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We’ve all heard about homeowners who got filthy rich after cleaning their basements or attics and finding valuable or antique items. Their stories, which are sometimes highly publicized, have inspired many people to go on their own treasure hunts, exploring the hidden secrets of their homes.
While you may not find an original Vincent Van Gogh painting in your attic as some of these people did, until you search every corner of your house, you cannot really know whether some old, seemingly-worthless item is actually worth some money. Besides, you might be surprised to find out what is regarded as valuable these days, from movie posters and cheap reproductions to old toys or furniture.
Treasure can be defined as an item featuring a historical, financial or sentimental value—or all of the above. However it’s difficult to find an item that has all three elements at the same time. For example, old family photos or documents can have historical and sentimental value, but in some cases, but probably not a lot of financial value unless they are rare photographs of a famous relative. Or an item may have purely sentimental value, like a favorite childhood toy. When sentimental, items hold significance and therefore can be considered valuable, but only within the family.
Junk, on the other hand, has no value for the owner. It can be an obsolete or broken item or just something you will neither ever use nor miss if you part with it.
For many people, the very thought of cleaning out their overly cluttered attics, basements, garages, or unused rooms can be considered a nightmare. However, with the “trash or treasure” mentality, it could be a lot of fun as opposed to a boring, time-consuming chore. Get the entire family involved!
Pick one area to concentrate on at a time, like the attic or garage. Quickly sort through items into separate bins or boxes marked “treasure,” “trash,” “donate” and “keep.” Don’t pause to reminisce over them as you sort—the point is to get moving and tossing.
The treasure box should contain items that potentially have real value. After you’re finished sorting and cleaning up, look up items in this box online to see if they are either collected or sold. With some online research, you will get an idea of its resale value. You may even want to have a professional appraisal if you think an item is actually worth something. If it is, you can then sell it online yourself, sell it to a dealer or collector, or put it up for auction.
If the treasure is a family keepsake or heirloom, please check first within the family to see if anyone would like to have it before selling or donating it out of the family. Many broken hearts can be saved with this simple step.
The trash box should contain items that are broken, stained, and essentially unusable, like newspapers, old magazines, broken glass, non-working appliances or yard tools, etc.
Items that you no longer use or want, but are in perfectly good condition, should go into the donate box. These items can be delivered to area charity and thrift stores for recycling back into the community, while at the same time, helping out those in need. This box might include household items, clothing, toys, books, etc.
Hopefully, you’ve filled the other three boxes so that there isn’t much left in the keep box. Sort through these items and find permanent homes for them within your house. Do not leave them in the keep box and stick the box on a shelf. If the item was important enough to keep, like family photographs, sentimental items or truly useful ones, house them nearby where they will be accessed most easily.
Ask yourself these questions if you’re having trouble deciding whether to get rid of items:
Now that you’ve created boxes or piles for disposal, call 123JUNK. We’ll gladly come in and take everything you don’t want and either donate, recycle or dispose of it for you. You’ll even get a receipt and a visual record for all items donated. All you need to do is point us to the piles to go.
If you live in the Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. area, call 123JUNK today to schedule your pickup appointment.
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