when they depart the nest. And it’s easy for us to hang on to the remnants of their youth. The memories are deep and heart-filled.

We have the space to store their sentimental mementoes … or do we?

Is it possible their stuff is occupying space you could use for your next chapter? In fact, on a larger scale, is their stuff holding you back from making your own physical move?

So, yes: Determine if other people’s things are preventing you from forging ahead!

For a deeper dive into uncovering your “why” in your new life chapter, head here: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

minimalist decluttering checklist
image by craig adderley from pexels

>> Initiate The Convo With The Kids Now!

Now you might feel a little uneasy with this idea. Yet they may simply be assuming it’s A-OK to leave their excess stuff with you. They need to hear how you feel about it!

Also: understand there is benefit for both sides. Your adult children can then adopt a lifelong habit of identifying what matters most to them, too!

To be honest, most Millennials are open to decluttering ideas and goals. They already choose to live in smaller spaces. They seek to travel lightly with their possessions. So the timing for this dialogue is spot on! It can be a session of recalling happy times. This, in turn, leads to deliberate choices of what items to keep and what items to release.

decluttering bedroom checklist
image from pexels

>> Now Address The "Permanent" Guests In Your Home!

Who’s this? I’m referring to inherited items or gifts from family members or friends. They can be everywhere! Some are stored in boxes or closets, out of sight. Others may be sprinkled throughout your home. 

You know logically these things have an “expiration date” with hanging around. Either they aren’t to your own taste or or they are not useful or necessary for your lifestyle.

They may be something you do appreciate, but you truly don’t have the physical space now or where you may be heading next. Even harder, they may evoke bittersweet or difficult memories of a particular time in your life.

Ask yourself: Do I truly need or want these items in my home?

minimalist decluttering checklist
image from pixabay

Step 2: Sort Items By Donor

Next up is staging the items so that you can see exactly what you have from whom. For example, everything from your Mom could be gathered in the spare room. You can then see at a glance what you have from one person.

Now this may be challenging if your house has things from Mom in every room! If that’s the case, then just segregate her things in each respective room and take a picture. In this way, you can review the entire collection at once or within a few images.

The purpose of this activity is to understand exactly what we have from Mom, Dad, Grandma,  and so forth. Often we balk at releasing something simply because it belonged to someone in particular (and I get that, really!)

But we get bogged down when we assign high value to each and every single item thy owned or touched. Is this realistic?

For me, I think about it this way: “How do I want my son to remember me?” I am most passionate about 3-4 things and so he’s welcome to keep just a few items that define those interests. He doesn’t need to curate a Mom shrine with everything of mine!

In other words, be selective with how you decide to honor your beloved family member.

how to start decluttering when overwhelmed
image by robert stokoe from pexels

Step 3: Select What To Keep

 

No one has  unlimited space! Which is why solid decluttering ideas include deliberate choices that truly epitomize your beloved family members.

If your Grandma was a tea drinker, a gardener or a deeply religious person, then keep her favorite tea cup, her cut glass flower vase, or her rosary beads. This makes it easier to let go of her ceramic knickknacks or crocheted afghans. You get the idea!

Certainly, you can increase the number of items if they take up less physical space, like pictures in a photo album or a digital picture frame. But consider truly narrowing down to the essence of that person… because you want to leave space in your home for you!

Once you have your choices defined, you can have fun with how you’re going to display the items. They won’t need to be hidden out of view any longer.

Perhaps you’ll create a gallery of framed photos. You might use some glassed shadow boxes to showcase costume jewelry or prized medals. In other words, incorporate the treasures into your present decor.

Paring them down to a select few will truly let them stand out as a testament to your family history.

best decluttering tips
image by kelly sikkema from unsplash

Step 4: Release The Rest With Love

 

Understand that gifted items from our family were given in the spirit of love. The intent was never to bog you down with something that didn’t bring you joy. Acknowledge the kind gesture but let go of what doesn’t suit your taste. Gifts shouldn’t come with strings attached, don’t you think?

Figure out the highest and best use of the things you will not retain. Start with your own family, in the event your children or siblings would appreciate and welcome any of those items. The key is this: ask!

Don’t assume you know what others will want. Listen and then accept their decisions. After all, it’s their home and so it’s their choice.

From there, it’s entirely up to you if you would prefer to realize a monetary return. Yet know that any selling activity will take time and effort, depending upon the demand for that item.

By investing a little time up front, you’ll realize if going the re-sale route is worth your while.

If you decide to bypass the resale step, there are so many local charities that can deftly route your donations to the highest needs in your community. 

Please don’t overlook the value of donating! It in no way means you are throwing money away or dishonoring your family member!

The money has already been spent when the item was first acquired by your relative. There was joy and use of the item until it was passed along to you. Now, you’re simply “paying it forward” when someone less financially fortunate eagerly and gladly accepts the item for their own use.

Isn’t that a better outcome than having it collect dust on a shelf or hide in a cabinet?

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: This Post Dug Into Decluttering Ideas About Releasing Sentimental Stuff Without Guilt

When incorporating these decluttering ideas into your own routine, remember to work at your own pace. You control the process and no one is judging you. Even 15 minutes a day will have you ahead of where you were before you started. In fact, here is what will absolutely get you on your way: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going!

Sentimental clutter is the hardest stuff to deal with … but it provides the biggest emotional release when it’s moved out so you can move on!

You can do this … I believe in you!

Your Turn!

What’s your sentimental clutter status? 

  • What will be your biggest challenge to release?
  • What decluttering ideas can you share with us?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by! 

decluttering your life

Uncluttering Your Life in a New Season Leads to 3 Priceless Developments

Midlife changes can be unsettling, even when you know they’re going to happen! Uncluttering your life is one of the best proactive strategies you can take to prepare for a new chapter to unfold.

What kind of changes am I referring to? Kids growing up and moving out on their own. Relationships ending due to divorce or death. Even our health can take a turn, whether temporarily or permanently. And careers are not bulletproof, either, are they!

