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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51 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. 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.

      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.

      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!

      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.

      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! 🙂

    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,

    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.”

  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.

  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.

  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. 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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  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.

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