Sell These Things Before You Retire! (10 Items That Are Worth a Lot of Money)

Sell these things
Sell these things
Photo by Visualistka from Shutterstock

Retirement is a special phase of life most people anticipate, especially those in the workforce. This is a time when the paychecks will cease to exist unless you have a passive income. You’re probably familiar with the drill: work hard, save hard, and enjoy life while you’re young. But we also want to enjoy the benefits of retirement — in its modest way.

At this point, many people consider downsizing, not just to reduce expenses, but also to sail through their remaining years smoothly. This could mean selling that massive luxury condo that feeds deep into your wallet or getting rid of items you no longer want. In other words, sell these things when the time comes!

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100 thoughts on “Sell These Things Before You Retire! (10 Items That Are Worth a Lot of Money)”

  1. Of course this is good unless your spouse is a freaking hoarder. They never want to get rid of THIER stuff, but yours—-ADIOS

    1. Please be kind to your spouse – they need your loving help & support with things like this. I know, as I am one of those who holds onto things. It’s an emotional attachment that is so hard to describe & it makes things so much more difficult to part with. We attach loving & positive feelings to items that were gifted to us or made for us by loved ones & then feel immense guilt in parting with it, so we hang onto it and then it becomes clutter to have to deal with when it’s now overwhelming. We need compassion & encouragement to help organize the mess – not anger & resentment which makes us want to cling onto these items even more!

      1. I am in the middle on this. But I do have a husband who refuses to let go of things. How do I be kind yet still get rid of things? We have a storage building of papers from an old business and an entire room of “stuff” like papers, old pictures, etc. that he didn’t even take and isn’t even in. I don’t think it is fair that I will have to deal with all of these someday if he can’t AND find a place for all of it in a home that will be half the size as our current. Where IS the middle ground on this?

        1. I am one who holds onto things. It’s so hard. These are things that mean something to me, have sentimental value, or the task seems overwhelming. I thought I’d do it when I retired but I am retired now and I don’t want to do it. It’s huge! Basement, storage unitS, bedrooms, all stuffed.
          It helped me to read the short book about Swedish Death Cleaning. She makes the point that your kids, friends, spouse don’t care about your stuff, don’t know the history, will get rid of it. You need to deal with it now if you want it to go to a certain person or place. To tell them the history or why it means so much to you.
          I have been able to get rid of a lot of old papers, catalogs, owner’s manuals, etc. Everything is online now. No need to keep. Banking and tax stuff max 10 years. There’s guidance online regarding how long to keep.
          Ask him to deal with (not throw away) 3 things a day. This may take hours at first. I found really old papers the easiest to deal with, so send him to the storage unit.
          I wish you all the best.

          1. Must be a thing with “Carols.” LOL. I have moved, so many times, and lost so much stuff, that I hold on tight, to what I have left. I know it’s silly. (Fear is not a rational emotion.) It seems that every time I lose, or give away, something… I need it 6 months later, and can’t afford to replace it. I am NOT a Hoarder, (You can see my floors.) But, I admit to being a “pack rat.” There are clothes that I have had for 40 years. They don’t fit… but, they are still wearable. I should donate them… but, I can’t. Thinking about it Hurts, physically! As I said, it’s stupid, but, there it is. If you’re never been there, there are no words that will make you understand. My mother was that way with food. If you walked in her house, you would be fed… (whether or not, you wanted to be!) She reused plastic “butter bowls,” she even washed, and reused, zip-lock bags! She was living in London, during the blitz (WWII). There wasn’t much food, and almost No fruit. What there was, went to the children. (She was an RN, in the children’s hospitol.) When she came to America, she went to my grandmother’s for Sunday dinner, and couldn’t eat. All she could do was cry. She said it would have fed the whole ward, for a week.

          2. Re: “it’s huge” My daughter taught me, “how do you eat and elephant?” Ans. “ONe bite at a time” 15 minutes a day. Even if the first fifteen are just looking at ‘stuff’ and deciding what to keep and what to donate and what to toss. Get 3 boxes and mark them with those words. Part of your 15 minutes can be getting the “donate” box to your car.