When change arrives with one of these midlife events, do you feel stuck? Shocked or mournful? Are you resistant to something different? Now what?

Reframe change in a positive manner: Embrace three amazing benefits when you focus on uncluttering your life for a new season!

uncluttering your life
image by brianna amick from pexels

Today's Message is About the Remarkable Perks That Arrive when Uncluttering Your Life!

decluttering your life checklist
image by pixabay from pexels

Benefit #1: Enhanced Mental Clarity

Decluttering is a powerful movement these days for good reason: the square footage of our houses has increased substantially over the last 50 years! It stands to reason that the quantity of household stuff stored within has also followed suit.

Of course, we accumulate many things along the way as we live a full life, raising a family, and pursuing our interests. But when the household size shrinks or our own activities shift, now we have excess items which are no longer needed or used.

And when we allow them to continue taking up physical space, they also command mental and emotional space.

In fact, unused things can actually emit negative energy! They crowd out the potential to substitute items that support where we are now or where we might head. This is what leads to feeling stuck.

It’s uncomfortable to be in between chapters of our life, knowing one is winding down but feeling uncertain about moving into the next one.

Yet when you begin uncluttering your life to remove outdated belongings, you open space not just in your home but in your mind, as well.

Releasing the old with love helps prepare us to welcome the new with hope. We regain perspective about life’s inevitable changes.

Now we are receptive to something different … something new … something that resonates and invigorates our next act!

decluttering your life quotes
image by christina morillo from pexels

Benefit #2: Simplified Daily Routines

 

Most would agree that it’s draining when we have too much stuff in our home. Maneuvering from one room to the next can be challenging. Locating a particular item takes extra time. Maintaining more stuff than we use takes additional energy.

Wouldn’t you revel in a home where everything has a place and a purpose? If you think about it, stuff we no longer need or use really becomes a distraction in our daily life.

So consider how light you would feel with space between your things … the things that matter most to you now! Imagine not worrying about running late. Or feeling confident with where things are in your home. How many times have you bought something at the store, only to discover that you already had three of them hidden in a cabinet or drawer?

Indeed, paring down to the essentials which support your current routine is an ultimate self-care bonus when uncluttering your life! 

This post provides clarification on how to begin: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

how to declutter
image by pixabay from pexels

Benefit #3: Sharpened Perspective

 

Change can be difficult, frustrating, sad, and scary, particularly when you’ve been happy with the status quo. But it’s also an integral part of how life unfolds.

Accepting the role it plays in your life experience is the first step towards taking charge of how you want your narrative to continue.

We can’t always direct our circumstances but we can control our response to our new direction.

There is no time limit for how long the process should take. Everyone has varying amounts of things and stuff. Each of us needs a unique amount of time to make space clearing decisions. So honor the process that works best for you! In fact, here’s a simple yet powerful way begin: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going!

Uncluttering your life is a cathartic process as you accept change. How exciting when you view where you’ve been and then imagine where you’d like to head next!

The Wrap With Mary V
Mary V

The Wrap: This Post Was About Uncluttering Your Life To Welcome A New Chapter Full Of Promise and Perspective!

 

When one life chapter closes, step into the new one by uncluttering your life.

Life is change. When we don’t change, we stand still. Make peace with moving forward.

Trust that something beautiful will develop … You!

Decluttering Your Life Thoughts: Your Turn!

  • Which room, drawer or closet will you tackle first?
  • What has decluttering your life done for you?

Drop a comment below … and thanks for stopping by!

clutter definition

Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?

With an actual clutter definition, we can clear space like a boss so much more easily!

Someone once said, “Release the clutter in your life and set yourself free!”  Sounds good, right?

But, wait … what exactly are we supposed to get rid of?

We are all different with what we’ve got stashed and stored in our homes. It follows that the reason we hang on to certain things will likewise be unique.

Yet while there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to decluttering, it is possible to create a universal clutter definition.

This can be the starting point for all of us. After all, there are always going to be the obvious things that need to hit the curb immediately. Think expired, worn-out, or broken items.

From there, we can then define our own personal parameters for what to keep and what to let go.

Clutter can’t be released until we know how to identify it! Shall we do this?

clutter definition
image by maddie zen from pexels

This Post presents A Basic Clutter Definition, Which Is The First Step To Successfully Clearing Space In Your Place!

clutter meaning
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

A Common Clutter Definition is "Anything you don't need, use, or want any more."

What do you think about that?

I mean, really: if you don’t need it or don’t use it, it’s just occupying valuable space!

On the other hand, if you want it or love it, that definitely stays!

When we have a clear idea on how to view clutter, it becomes so much easier to identify it in our homes. Additionally, it also makes for a smoother process to part ways with clutter.

Ready to go a little deeper?

clutter free meaning
image by one shot from pexels

Clutter Definition Part I: What is "Need"?

When we say we “need” something, we are affirming that something supports us where we are at in our lives.

It makes our daily routine possible. It helps us get things done. We’d be kind of lost without this stuff!

Think about the basic cookware in your kitchen … your coffeepot, your microwave or your instant pot. 

So we’re talking about things that maintain our lifestyle now or the one we are heading towards.

On the other hand, what about all the stuff that never or rarely if ever makes it out of the closet or out of the drawers? We should view our belongings with a critical eye and determine if they truly deserve a place in our homes.

So this leads to the next concept of what we actually reach for as we go about our days.

how to reduce clutter in your home
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Clutter Definition Part II: What is "Use"?

Now this is shining a light when we refer to utility!

In other words, we are talking about stuff that we actively rely on. We might not use these items daily or weekly. It might just be a couple times during the year. But they’re definitely serving a purpose.

On the other hand, if things are sitting idle, waiting for “some day” or “just in case”, imagine the negative energy they emit. They’re gathering dust, taking up space. Which then causes guilt.

Who needs that vibe in the home!

making space clutter free
image by river from pexels

Clutter Definition Part III: What Is "Want"?

Here’s where we’re really getting to the crux of things!

