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  • Writer's pictureCharna Kinneberg

To keep or not to keep - that is the question

Often my first visit with a prospect starts with them lamenting the overwhelming task of downsizing and disposing of things. The comments go something like this: " Where can I sell my good china?" "I think my son will want the dining room table." "My daughter said her daughter wants the bedroom set but she is in college and lives in the dorm." Then there are the comments like: "My husband has been taking all the old tools and Pyrex to donation. Can you sell the living room set? It's a lovely floral couch we've had for years. No one ever sits on it. It has to be worth a fortune." "What about my husband's suits?" "I have about a hundred Hummels, Lladro, Waterford, etc."

There are so many things troublesome about this approach. Most people don't know the current market value of their possessions. It is heart breaking to find your family isn't interested in things you cherish. It's worse to find out the current market value of things you believe are of high value only to find out you are wrong. The issue transcends socioeconomic groups too. I had a relative invest in what they thought was high end art work. The sales person during the last transaction said to my relative if they ever wanted to sell the collection, they would get many times the value. This relative, encouraged by what they felt would be a great investment, quickly purchased another piece of art. After the relative died, the heirs contacted the art gallery and were told they should sell the items locally for whatever they could get. The pieces went up for sale at an estate auction. The bids failed to meet the reserve amount and the heirs are still searching for a good way to sell the art.

We try to help people avoid the anguish by asking them to keep their decisions simple. Keep or Don't Keep. Go through the house. Area by area, item by item. Do you love it, will you use it, is it something you can do without? For the majority of possessions, this is a clear, easy way to ascertain what you should hold onto. It's not about if your children want it, if it can bring you lots of money. Keep it simple. Do you wish to keep or not keep the item. It's not about how much you paid for it. It's not about losing or gaining weight to make them fit. It's a realistic view of it everything you own - keep, don't keep. Label things so you know you've made the decisions.

What happens to the rest? We have methods to deal with everything. We will help you get things sold, donated or if needed trashed. There are a variety of methods we use, all depending on the quality and quantity of items that are left. Our goal is to mirror your wishes. But first - we need your decisions.

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