          3. Yvonne Fairbairn

            Hello Carol, here is a suggestion for you. Donate clothing to a charity or local theater departments. Do not hold onto old clothing, there is someone who will want it. I never buy a new sweater, the thrift shops are loaded with them, some with the price tags on new items. Same with high-heeled shoes. I now only wear a British brand of low-heeled shoes. My daily ones being grey suede to match my favorite purse. My girls helped me get rid of old papers a few years ago, and for tax papers, I keep the first two pages of any over seven years old, and shred the rest. I would burn them if CA did not have a current no fire rule. My former husband was not a keeper of anything, even me. His mistake in life was never to go to a doctor, so he died of cancer that probably could have been cured if caught early, I

          4. I wished we both had worked on downsizing clothes and other personal items over the years.
            It turns out to be one of if not the worst task left behind for your spouse when you die. Very painful being left with making decision for your love’s stuff!

        2. I am one who was left with the stuff accumulated over 65 years. Though I did not enjoy doing it, removing the stuff gave me a tremendous insight into the private mind of my spouse. He was so much more than I knew, good and bad. It was actually a very healing exercise.

          1. HI
            It took me almost 2 years before donating my wife’s wardrobe to a rescuer mission nearby. Painful process, lots of tears, memories about some specific dresses etc. However, the letter I received from the rescue mission about her clothing and how greatful folks were to have it, is a blessing in happiness because it confirmed for me that I did what she would want to have done with her clothing.

        3. Several years ago I decided that I wanted to simplify. I had numerous totes and boxes full of stuff that I just couldn’t let go of and so I began my sentimental journey and each container I went through brought me joy and pain. I began to photograph each item and wrote a note as to what made me keep that item in the first place. After I finished each box I donated the contents, after all it was just stored in a box when it could have been put to use by someone.
          After going through roughly 40 containers I can now actually put my car in the garage.
          This is something that worked for me, maybe it will work for you as well.

        4. I have a wife that is that way. Our house looks like a disorganized 2nd hand store with stuff literally piled everywhere. I’ve just given up on any hope of it ever being any different as long as she is alive & I’ll more than likely be the one to die first

      2. I agree – If we have compassion and encouragement, as you say, we do not
        need – at my age of 79 years at least – old dolls and stuffed animals to keep us company
        and give us warmth.
        And then, that is personality. When I go, it will take a moment to throw them in the garbage.
        Environment full of “your stuff” is not good to be abandoned and replaced. It is part of US.
        Of course, keep them neat.

        1. I don’t have a problem throwing my stuff away or giving it away, but there’s several items my late husband had that I don’t want to part with, such as his watch, a vest, his wallet, a pair of cowboy boots I had made for him in Mexico in 1995. He put a lot of miles on those boots, they had to be resoled a few years back. Maybe later I will be able to but not yet.

          1. It’s been almost 3 yrs.since my husband passed but I remember it being hard to just “throw away” his dentures, his drivers license. So personal. I sure didn’t want to keep them and he didn’t need them. It’s heart wrenching. I have all my things in storage at my daughters thinking that I was going to go into a condo or apt.As it turns out I’m with my other daughter and she needs nothing. She’s trying to scale down. I brought a few things home from storage and they stayed in my car for 3 weeks. Finally I’m trying to remove them. Ugh. It is so hard

      3. One thing to consider is if you have children. Think about the time and effort it’s going to take them to clean out everything you’ve accumulated, it’s overwhelming.

        1. Yes, thinking of my children has made it easy to travel lightly through life now. My mother got rid of 40 years of stuff before she sold her house and moved to CA by me. What a gift it was! When my brother died and my sister and I had to dispose of his things it was so difficult. So we kept certain things that we could make room for and put to good use.
          The consolation of giving the other things away to the many organizations that help people in need is well worth the pain. I live in Florida( also called God’s waiting room) where there are many consignment shops for furniture, clothing, memorabilia, art, kitchen supplies – you name it. It’s a different kind of recycling. Good luck with letting go.

        2. Effective Presenter

          We agree a lot of work and a very depressing task, to sort through things that had been important to mom and dad and be faced with a decision, “what to do with this, keep it, donate, throw it out, etc.”

          Years ago, I had to clean out my dad’s desk, file cabinets, overwhelming I had to take a break got into my car drove to the WaWa for a soda and pack of m&m’s.

          We suggest y’all contain your “stuff” and papers, etc., to make the task of cleaning up less for the surviving children,

        3. Cheryl, I am going through 96 years worth of my mom’s things. 4000 sf house, completely full of her stuff she never got rid of and even a lot of her parents’ stuff she couldn’t bear to part with. Mom is still alive so I have to sneak things out. It’s exhausting making decisions about everything. Don’t do this to your kids!