When we say we “want” something, it generally means we see value with it playing a role in our lives. We are talking about something that represents an important person, place or experience. What they do is bring a smile to our faces or inspire us to achieve something more. 

Once again, the items that we want will be unique to each of us. But what they have in common is that we love them!

Personalization is what makes our house a home!

However, the key to maintaining a practical quantity of things is this: do we still feel this way now. And how many of these things do we keep?

Is our house a home or a museum?

clutter-free meaning
image by anastasiya gepp from pexels

So Now: What Should Go?

 

At last, with this universal clutter definition, all kinds of things start to come to mind that we should release, don’t they?!

A short list would include:

– It’s no longer your style

-You have too many duplicates

– It was an impulse buy, now collecting dust

What else would you add to this list? 

It’s so easy to have clutter creepage in our homes, isn’t it? Mail arrives daily and lingers on the countertop. Makeup samples and faded towels are crammed in our bathroom cabinets. Our clothes are a range of sizes and eras. We can’t even see everything we own at a glance!

Moreover, many things can be in perfectly good condition. But we just don’t care for them, use them, or need them anymore.

Sounds like it’s time to dig in with some overdue decluttering sessions, don’t you think?

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap:This post created a common clutter definition so we can confidently release what we no longer need, use or want!

Choices we’ve made about the stuff in our homes can be overdo for examination.

With an established clutter definition, you will now start to see a pattern with what might be overdue for releasing.

Take some time to walk through your house. Open your closets and drawers. Look at your belongings with fresh eyes.  

After all, decluttering clears space for new items which truly support your next season!

Your turn!

  • What do you think about this clutter definition?
  • What kind of clutter seems to be your Achilles?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

midlife transition

5 Ways to Harness Your Midlife Transition and Avert a Midlife Crisis!

Our midlife transition kicks off when we turn the page and enter a new chapter of life in our 40’s. 

It’s a marker for the typical milestones experienced in your life’s journey. The kids are grown and (almost) on their own. You’ve been married for a couple decades now (unless you’re starting over … or perhaps you’re on your own again). Your career may be at its zenith.

This is normally the cue for a midlife crisis … or is it?

The proverbial “midlife crisis” can definitely be bypassed if you consider this decade as more than just a halfway point! 

To be clear, it’s not uncommon to pause and wonder where the years went. When you’ve power-housed in the home and on the job, it’s easy for time to fly. And then we may start to regret what we didn’t do.

However, if you thought turning 21 was the point of infinite possibilities, that’s true. But with the wisdom and experience of another 2 decades under your belt, now is yet another opportunity to define who you are and where you will head next! 

Map out your midlife transition by embracing these 5 activities in your life today!

Today's Post Focuses on the 5 behaviors that make your midlife transition a joyful journey!

what is a midlife crisis for a woman
image by leah kelley from pexels

Step 1: Be willing to change

Change does not have to be a dirty word! 

Oh, I get that it’s challenging to see the bright side of it when a beautiful season or phase of your life is ending.

But what if you viewed your life as simply “evolving“? That it’s not so much an end to something. Instead, it’s a continuation in a different direction.

A midlife transition means you’re heading towards something new that can also be beautiful, too!

When you think about it that way, midlife is an exciting time. 

It’s the cusp of our life unfolding once again. In fact, we are even better equipped at this age to make decisions that truly support our interests and goals. How empowering is that!

In short, when we change our outlook, we can embrace the changes in our journey. After all, many changes are unavoidable or inevitable. So why not accept that and then control what you can?

Your attitude and your next move are always up to you!

midlife age
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Step 2: Be willing to declutter

Decluttering is at the heart of what I advocate to all “Mid-Lifers”! 

You’re in a new season of your life so it stands to reason that your stuff is ripe for change, too.

As your activities and interest change, so should the things that take up space in your home. The same goes for items which supported a larger household. And wardrobes are an obvious area to sort through, as well.

Not only do you make room for what resonates with your new lifestyle. Your donated or resold items benefit someone else who is at a different point in their journey, as well. Certainly sounds like a win-win to me!

Don’t feel you need to sort through everything in one fell swoop!

Honestly, it can feel overwhelming when you look at everything with critical eyes. So start small. A drawer, a counter, a shelf or a closet. Even just 15 minutes a day will add up to noticeable results.

The key is to incorporate a small session into your routine. Imagine the space that opens up for new possibilities when you clear out the things that don’t matter anymore during your midlife transition and beyond! 

the midlife transition is characterized by
image by SHVETS production from pexels

Step 3: Be willing to reassess

Take time to reassess what matters to you now. 

It’s thrilling yet perhaps a little intimidating to pivot in a new direction. For a long time, you may have been involved in activities because they supported your children, your partner/Ex or your career path.

Now you’re finally able to focus more on yourself! Similarly, your own interests may very well have evolved, too.

Now is not the time to rush into anything nor assume you will continue with the “same old”. 

Instead, honor your midlife transition season by thoughtfully reflecting on what sets your heart on fire. Consider what pursuits stimulate your mind.

It’s OK to try something and learn it’s not for you. Be a risk-taker with pursuing something new.

In other words, don’t shortchange the potential for great things in your new season!

difference between midlife crisis and midlife transition
image from adobestock

Step 4: be willing to connect

You don’t have to head alone into your next season!

To be honest, I don’t recommend it. Sure, there are times where you need personal space to reframe your midlife direction.

But having support from solid friends is critical for balance and fellowship. Interestingly, we sometime lose these connections when we are going full bore with a career.

Relocating across the country for work opportunities can also play havoc with our support system. In fact, this happened to me. And only when I left that business did I realize I had more work friends than personal friends! As a result, I needed to recreate a circle because fellowship and connection matters!

midlife meaning
image from AdobeStock

Step 5: Be willing to protect

Last but not least, pay attention to how you feel, physically and mentally.

Who wants to be held back from pursuing their dreams and desires when their health is an obstacle?

Let’s be clear: this may not always have been a priority when we were younger. We made sacrifices taking care of our family or climbing the corporate ladder. There were all-nighters and car-pooling while under the weather or aches and pains we disregarded. We basically put ourselves second after others … hello, motherhood!

