Decluttering Woes: Should I Sell, Donate, or Throw It Out?

In our last two articles, we talked about completing a decluttering project and how the outcome benefits your health. If you have successfully transformed your home into a space of tranquil fluidity and simplicity, you are on to the next step — discovering what to do with your pile of unused valuables.

At this point, you may be asking yourself which items to sell, donate, or throw out. Today, we will guide you in your decision-making.

1. What You Should Know About Selling Clutter

From children’s toys, baseball cards, luggage sets, and silverware — some of the items collecting dust in your attic could be worth a fortune. Just because something was stashed away does not mean it’s invaluable. In fact, a Russian figurine found in an upstate New York attic for nearly 70 years was sold at auction for a staggering 5.2 million American dollars. A similar story tells the tale of a 1000-year-old bowl valued at a whopping 2.2 million dollars.

These are just two examples of the several lucky instances when a simple decluttering project turns a family into overnight millionaires. Therefore, it is crucial to do your research before deciding to donate or throw out an item. If you suspect that one of your ancestral hand-me-downs is worth a fortune, do not hesitate to seek an appraisal.

The following items may be equivalent to a hefty amount of cash:

  • Comic Books

Did you know that a near-mint copy of Action Comics No. 1 owned by actor Nicolas Cage sold in an auction for $2.16 million in 2011? Similarly, a couple who purchased a house for $10,100 discovered a Superman comic book worth $175,000, putting the price tag of their new household to shame. But why are comic books so expensive?

In 1938, when Action Comics No. 1 hit the newsstand, the last thing on people’s minds was collectibility. Comics were relatively inexpensive and were a disposable form of entertainment. Some children read each copy until they fell apart, and there were parents who did not approve of such reading materials and threw them away. Very few issues of age-old comics exist today, thus, making them in demand by collectors.

  • Vintage Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry was initially created to replace finer pieces of jewelry, being worn only several times until passed on to succeeding generations as an heirloom. Today, vintage costume jewelry has become a highly collectible niche in the world of antiques and collectibles.

For instance, Albert Weiss founded self-titled jewelry company Weiss in 1942. The brand has become one of the most famous and collectible names in the history of vintage costume jewelry collecting. Weiss is synonymous with elegant and gorgeous rhinestone pieces, which include brooches, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Unfortunately, the Weiss company went out of business in 1971, making their pieces very collectible. The most sought-after and stunning pieces include figures of birds and animals, which routinely sell for high prices at auctions and in both online and offline stores.

  • High-End Electronics

With the rise of portable music players and other compact technologies, not everyone has further use for bigger stereo and audio equipment such as speakers, amplifiers, and music players from renowned brands like Denon, LG, Pioneer, Sony, Onkyo, Samsung, and Teac. Nonetheless, there are many collectors and tech enthusiasts pining for such high-end equipment.

Where to Sell Your Clutter

Online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram are accessible platforms for selling unused items, but only if you want fast cash without unveiling the real value of your item. On the other hand, you can get your item’s worth by bringing them to Biltmore Loan. We are a premier business that specializes in purchasing and providing loans on high-value assets, including comic books, jewelry, electronics, and so much more. Drop by our Scottsdale and Chandler locations for a free market appraisal.

2. What You Should Know About Donating Clutter

Not all things increase in price as they age, especially if they don’t fall under the “collectible” or “rare” category. All items that no longer serve their purpose in your household are better off donated to a local charity.

Keep in mind that charities can only make use of items that are new, nearly new, or unused. If you have no further use for your tattered couch, rusty fake jewelry, and other worn out items, the chances are that neither will a charity. With that said, some of the best items to donate include quality clothes, toys, towels, sleeping bags, blankets, socks, shoes, and personal care items that are at least a year away from expiry.

Where to Donate Your Clutter

To avoid transportation costs that can take a toll on the quality of your donations, find a charity to support within your community. You may do so by visiting city hall or by asking locals for charities that accept the kind of items you are looking to donate.

In addition, you may also use Charity Navigator’s database to find a charity in your local area. Their advanced search feature includes searching for charities within your state, city, or within a set radius from your zip code.

3. What You Should Know About Throwing Out Clutter

There are few as satisfying as realizing how much space you have by throwing away junk you don’t need. Some items that are neither worth selling or donating include expired makeup and medication, a stash of old and used toothbrushes, unsalvageable wires and chargers, expired food in the pantry or fridge, and of course — used and worn out underwear.

Recycling is also one of the best course of actions take, which helps preserve our planet. On a daily basis, over 100 million Americans participate in recycling used materials in their homes and offices. To help you out, the National Recycling Coalition has compiled a list of some of the most important items to recycle, which include aluminum, plastic bottles, newspapers and textbooks, corrugated cardboard, steel cans, glass containers, magazines, and mixed papers.

A Word of Advice

The longer you hold on to your purposeless items, the easier it is for them to make their way back into your life. Whether you choose to sell, donate, or throw out your clutter, just keep in mind that there is a beautiful world of freedom and fresh breath hiding behind it.