      4. Something to consider is if you have children.They will have the burden of getting rid of all your stuff you collected over the years, it’s overwhelming.

        1. You are so right! I was left with Thousands of important photographs and negatives taken by my Dad as a professional photographer over 50 yrs. The University in his town set up an archive in his name and I donated almost everything. I am able to go access it all at any time- great solution. The antiques collection took time to deal with. I took photos of some pieces of furniture and glassware and made an album to look at. I have some favorites at home- but learned my lesson and by 70 had greatly downsized. It was very freeing after what I went through!

        2. My dad couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deal with his parents’ house when they passed. He wanted to leave it all there as it was (it was full of grungy “stuff” and mice). When I discovered how bad the house was 8 years after my grandma had passed (grandpa went to our houses for holidays and get togethers so we had no idea), I had to move him to a retirement apartment for his health. With it sitting there empty and the same light on, eventually people figured out nobody was living there and would break in and steal things (there was nothing of real value in the house). After the 3rd break in and they stole a box of things that were valuable that my sister and I had boxed up to be picked up by my dad, I had to tell him we were done and not leaving it in that condition. It took (mostly me, but some help from my husband, sister and mom) 18 months, yes you are reading that right, 18 months to clean it all out and to sell the trailer off the land! I cannot tell you the emotional toll it took on me as the granddaughter. Now my dad has done the same thing…passed and left all of his “stuff” (6 acres to spread out the stuff on) for two kids to deal with. I told my sister that she was in charge of dad’s stuff when he passed, but with mom still alive, I have to help out so here I go again. My dad outlived his money and had so much “stuff” that could have been sold and provided a lot better financial situation for them. Instead, the “stuff” was left to pile up, including several vehicles that took us a long time to get someone to tow and scrap. It’s a mental illness and while I can sympathize with that, people need to get help with counseling and/or drugs. It’s not fair to leave a huge mess for your children to deal with! It’s one thing to open up a house and have an estate sale, but it’s quite another if people can’t come in, things are buried by 10 feet of manure and hay remnants in the barn or it’s spread out over Kingdom-come. And, trust me, nobody is going to want all those papers from meetings you had 20 years ago, seeds from the garden you had 10 years ago or magazines that have been gathering dust/mold while being stored in a shed! Take it from me, you not dealing with your hoarding stuff will cause someone down the road a whole big heap of pain to deal with. Is that the legacy you want to leave to your children? It’s not what I’m passing down to mine.

      5. Dorothy M Trivett

        I agree. Remembering the person who gave you an item years ago is hard. In April I finally cleaned out my husband’s closet. He passed away 10/8/17. My son’s best friend helped me. There were several discussions about why an article was hard to part with etc. Never realized how much Square footage I had.
        Sleep in my husband’s t-shirts to feel close to him.

        1. I frequently make memory quilts and teddy bears for my family and friends, using the clothing of a departed family spouse or family member. You could make / or have someone make a tshirt quilt, pillows, etc, using your husband’s clothing. It will bring you lasting comfort. Sorry for your loss.

      6. Love your reply – you remind me of my dad – he couldn’t let things go because they reminded him of the people who gave them to him and he was emotionally attached to them. If they’re not in the way, not doing harm – I’m all for letting people hold onto what matters to them. It’s always easy for others to say “get rid of that” without any real thought to what emotional attachment in involved. You sound adorable – don’t change or feel pressure from anyone! 🙂

      7. Take a photo of your sentimental items, then sell them. Put the photos in an album. Takes up much less space than the items themselves.

    2. Google Swedish Death Cleanse. Process to reduce all your ‘stuff’ for retirement and so your kids/family doesn’t have to do it when you pass on.

      1. Why does everything revolve around the children. Hell I worry about someone that has no problem tossing. Be careful
        Or they’ll be tossing you. No attachment to memories. I
        Like to remember and sometimes it takes looking at an object to remind me.