However, our midlife transition period is an ideal time to put our self-care first once again!

We can, we should, and we deserve it!

For us to step confidently into our next act, we need to ensure that we are listening to our bodies and our emotions. For example, annual physicals, regular exercise and clean eating are paramount to participating fully in the interests and activities we desire.

Likewise for our mental health. After all, wouldn’t it be a shame if you couldn’t pursue your new goals because you didn’t properly nourish and care for yourself?

Dedicated “me” time to decompress, meditate and reflect on our life’s journey are just a few key ideas to maintain balance during our midlife transition.

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: Today focused on 5 actions that enhance our midlife transition as we create a new life chapter!

A midlife crisis occurs when we long for the Past and we resist the Future.

A midlife transition happens when we take time to reflect on what is within our power to enhance where we head next.

Change – Declutter – Reassess – Connect – Protect

Let’s do this with confidence and joy!

declutter and downsize

Declutter and Downsize: Lay the Groundwork for Really Remarkable Results in 2021!

If 2021 is the year for you to declutter and downsize, how do you plan to get this done? 

Sorry, I know: 2020 is barely in the rear-view mirror!

But just like any resolution that you set, it’s important to identify in advance where you want to head and why you want to get there. 

In my personal coaching sessions, I always suggest starting at the beginning. This means getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish.

Think of it this way: if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Paris, would you simply hop on a plane and show up? Unless you’re a total free spirit with unlimited time and resources, probably not! And the same logic applies to your desire to declutter and downsize, too. 

Today I’m sharing 7 key action steps to clarify your space clearing goals so you can cross them off the list this year! 

declutter and downsize

Today's Post lays The foundation for your Declutter and Downsize goals so you can get this done in 2021!

declutter and organize
image by yan krukov from pexels

Step 1: I want to declutter and downsize because ...

Start with identifying why excess stuff messes with your emotions.

For instance, does it stir up uneasy feelings? No one really wants a home crammed with stuff they don’t use, need, or love. Too much of anything feels heavy. 

Or perhaps someone else feels embarrassed to entertain. So they postpone having family and friends over.

Yet another may feel frustrated with searching for things that are hidden in crammed drawers or closets. It sucks up time better used some other way.

And maybe someone feels anxious every time they view items associated with an Ex. It’s like reliving an unhappy situation over and over.

In other words, pause to figure out what your clutter does to bring you down and hold you in place. 

declutter and organize your home
image by LinkedInSales Navigator from pexels

Step 2: I need to declutter and downsize because ...

Next, capture how your clutter blocks you from what you need to do.

Does your clutter prevent you from getting things done? There could be any number of things on hold until you begin to declutter and downsize in earnest.

Perhaps you need to move into a smaller space. The cost of maintaining a large home is not practical.

Maybe the piles of paperwork mean your bills are not always paid on time. The impact on your credit is real.

Or you’re consistently running late because your overflowing wardrobe makes it hard to get ready each day. There’s lot in there but it doesn’t all fit, flatter or feel good.

So think about what genuine needs you have that are hindered by your clutter and make note of them. 

how to declutter and organize your home
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Step 3: I hope to declutter and downsize so that I can ...

Now jot down your hopes and dreams of things you’d do … if only you had more time and money to pursue them.

What would you do if you had more resources? It’s amazing how clutter can hold us hostage!

How can we imagine something different if we never change? But change is hard to execute if we stay in place, surrounded by what no longer serves us well.

Wish you could attend a culinary school? Want to travel cross country in an RV? These dreams and more could be possible if you didn’t have to spend time and money maintaining more than what you need or use.

When you declutter and downsize into what accommodates your future goals, you can start making those dreams a reality!

declutter and clean
image by ekaterina bolovtsova from pexels

Step 4: Schedule your D&D time

When will you fit in your declutter and downsize sessions? 

It’s essential to have it on your calendar. If it’s not planned, it will be easy for it to be deferred to another day. But when will that day happen?

Everyone’s capacity is different so figure out how frequently you can time block. And think about pairing your session right before or right after an activity you do faithfully. This “habit stacking”  approach helps get it done!

Additionally, start with just a couple sessions a week. This is a new habit so give yourself time to embrace it. It took time to accumulate the stuff you have. It will take time to let the excess go. Don’t overwhelm yourself and then burn out early! 

On the other hand, if you have a hard stop with a pending physical move, work your calendar backwards. With your date in mind, assign each room a set number of weeks to get them cleared.

For example, your kitchen may need 4 weeks but your guest room only needs 2 weeks. It’s just an estimate but as you dig in, you’ll figure out how many sessions are needed in each room to completely unclutter them.

The key is to get started now!

declutter and donate
image by moose from pexels

Step 5: Start Small with your D&D sessions

How small is small? Think a drawer, a cabinet or a closet!

Sure, your goal is to space clear each room in your home. But trying to get an entire room done in one session may be impossible, even if you have a whole day set aside.

For one thing, you may get bogged down early if you encounter sentimental stuff. That’s the hardest to sort through! You may start to justify keeping much of it, even if you know it isn’t practical.

Secondly, breaking a room into sections is a great way to get small wins early on. It’s a manageable session and doesn’t disrupt using that room when your decluttering session is done for the day.

And thirdly, keeping the space clearing sessions to less than an hour is a smart way to keep your enthusiasm high. You may choose to conduct a few sessions during one day, but break them up with other tasks, for variety. You’ll feel much more accomplished when you actually complete a discreet area, as opposed to only getting part way through a large space. 

Manageable chunks keep your uncluttering goals on track!

downsize and declutter
image by negative space from pexels

Step 6: Keep Track of your D&D sessions

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you think about how much more space clearing is ahead of you.

But when you log your results, you’ll realize just how much you’ve already accomplished! Your efforts will add up over time. 

How you choose to track your decluttering is up to you. It can be as simple as photos in an album on your phone or an old school notebook, listing the results of each session.

