5 Hacks to Let Go Of Your “Stuff” (& Make Money!) while Downsizing

The majority of calls we receive contain the words: “lots of stuff.”  The definition of “stuff” is quite broad, isn’t it?   Many of our clients have things stored in boxes, bins and bags in their attics, basements and closets that they haven’t examined in years, and cannot even use words to describe them. The mere acknowledgement of those things can send a client into apoplexy!  Those bins are usually FULL of objects that have sentimental value or are “perfectly good,” but, do they have any monetary value? It certainly makes sense to turn unused “stuff” into money.  Yes You Can employ a simple plan to get that job done, especially with lesser quality and common items.

After you’ve accomplished these 5 Hacks, you’ll be ready for the Magnusson’s Magic – identifying the valuable items and turning them into cash.  Our job is to make sure that your belongings end up where they should: in your home, in a friend or family member’s hands, at a donation center, or SOLD!


Here are 5 life hacks for helping you let go of some your precious, beloved, unused items

  1. SORTING: Like Kind Objects Together, then, Good – Better – Best. I cannot stress enough the importance of sorting your items by Good, better, best. Most people think about sorting their things into categories, which is a good first step. Yes, you should put all of your silver together. However, if you put your silver and turquoise squash blossom necklace in with silver-plated tea service, then you’re doing a disservice to your wallet.  Put like-items together, BUT THEN sort them by good, better, best.
  2. RESEARCH & THINKING: Now that you have your groupings of like-items and Good Better Best, you can start price researching. Ebay is often an appropriate place to start, because you can often find out what similar objects have actually sold for.  Go to “Advanced Search,” type in your keywords, and check the box that says “Completed sales.”  Another option is to check auction house sales results for similar items by using the appropriate search terms. Your objective might be to find the best market for your objects. Can you do an estate sale if you have an entire house full of things? Is consignment to auction the best option? Do you have high-value collections to go to a SPECIALTY auction? Or, could it be a combination of the ALL OF THE ABOVE? Most importantly, is it worth your VALUABLE time to figure all this out? The answer will be YES for anyone with fine art, high-end antiques, quality furniture, porcelain, silver, jewelry, decorative objects and art.  I recommend talking to a referred, certified AND accredited appraiser.  Our firm, and some other appraisers, offer problem solving consultations.  A certified appraiser should be able to tell you exactly what you have & where you should sell it.
  3. RECYCLE OR DONATE: All of us have junk that we just want to go away. (If you have expensive things, you may want to consult a professional to facilitate an estate sale on your behalf). YES, just about anybody can do their own tag sale. Just remember you must move everything, set it up, make sure the buying public does not have access to any items not for sale, advertise properly and spend YOUR valuable weekend haggling with potential buyers. Some people enjoy that, but if you want to save a lot of time (and make A WHOLE LOT MORE money), go to your local Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, or similar donation center for a tax deduction. All you need to do is drop off your items and get a receipt from the receptionist. If you have metal or other recyclables, be green by going to a recycling center and you may even be able to get cash directly from them.
    5 Hacks to Let Go Of Your "Stuff" (& Make Money!) while Downsizing
  4. VALUABLE METALS: Visit your reputable, certified appraiser with your Gold, Silver, Jewelry & precious metals. Make sure the Appraiser has a STATE certified and registered scale AND proper testing kits. At The Magnusson Group, we are happy to show you the process of weighing and testing your precious metals at no cost to you. Additionally, we explain how and why the prices of these metals change. An appraiser can tell you if your jewelry is real, the quality, and the most profitable marketplace.
  5. FINALLY REMEMBER, STORING COSTS YOU: Storage units full of furniture your kids might want one day (but have no interest in now) will cost you a ton money! As parents and grandparents get older, a lot of their stuff is going to fall into your care. But even if you technically “have space” for these items, they WILL cost you your brain cells and muscle through time, energy, and angst.

Isn’t the fundamental purpose of YOUR possessions to IMPROVE your life when you see them or use them? No matter how amazing, or expensive the item, if your things are dragging you down, then they don’t work for you. Purging will clarify & cleanse your home and improve your quality of life while making room for new experiences for the New Year.

If you have high-end valuables, call the Magnussons now for a Problem Solving Consultation about your downsizing project at (973) 425-1550.

Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator

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Showing 9 comments
  • Janice Vicine

    please make your printing of news. And comments in darker and larger . I cannot read your tiny light print

    The print i within the green background in bold stands out and I can read it.

    I tried to enlarge this print but could not. Never had this problem on any other site

  • Magnusson

    Dear Janice,
    Thanks for the feedback! We will look into making our text easier to read promptly.
    Happy 2017!

  • Larry

    Very interested in service…..Are you located in the LosAngeles area ?

  • Kathy Coughlan

    Love your sales! I have bought so many beautiful antiques from them . You are very knowledgeable,friendly,and helpful! Thank you!

  • Magnusson

    Thank you, Kathy!

  • Magnusson

    Larry, we are located in Northern New Jersey. We also serve New York, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona and Mississippi. What sort of project were you interested in?

  • Magnusson

    Update: Hello, I wanted to let you know we darkened our text after receiving your comment. Let us know if you have any other feedback!

  • Marcie Hanhart

    tis is one of the most useful and interesting articles I have read on downsizing. I find it a huge monster to even think about. And the comment about Grandparents things and holding for what children likely will never want – they have been a huge burden to me. Right on. Thank you for the excellent guidance. I have seen what you’ve done for others and will be sure you do it for me as the time comes. Thank you.

  • Magnusson

    So often during our consultation phone calls, we hear from clients with family heirlooms that their children have no interest in owning. Thank you for the thoughtful comment. Remember, your personal property should never be a burden!

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