    3. Ha! My husband is a keeper but a tosser of only my things. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks. While i was gone, he went through my drawers and tossed all my stockings, sports bras, scarves and whatever else was in those drawers. We have 2 sheds and a car tent that are full. Of course, most of the stuff in the one shed was put there when we moved and I could never get him to bring the boxes down to the house so I could go through them. The shed and moving was 35 years ago! My collection of teddy bears were burned and my collection of pendants and dolls (all from when I was 8-10 years old were destroyed by birds and squirrels and bees (he never closed in the eaves of the shed–I’m 74 now and no childhood things) because he would bring them down to the house, I couldn’t reach the shelves where they were stored,

      1. Most of us don’t have collections from childhood. It could even be said these are “hoarder”
        tendencies not collections. I would buy my own place to display my stuff or if I cannot afford
        to do that, I would give it to charity for kids in need. Learn to let go!

    4. My spouse also “collects things.” While I am trying to de-clutter the house of things NOT used in the last (2) years, he’s steady bringing in more “things.”

    5. Half the items on this list you are stating as unused items. If that is the case why must someone wait until they are retiring to sell them ?
      Also you state that you should sell your home, car and furniture. How do you plan on living out your remaining years without them ?

  2. This is a shame, my wife assured me that compact discs containing music would retain their value and actually increase in value based on the artist. Thankfully I have those Beany Babies to fall back on.

      1. i have a steamer trunk and 1 big container packed with beaneis they aint worth anything. still in wrappers someday right in the dumpster. princess dee 5 of them

      2. Me too! I Stood in line many hours to end up with nothing. But, I still have 4 containers full. Ready to part ways.

  3. I’m going to give my clothes to donated shops so other people can use them. This way don’t have to deal with garage sale and doing a good deed! Will probably try to sell nick nacks though.

    1. I sent mine to missionaries. Billy Graham’s organization sends shoe boxes filled with small toys to poor children in other countries every Christmas. They usually put a small stuffed animal inside each one. If you are interested, go to his web page and read up on it. It is a legitimate organization.

  4. I have very little luck selling anything from my house even if it’s not junk. You can drag everything outside for a yard sale and end up making $50 for a whole lot of effort. 🙂 It’s so much easier to box it up and take it away. The writer of this article obviously lives in a different environment. I have been cleaning out stuff and just giving it to organizations that help others. I will tell you that the biggest benefit from this is the feeling of freedom from so much stuff!

    1. My parents collected ceramic dolls. I took a few of them to a doll outlet and found out they were worth next to nothing. I have been giving them to anyone in the family that will take them. Good luck.

    2. Most” collectable” dolls are not worth more than $10. They made so many and while they are very pretty, not worth alot. Just donate to a nice thrift shop, like church based store.

    3. Go online and do a search about dolls. You would be surprised how some people are collectors and will pay money for them.

  5. Whoever wrote this is obviously a minimalist who has no understanding the “things” we collect and keep in our lives and homes retain value that is not necessarily monetary but reflect moments of time in our lives and keeping these objects that present sentimental value in which trading for cash which is more temporary and will in effect erase the meaning of those objects a lifetime memory

    1. Woodrow, I agree with you 100%. This article offered little insight on how to make money off of things you no longer need. The only 2 things of real value are the car and the house. That obviously begs the question – where do you then live (under a bridge?) and how do you get around (walking or a bicycle?) once you sell your shelter and transportation. Some collectables have potential for making money, but they must be rare, in demand and in pristine condition, and the right buyer must be found (easier said than done). The remainder of the 10 items are mostly either yard sale items of minimal value or stuff that you put out or throw away.

  6. I may be considered a hoarder but I keep things that my mother gave me. I have recipes that are in her hand writing. That is something I can never get back and I refuse to throw them away along with many things she gave me, along with many things that friends have given me over the years I treasure and think of that person each time I pull it out and use it. I have sold and given away things that I wish I had kept. My husband said I was a hoarder, but he would not part with any of his stuff either, but mine was “junk” although nothing he had was “junk”. I never insisted that he part with his things. So I refused to part with mine. I treasure my things as much as he does.

    1. I have the same issue with things my mother gave me. She loved yard sales so it’s a lot. I feel like I’m throwing her away. 😥

      1. Rather than tossing those things your mom gave you donate them. That way you are not throwing your mom away you are sharing her love with others.

      2. I like the idea of taking pictures. I, too, have things my Mother made (afghans) and letters from her.
        How much room do a few letters take up? Not much. If you have stacks and stacks, pick a few that really mean something and toss the rest.
        In this digital era, I feel letters are very much more precious. Ken Burns used letters in his “Civil War” programs. What do we have now? Just texts!