The point is to keep a record of your declutter and downsize journey. You’ll impress yourself with how much you’ve gotten done. And it will motivate you to keep on going!

Little steps add up to big results!

how to declutter and downsize
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Step 7: Keep on going!

You got this … don’t lose momentum now!

After just 30 days, you’ll be amazed how your declutter and downsize sessions have become a part of your regular routine. 

As you open up space in your home, your heart will likewise feel clear and open. Letting go of what you no longer need, use or want is a liberating step towards inviting all the possibilities head of you!

When your enthusiasm flags (and it happens to all of us), circle back to Step 1-3. Remind yourself why you’re doing this now.  Refresh your memory with what you will be able to do in the future. 

Now you can start to design your next life chapter, freely and joyfully! Step confidently where you want to go next!

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: Today's post was all about crafting a declutter and downsize plan to clear space in 2021 for where you want to go next!

Feeling inspired to clear out the old to make way for the new?

Fantastic! Take control of your direction. Craft a mini-Manifesto for why clearing space makes sense for you in 2021. This is for your eyes only so be honest. And be prepared for real results to unfold in this New Year!

decluttering checklist

A Decluttering Checklist for Better Living Today, Not “Some Day”!

When there’s too much of everything in the house, it’s time to begin ticking off the action steps on a decluttering checklist!

 

Let’s face it: having too much of anything is not always a wonderful thing (apologies to Ms. Mae West)! 

Once we’re over 50, it’s time to start making different choices with what we stow in our homes. It’s common to hang on to things long after their utility has ended. But how to start decluttering when overwhelmed?

It calls for simple steps to begin … and a powerful plan to keep on going. When you dive into my decluttering checklist, you’ll start executing on a routine that opens up breathing room now

Don’t wait any longer … start clearing space so you can begin creating your next life chapter today!

decluttering checklist
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Today's Post Discloses A 6-Step Decluttering Checklist To Make Room For What Matters Now!

declutter checklist
Image by Karolina Grabowska

Step 1: Pick A Dedicated Time

Ever hear this one? After all, tomorrow is another day!”  

It’s none other than Scarlett O’Hara, our Gone With The Wind leading lady! My point is that unless you start with a plan for exactly when to insert your decluttering into your daily routine, it’s too easy for it to land on the back burner and languish.

We certainly start with the best of intentions. But invariably, our intent gets overridden when something else more tempting crops up.

So in order to maintain your decluttering goal, it’s critical to treat it seriously by assigning a specific time of day.

Give thought to when you can dedicate 30 minutes. In fact, having it “stacked”, or coupled with another habit will really ensure this becomes your new routine. This means doing it right before or immediately after another activity you do without fail.

For example, try decluttering first thing right before showering in the morning or immediately after dinner. Pairing two habits together creates a powerful association.

As a result, you will be more apt to declutter daily without having to overthink it.

declutter your home checklist
Image by cottonbro from Pexels

Step 2: Select A Small Area

Next on the decluttering checklist? Target only small spaces in your home. For example, work on one drawer, a shelf, a counter or a closet.

It’s tempting to tackle an entire room. But odds are, it will start to feel onerous. You get bogged down with decision fatigue. Or you encounter sentimental things right off the bat. Now it feels heavy to keep going, ugh!

For this reason, I recommend that your decluttering checklist focus should be on tiny areas. Then mix it up to keep it interesting. Don’t stay in the same room unless that works better for you.

In the beginning, you will likely encounter the easy stuff: things that belong somewhere else or are clearly not worth keeping. These easy “wins” will strengthen you for making tougher decisions as you get into stuff “sticky” with sentiment.

There will be times that you feel angst or uncertainty with certain items. But your discomfort will be short-lived, thanks to focusing on just a small space for less than 30 minutes.

declutter a room in 30 minutes
Image by Blue Bird from Pexels

Step 3: Sort and Box Clutter

I advocate using with a very elementary two-step approach.

There are several other decluttering methods and they each have their pros and cons. You can always modify how you dispose of your belongings as you get proficient with sorting. But for now, do this!

 

Gather three grocery bags, bins or laundry baskets

The containers don’t have to be fancy and they don’t even need to match! Just use what you have on hand. You’ll start by designating them as “trash”, “donate” and “relocate”. So far, so good?

Sort on the following basis

  • Trash” is for anything broken, expired, torn, or missing parts.
  • Donate” is for anything you no longer use, like, or need but still has life in it.
  • Relocate” is for anything you’re keeping but belongs somewhere else in your house.

By the way, did you notice how this last bin will result in a neater space? Two birds, Baby … I told you this was a stellar decluttering checklist!

Don’t overthink as you examine your belongings. Generally, your first instinct is correct.

In fact, approach your decluttering with the idea that you’re sorting to keep what matters most now, instead of looking to reject what used to matter. In other words, have an upbeat mindset while working your decluttering checklist!

 

where to start decluttering
Image by Ketut Subiyanto of Pexels

Step 4: Dispose of Your Clutter

When your session is done, immediately deal with your bags or bins.

Toss the trash into your garbage can so that you don’t start second-guessing your decision. Do the same with your donations by stashing them in your car trunk. Once your trunk is full, make a run to your charity of choice. Out of sight, out of mind!

Lastly, put away your relocate items now, if you have extra time. If not, set the bin aside in a designated spot.

You may opt to put those things in the proper place once a week or every couple of days … you choose!

More importantly, this bin will start to create a mindful approach for you to put things where they belong the first time … pretty crafty, eh?!

decluttering and organizing
Image by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Step 5: Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

When you’re done with your session, now do something to keep score of what you did.

Again, these are tiny steps so it will be the accumulated actions over time that become visible. So start a record of your results. For example, some folks like to use a wall or desk calendar to mark with stickers, stars, colored pens, etc. Imagine how gratifying it will feel to see your steady commitment to clearing space!

You may decide to track only the daily sessions completed. Or you might prefer to register the number of items leaving your house. Ultimately, it’s up to you to capture which decluttering aspect deserves a high five.