  7. I like the comments about who has the junk and who has the good stuff. All couples are similar. It is difficult to try and decide what to keep, etc… I have just retired and I am in the process of pairing down possessions. Never thought I had so much good stuff!
    Need to start listing “stuff” on various sites for sale.

  8. Sell my house? I worked and paid a mortgage for 20 years to live my life out in it, and now “they” say sell it? I think not. Nor will I ever part with the tools in my shop or my music.

    1. @Terry, my mortgage is paid off. property taxes and homeowners total 3K$ a year. Where else can we live for 300$ a month? I see no advantage in sellling to go pay more in rent somewhere else.

      Keeping car and truck too. I don’t want to go to his Geek Meets and he does not want to sit thru my Scrabble games. And neither of us want to be stranded at home because the other has the only vehicle.

  9. I don’t have a problem getting rid of stuff. I have a problem with people gifting me things. I don’t need Christmas or birthday gifts. Just getting together for a drink or meal is enough. Why don’t they get it?!

    1. I agree, spending time with someone during the holidays is so much better than getting more unwanted gifts. Gift giving is embedded into people’s
      mind. Try letting everyone know that you prefer their time over gifts, good luck.

    2. The very same people who have commented on all my ‘stuff’ when helping me move (they should take stock in their own houses, btw!) do that very thing – they keep giving me more stuff for birthdays, Christmas, etc.! Duh! Don’t they know that I would have difficulty parting with these ‘sentimental items’…..
      Isn’t that called ‘enabling’? 😉

  10. I moved from a 2,400 sq ft house to a single wide mobile home. About 950 sq ft. I left what the new owners wanted donated lots of new clothes, watches and Ralph Lauren ed hardy linens comforters pillows from my home plus collected all my neighbors to the new humane society no kill shelter and thrift shop. I gave a lot away but I still have my dads old tools from the 40″s lionel trains and 250 year old crystal from bohemia austro-hungary empires which I’m not ready to part with just yet. Downsizing ia not easy but I have no place to display any of it so. I guess I’ll decide what to sell. And what I want to donate or to I’m not good at selling things but I’ll give it a shot. But something’s are too precious to just get rid of like my great grandmother bowls she made dumplings with and things like that and a rolling pin from 1920″s I’ll just have to sort it all out and see what I can still fit and use.


  11. Where I live, rents are skyrocketing and there seems to be no end in sight. Telling someone to sell their home and rent may or may not be good advice. I hope people meet with their own finical planners and look at their situation before making any moves mentioned in this article. There is no one size fits all when it comes to retirement.

    1. Absolutely, a paid for home that you like is cheaper than any apartment, plus you are gaining value in excess of any expenses you might have. As an example, you might sell your home for $300,000 and in 15 years you will have spent the entire sum on rent. At this time you would have no money and no home. Bad advice. Some of this stuff is valid, but I find that in my case it to be inane. I use all my tools so why get rid of them.

  12. Guilty – I have lots of “stuff” and am willing to sell a lot of it; however, I keep getting warned to be careful not to let buyers on your property and meet them in a very public place. Then, I would have to transport the items there…..full sets of golf clubs with bags, a telescope on a stand, old cameras, etc. Also, I don’t like PayPal and don’t use online transactions and a check is risky. The only way I feel safe is asking for cash. Am I being too tight-fisted? Any suggestions.

    1. No, you’re not. Your being careful which is okay to be this way because of the scammers that take so much time and effort to try a d scam people all the time. I’m constantly placing items for sale and repeatedly get people to respond that wish to “send” a sister, wife, husband, uncle etc to pick up the item and want to pay for it via zelle, PayPal. Venmo etc. I refuse because that’s a good way for them to learn your bank and personal info. Also, accepting checks is no good either because the checks may be bad, even stolen and by the time you figure out you’ve been scammed, you’re out of money, and the items as well. So, it’s a good idea to be careful. Also, yes to meeting in public place but be aware that expensive items can be stolen from you upon arrival. Jewelry, valuable collectibles etc. Sometimes a weapon involved. If you accept cash for items, buy a pen that will allow you to see if the bills are fake or real too! Scammers are thieves and they go through lengthy creative ways to scam others. So, yes, be careful. I’m a retired cop, I’m not afraid to carry and conceal my weapon on me. I know not everyone will do this, but I’m a widow living alone and doing things alone now. I’m not about to let scammers make me an easy target just because they think women are easy to scam.
      Be alert and always tell others where you’re going to be if meeting someone to sell an item. Grocery store lots, Home Depot lots etc and be close to the store doors where there’s constant traffic of people in and out.
      Good luck

    2. Yes you are, Paypal and Venmo are quite safe, the money shows up fairly quickly. Then I move to my bank account also fairly quickly. Voila! money here, items gone!

    3. Some police departments will allow you to meet strangers at the police station for the purpose of selling items to them. Some ways of selling such as through Craig’s List have arranged safe places for you to exchange an item for cash or check. Our police station has an area outside the police station but visible through windows by the officer on front door duty.

    4. Taking precautions is smart. I do sales in the local police dept parking lot. Some have a designated spot for such activity.

    5. Have you checked out consignment shops, if any are in your area? If they think your items will sell, they will put them in their shop; when sold, they then take a percentage. You will potentially make less money, but in your case, it might be worth it?

  13. Google Swedish Death Cleanse. Process to reduce all your ‘stuff’ for retirement and so your kids/family doesn’t have to do it when you pass on.

    1. So I told everyone, you take the money, you clean out the house or no money… I did it for my mother. It’s a way of letting go of them . And no I don’t worry about what my family will have to do. I live my life with my memories and comfort in my home

  14. My will includes a list of personal property and each item’s disposition to a person and an alternate, if neither wants it then to either sell or donate, sometimes to a specific charity. I have also offered to cousins some items that came to my mother or me from her grandmother, mother and sister. I included photos of them. I will pay and send them their choices via UPS which will pack them for me. This will reduce my executor’s responsibility for sending items.
    In the meantime in order to prepare, I am going through closets, drawers, shelves and discarding or donating things. But I also hold on to some things like everyone else because of sentiment and nostalgia. There are still a lot of things after 80 plus years. But I am trying. I got some help from a professional organizer with paperwork and things, it proved to be very helpful so far.

  15. I am adding to my DVD collection … if I live long enough to the point where I am immobilized, and not able to move around freely …. 1500 films on DVD will keep me entertained.There are kitchen appliances that I am getting rid of, because one air fryer will replace about four other kitchen items … but after saving and living on the cheap all my life … I actually have more income now than I had when working … so I’m doing good. The house will go to my son, classic cars too. But I am living my best life …

    1. Why don’t you sell your classic cars and travel with that money before you become immobile and will only be able to sit and watch 1500 films that are all reruns anyway?
      The world is more interesting and beautiful to see, go there before you settle yourself out to pasture. You work all your life and should enjoy it now.

      1. It’s not so much fun to travel on your own, especially if you are advanced in years. Also, some people are just not suited to the ‘packaged tour’, where a group of strangers is shuttled from site to site complete w/yapping guides.
        Another instance, take those ocean cruises – if you are not a city person, or into crowds, imagine being stuck on a huge vessel w/3,000-6,000 other people out in the ocean somewhere. Would be a literal nightmare.
        Local might work, if there are places you have always wanted to see, and don’t have much difficulty (and have the funds) to get there, and stay in comfort…

  16. This probably sounds harsh and callous, but…if you haven’t looked at it in twenty years, get rid of it. If you don’t use it frequently, get rid of it. If you can’t remember who gave it to you, or what it’s for, or even what it is, get rid of it. If you haven’t worn it, it doesn’t fit, or it’s not for the weather where you are, get rid of it. If you want to give it to a specific person, do it now, along with the stories. I guarantee you, whoever has to get rid of stuff after you’re gone, will not care, and you won’t either, by then. Sell or donate, trash or pass on now, your loved ones will thank you when that time comes.

  17. I find it so overwhelming to sort through old papers, so I often will set a timer and make myself get to work for that 15 minutes. My neighborhood has an annual garage sale every year, but I box things up in my garage and get rid of lots of things every year. Sometimes, I have a hard time putting something in that garage sale box, but then it sits out at the garage sale all day and no one even wants it for $1! So off to the thrift store or garbage it goes. I also sell more valuable things on eBay and Mercari. Makes it easier to get rid of things when I can turn them back into money. Sure is easier to keep the house clean when it is less cluttered. My mess is in the garage….

  18. I love to help people get rid and go though years of accumulation.
    My moto it…
    Less is More…..
    More time to enjoy the things you want to do with your remaining years.
    I refuse to be dusting and cleaning all these nik-makes for the retired life. Heck NO!
    Be free and enjoy what you enjoy doing and get rid of all this added stuff weighing you down.