When you look back, you’ll be amazed with how the steady sum of small steps added up!

minimalist decluttering checklist

Step 6: Repeat As Needed

With this decluttering checklist, you have the beginnings of a new space clearing habit!

Decluttering is never a one-and-done process. But don’t let that deter you from starting or from continuing.

Instead, embrace the practice as part of being an individual who is always looking to improve and shift into a new phase of your life.

There will be times that it’s difficult to make space clearing choices. Yet this is why keeping your sessions short and frequent will enable you to release stuff you don’t need anymore. Over time, you’ll make peace with letting go of something that you couldn’t part with before.

You can do this … I believe in you!  

The Wrap with Mary V
Image by Content Pixie from Pexels

The Wrap: This Post Provided a 6-Step Decluttering Checklist To Release Your Past & Embrace Your Future ... Now!

Creating and adhering to a new habit requires resolve and commitment.

  • Many talk about doing something but few follow through.
  • Starting small and repeating regularly is the key!
  • As you start to see results, you’ll find it easier to keep on going. 
online selling platforms

8 Tried and True Online Selling Platforms for Offloading Your Excess Stuff

With so many online selling platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones will be the best choice for you?

The app field is crowded and it can be confusing! So today, I’m sharing 8 online selling platforms that have stood the test of time.

The key is to match what you have to sell with the platform that will maximize your return in a reasonable amount of time.

Selling your stuff is not your full-time focus, right? That’s why it’s critical you select the best venue to showcase your stuff and sell it quickly. Because you have other things to do, too!

So grab your coffee, have a seat, and let’s check out your options!

online selling platforms

Today's Post Reviews the Pros and Cons of 8 Online Selling Platforms So You can land on the best place to sell your stuff!

best platform to sell online
image by ekaterina bolovtsova from pexels

Online Selling Platforms | Option 1: eBay

eBay is a pioneer in online selling, having been around for over 25 years.

It’s a gigantic auction house where over 168 million active buyers can bid on your items! With bidding situations, it can take time to receive your desired price.

In contrast, you may choose to list your item as “Buy It Now“, meaning it’s a fixed, non-negotiable price.

There is an enormous buying audience for your goods but the competition is stiff. You’re competing not only with other individual sellers. In fact, there are wholesalers and corporation, too … not to mention fierce competition from China, as well!

eBay has a built-in algorithm, geared towards helping buyers locate specific items which can also be good for sellers.

But on the flip side, customer protection …even in falsified complaint situations …. can be at the expense of a legitimate seller.

Also, it’s not free to sell on eBay. You do get 40 free listings per month, but there are additional fees. For example, there is typically a 10% transaction fee (including shipping & handling) to use this venue. Your net profit is released three days after your tracking shows delivery.

However, if you enjoy an auction-like outcome and you have the time and patience to wait for the right buyer bid, eBay is your venue.

For eBay selling details, check out the step-by-step guide here.

Or, listen to this tutorial over here.

 

where is the best platform to sell online
image by tiger lily from pexels

Online Selling Platforms | Option 2: Amazon

Amazon has evolved from an online bookstore into one of the world’s most visited marketplace websites.

It boasts massive traffic volume with separate retail websites in 15 countries! This means more buyers for your stuff.

Additionally, the “Fulfillment by Amazon” service handles both customer service and shipping on your behalf. Amazon has a traditional retail structure so you sell your items at a set price. You pay a fee only when  your item sells. But all this comes with higher fees and brutal competition.  

In comparison to eBay, Amazon has a better reputation for customer service and offers buyer perks such as same-day or two-day shipping. But the humongous size of both these online selling venues result in the risk of getting lost in the sea of sellers

Lastly, go directly to Amazon for the latest facts on selling right here. 

online selling items
image by artem beliaikin from pexels

Online Selling Platforms | Option 3: Etsy

Etsy takes us into a narrower market when it popped on the scene in 2005. 

It’s positioned as an online platform for crafters, artists and vintage aficionados. Currently ranking as #3 behind eBay and Amazon,  it’s an ideal venue if you have handmade, vintage or highly unique items. Think crafting and jewelry supplies, specialty fabrics or handmade personal products.

Still, despite the exclusive focus, this venue attracts some 30 million shoppers worldwide! Similar to eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee but your Etsy listing will last for 4 months instead of just 10-30 days. This fee is charged whether or not your item sells.

The fixed pricing model is also cheaper and simpler than that of the above two powerhouses.  So keep Etsy in mind if your items fit this handmade, one-of-kind product profile.

To further explore this online selling platform, head here.

 

top online selling platforms
images by susanne jutzeler & skipperp from pexels

Online Selling Platforms | Options 4 & 5: Bonanza and Ruby Lane

These two online selling platforms are still relative newcomers.

Nevertheless, they are on the rise and worth checking out if your items fall into the Etsy categories of unique, vintage, antique, or quirky.

Both are smaller than the preceding platforms but they have respectable reach along with more reasonable fees. They specialize further in the following sub-categories:

  • Bonanza
    • Think garden gnomes or taxidermy (although product diversification has been creeping in)
    • Fixed price items as opposed to a bidding situation
    • To get started, click here.
  • Ruby Lane
    • Specifically for actual antiques and vintage-style goods
    • Excellent customer service reputation
    • To get started, go here.
Facebook and OfferUp
images from pexels

Online Selling Platforms | Options 6 & 7: FB and OfferUp

Facebook Marketplace groups are  definitely trumping Craigslist these days!

Simply enter terms to find and join local groups. For example, type in “Scottsdale, AZ Buy and Sell” in the FB search bar if you live in Scottsdale, Arizona. When you click to join a group, others will be suggested to you, as well.

These groups are very popular with buyers such as young moms or small community residents looking for online garage sale deals. The sky is the limit for what goods are offered.

You are on your own with seller protection but you will also avoid listing and shipping fees. You need to “bump” or refresh your listing to stay current.

OfferUp merged with LetGo  in July 2020 to create one big mobile marketplace.