  19. I am the only child of an only child. During my teen years, we had to clean out the entire houses of my grandmother, a great aunt, and another pair of great aunts. All of them had lived through the Depression and saved everything. That definitely affected me and the way I live as an adult.
    When we downsized from 40 years in a huge house in an upscale neighborhood to a small apartment, we hired an estate sale company. Their advice: you will never get more money for your items than in this sale. That became my mantra when deciding whether to keep or release a thing. Some things are more precious to me than their monetary value. Those I kept; the rest we sold.

  20. I have a big armoire full of photos of children and grandchildren that I have never put into albums, just in shoeboxes. At 84 I know I’ll never do it. So I plan to have an afternoon session with my children and grandchildren where, sitting on the living room floor, the boxes of photos will be sorted by category of family and individuals, a grand overview of all our lives. At the end, each family will have their own boxes to take home, I will have a good memory of the day and the armoire will be emptied at last. Old clothes will be looked over and either used by someone in the family or taken to Goodwill. The same for my overflowing bookshelves. My 90 year old husband will be ecstatic as he is a minimalist with scarcely any possessions at all. I can foresee many stories and much laughter that wonderful afternoon-to-be which will happen as soon as I glean just a few items to keep for myself until I die.

    1. Can’t believe how similar we are — I’m also 84, with a 90 year old husband and an armoire full of shoeboxes of photos with plans for an afternoon of sorting with children and grandchildren. Are we unknown twins? I will buy photo albums for each household and just let everything go. My collection of 40 beautiful scarves, too (keeping five or six). All the dishes, silverware and serving platters for dinner parties I’ll never have again will also live on in other homes. Books I’ll never read again will be on their way to other readers. Thirty years ago when we retired from a big house in the midwest and moved to a west coast condo, we purged a lot, but managed to fill up again. Now we are about to leave this material plane of existence and need to be free and light to focus on more spiritual matters. As one journey ends, another one begins.

  21. it’s been a difficult lesson for me, but after experiencing closure of estates of several deceased relatives, I have learned. The items of great “value” bring pennies on the dollar when you sell through estate sale/auction. You may have paid a high price for the item but you’ll be lucky to get 1/2 that at auction. You don’t get to set the $$ value of an item, the buyer does. The value comes from whatever joy the item brings you during your life. If it doesn’t bring joy, it’s a burden. Let it go. Also be careful bringing deceased peoples’ energy into your home. 😢

  22. Get rid of my house? then I would have to spend more on a rental or by a new house. Mine has been paid for for 20+ years and doesn’t cost much for upkeep. This is because I have many tools that I can and do use, for home and automotive and any other maintenance. Vehicles?, I have 2, one for daily driving that gets good gas mileage, and one that I need to take care of my properties. As I read this article I have come to the conclusion that you are writing it towards the people that accumulated stuff just for the sake of having stuff.

  23. To each their own, but I did not work all my life to get stuff to sell when I retired. I got stuff to enjoy when I retired. A house to base out of for those travel trips and vehicles to take on those trips. I kept everything pared down through the years and don’t have a lot of clutter. The list is good for the X generation but not mine.

  24. Much of the article is not what I consider good advice. Before you decide to retire, you better know your financial situation through retirement, including spending for your dream adventures. You also better know if your health will will allow your adventures. Garage sales are a lot of work for little income, but an opportunity to throw out what doesn’t sell. It took 4 days to clear out my mother-in-law’s house on her passing. There were several large items, like a piano, a wood lathe, large tool collection, and the appliances, freezer, washer & dryer all in the basement. Turned over to an auction house, but at least we did not need to pay to move them. My mothers smaller 2 bedroom home only took a day to clear. In both these cases 75% of the items went to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Everybody thinks because it is old it is worth money. Even if it is a collectable item, if the condition is poor it will often cost more to restore it than what is it worth. If you have items that are important and you have specific people you want to have that item, give it to them now, before it gets tied up in court. If you plan on selling your household items to fund your retirement…… you better keep working.

  25. Deborah has the best advice. I am in the end-of-life business and have had to clear out many a home, including for my pack-rat parents. After they died, I sold their house and had to clean out the attic in the August heat. If you haven’t used something in 20 years, you won’t miss it, and the people or strangers you leave behind will thank you for cleaning up after yourself .

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