It provides an easy way to sell locally with payments tendered with either cash or via Stripe, the electronic payment processing partner. There are some fees involved to consider but it’s still a compelling way to sell just about anything online.   

The scoop on using OfferUp is right here. 

what is the best online selling platform

Online Selling Platforms | Option 8: Craigslist

Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified ads website!

You can sell almost anything here. It’s super basic with no fees and no frills but you’re completely on your own to work with buyers.

Craigslist requires that you sell locally, unlike eBay and Amazon. This means that you arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your items.

When all else fails, you can shift your items to the “free” section, which can come in handy. You need to regularly refresh and repost your listing to ensure you are at the top of the category. So you save on the listing and shipping fees with this venue but you lose protection with questionable buyers, i.e., passing off counterfeit money.

Craig’s List has been around for a long time but contends with stiff competition from other online selling platforms such as FB Marketplace and OfferUp. However, it may still an active player in your community…so why not check it out?

Find a simple video with a Craigslist tutorial over here.

The Wrap with Mary V
imge by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: Today's post shared 8 online selling platforms to help you rehome your stuff and to deposit some dollars back in your wallet, as well!

There is definitely cash to be claimed using any of these or other online platforms.

But first do your homework! Review your things to sell with a critical eye. Realize that you have a history with the items so your emotions may skew your pricing decisions. Research how similar items are selling. Finally, understand what is entailed to close the deal.

Are you ready to turn your excess stuff into cash?

secondhand stores

Second Hand Stores Can Be Dynamite Decluttering Partners

Once you’ve decided to re-sell things you no longer need or use, it’s time to learn which second hand stores are going to be your best resource.

There are three different types of second hand stores: consignment shops, pawn shops, and thrift shops. Each is unique with what it can offer.

Equally important is understanding the entire selling process. From what items sell best where, to how much they pay out, it’s all about maximizing your return. 

So let’s dive right in and explore what second hand stores can do for you!  

Today's Post Focuses On Second Hand Stores & How to Land on the venue best for you!

consignment stores near me
Image by Suzy Hazelwood of Pexels

Second Hand Stores | 1. Consignment Shops

How They Operate

Consignment shops typically pay you when your items sell. A few may buy your things outright but this can be less common. 

These second hand stores may also charge a small flat fee in addition to the percentage payout. Your return will be larger if you agree to take a store credit instead of cash. After all, this makes sense when you help with moving other inventory off the store floor.

The store will quote you a starting price. Be sure to ask if there are periodic markdowns that would impact your return.

Many shops will have a set cycle for when they mark down inventory. They need to ensure goods are not just sitting and taking up valuable floor space.

If your item doesn’t move after a certain amount of time, you may be asked to pick it up. But they may also offer to donate your items to a local charity on your behalf, which saves you a return trip. 

There are numerous specialty consignment shops so there are too many to address individually. Some carry a little bit of everything and others specialize in furniture, clothing or household items. Many are independently owned and operated as opposed to a chain of retail fronts.

Moreover, it can make more sense to take your stuff to a store that focuses on a particular type of item, i.e., an upscale shop selling designer apparel or a furniture store carrying only contemporary pieces. It stands to reason that specialized second hand stores can attract more potential buyers.

Lastly, expect to receive between 40-60% of the final sale price.

The Bottom Line

Be sure your items are in clean, serviceable condition. If the store politely passes on your stuff, don’t argue with the staff.

They are making decisions based on their professional knowledge and the current demand. Ultimately, they are not interested in having your stuff collect dust on the sales floor and nor would you be, either!

Also, until someone buys your stuff, you are in a holding pattern, waiting for your cash. If you’re looking for a quick payout, a consignment store will not be your best option. 

Therefore, a pawn shop would be a better option for selling your stuff, if time is of the essence. 

second hand stores near me
Image by Giallo from Pexels

Second Hand Stores| 2. Pawn Shops

How They Operate

Not everyone immediately thinks of pawn stores as viable second-hand stores.

Until popular TV shows brought these stores to the forefront recently, there was always an aura of shame and intrigue. Why did someone sell their family heirlooms? What financial downturn occurred?

However, there are distinct advantages to checking one out. Here, you turn possession of the item over to the store and receive an immediate payout before you leave. 

You are not impacted if it sells at an extraordinarily low price or never sells at all! 

Pawn shops can be good venues for items that are in less demand at other second-hand stores. Think taxidermy, electronics, guns, tools or musical instruments.

In fact, a pawn store is a very good venue to sell gold or diamonds! Just be sure to compare their bid to other second hand stores that exclusively buy and sell used jewelry before moving ahead with the transaction. 

On average, pawn shops pay 25-60% of the resale value of your items.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to convert your stuff into cash quickly, these second-hand stores will pay you on the spot.

However, keep in mind that payment up front means you will realize less than if you were willing to wait for a buyer at a traditional consignment shop. So if you can be patient, circle back to option one above.

best thrift stores near me
Image by Julia Cameron from Pexels

Second Hand Stores| 3. Thrift Shops

How They Operate

Thrift shops are the third type of second-hand store. What makes them distinct is that most operate as a nonprofit business. This means that many will not pay for your items.

However, I mention these as they are also a viable resource for offloading excess personal items. That in itself, is a bonus!

You may not receive monetary compensation but you may qualify for a tax credit (consult your financial advisor). They are often linked to a business such as a local hospice. Or think of Goodwill. Profits are funneled back to the parent business, which ultimately provides jobs in your community or funds other worthy initiatives. So ultimately, you also get the satisfaction of helping out others in some fashion.  

The Bottom Line

When clearing space quickly is more important than a monetary payback, thrift stores are an ideal outlet. Not only will your stuff get a second life with new owner. Your donations are converted into dollars that support a worthwhile service in your community, too.

The Wrap with Mary V
Image by Content Pixie from Pexels

The Wrap: Second Hand Stores Can Be a Fabulous Outlet for Cashing in on your clutter!

 

Which second hand stores make sense for you? Keep the following factors in mind when decluttering:

  • Time: how quickly do you need to turn your items into cash?
  • Money: how much (if any) return is enough for you?
  • Specialty: are your items rare or of a specific genre?
  • Donation: would you be satisfied with supporting a higher cause?

Some folks enjoy the whole selling experience and seem to really cash out. Others, not so much. Like anything else, it takes time and energy to makes the rounds in order to see what you can get. 

Something is better than nothing but at some point, diminishing returns can set in. Charitable donations start to look much more appealing! You make a difference to someone who can’t afford new and you may realize an income tax credit, too.

estate sale

How an Estate Sale Quickly Declutters Everything (But the Kitchen Sink!)

Imagine selling roomfuls of things, without having to pack, unpack, load, unload … if this sounds ideal, then an estate sale may be right for you!

An estate sale is one more option for decluttering your excess stuff and getting a financial return, as well. I’ve linked other selling options at the end of this post.

Whichever route you take, why not cash in on the stuff you no longer need, use, or want? 

We begin with a definition of “estate sale” so it’s clear how it works. Then, we’ll review how to start the process and have one run in your home. 

Today's Post Covers The Basics of An Estate Sale To Declutter Your Whole House Lickety-Split!

estate sale
image by Vitalii IONASHKY of Pexels

The Definition of "Estate Sale"

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Sometimes folks use the terms “estate sale“, “tag sale“, “garage sale” or “yard sale” interchangeably. But there are distinct differences!

For our purposes here, an estate sale refers to a third party managing the liquidation of personal belongings. It’s a formal process handled by a professional from start to finish. 

The sale takes place inside the home, whether in just a few select rooms or the entire footprint of the house.

The word “estate” can conjure up images of high end goods, collectibles, or fine antiques. But this is not always the case. In fact, just about anything you would find in a home can and has been sold at an estate sale!

Also, an estate sale was traditionally used to liquidate personal belongings after someone died. It was a quick way to settle debts. However, an estate sale can also be a practical approach for clearing space when the goal is to declutter, downsize, or divorce. 

Interestingly, estate sales can be run by the homeowner and can occur on-line, too. For today, we are only examining the on-site professionally managed approach.

estate sale definition
image by Kathy Images - stock.adobe.com

Other Types of Sales

In contrast, most tag, garage, and yard sales are run by the owners themselves or with the help of a family member or friend.

These types of sales tend to take a more casual approach. For example, items to sell are located in the garage, driveway, or front yard to keep buyers out of the house!

Additionally, prices are indicated with stickers. Certain tables or racks may have a sign with one price for all items placed there.  Some buyers often want to counter the posted prices, as well. Once a final price is agreed upon, cash and sometimes even personal checks are accepted.

Now, back to the estate sale process!

estate sales today
image by fauxels from Pexels

Kick Off An Estate Sale With These 3 Steps

Step 1: Locate a professional

In fact, talk to more than just one for comparison. A complimentary consultation allows the professional to evaluate your items, to explain their procedures, and to disclose the cost of using their services.

Always begin with gathering recommendations from friends or neighbors. Or, do a basic online search for professionals in your area. Check for reviews and research how long they’ve been in business. Confirm their standing with the Better Business Bureau, too.

Then, when you’ve performed your due diligence, you can sit back and relax once you’ve selected who will do all the work for you!

Step 2: Listen to what they believe will be salable and at what price

A professional can tell you what is hot and what is not in today’s market.

Understand that what you paid for something or how old it is has little to do with what it will sell for now. This is one of the hard truths to accept!

But in regards to certain items, such as coins or artwork, you may also choose to have them professionally appraised in order to confirm their current value.

And keep in mind that if something can be sold, they will want to do it because they typically work on a percentage basis. So if you hear that you’re better off donating certain things for the income tax deduction, it’s likely true.

Step 3: Request a written estimate

Be sure it includes a clear explanation of how and when your net proceeds are distributed.

Typically, you are paid within 3 days of the end of the sale. Estate sale fees range anywhere from 20-45% of the gross profits. It depends on your market and on the exact services provided.

Obviously, they are managing the sale from start to finish. But they may also handle any unsold items for you by offering to donate those items to charity on your behalf. There is always trash removal and after-sale clean up to perform, as well. Therefore, ask about related services so you know who is doing what.

estate sale near me
Image by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

What Happens During An Estate Sale

Reputable professionals adhere to industry best practices to help make your estate sale a success. Some of the most important considerations include the following:

  1. Weekend hours are a must to ensure all potential buyers can attend the sale. An estate sale is typically run 1-3 days.
  2. Colorful and enticing verbiage is used in the street signage, Internet and print ads. Artful and thoughtful display of your items is also an essential step.
  3. Extensive price research is conducted to get top dollar for you. Remember, the professional is paid on a percentage basis. So it’s in their best interest to maximize your return.
  4. Cash or credit cards are mandatory for all sales. An actual cash register is used to provide accuracy and security.
  5. Adequate preparation includes cleaning and minor repair of items to ensure selling at top dollar.
estate sale in my area
Image by Suzy Hazelwood of Pexels

Estate Sale or Consignment Shop?

How do you know which approach will work better for you?

To begin with, the professional will guide you. Although there are numerous estate sale companies, some choose to focus on high demand antiques, vintage, or one-of-a-kind items.

If many of your items are common brands or styles such as Corningware, Colonial furniture, or Ikea bookcases, you may be advised to consider the consignment route.

This is not to say that common household good don’t sell well in an estate sale. They can! But you should also explore your other options, anyway.

So talk to a few different estate sale professionals. Call or visit nearby consignment shops with pictures of your items. 

Then make a final, informed selling decision based on your research and your personal timeline.

Now go forth and sell!

The Wrap with Mary V
Image by Content Pixie from Pexels

The Wrap: This Post Shared The Basics of How An Estate Sale Moves All The Clutter Out In One Fell Swoop!

  • Research the selling options available to you. 
  • Remember to factor in how much time you have to liquidate your belongings.
  • Realize there is a tremendous amount of expertise and energy required to sell. Keep this in mind when you use a professional.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.