Cindy’s article yesterday brought up the problem of clinging on to things in the hope of recouping what they are worth. As the value of things is very subjective it isn’t always easy to put a price on such items causing a dilemma that can paralyse ones ability to get things out of the house. Regardless of the vastness of the internet it isn’t always possible to find the answers to all such questions.
At the moment I am in possession of a vintage fountain pen for which someone has made me an offer of $50 sight unseen. This quick offer ~ without even any photos to get some idea of it’s condition ~ sent off warning bells in my head. Could this thing be worth significantly more than that and would I be doing myself a disservice by accepted this hasty offer. The item is very small and not taking up much space so what does it matter that it is still in my possession while I procrastinate over it. The trouble is, it is taking up more space in my head than it is in my house. Not that I think about it often but when I do I don’t like that I am so hesitant over such a silly thing. After all it didn’t cost me anything in the first place so I would be making an easy $50.
My second experience of worth or value is my desire, at times to recoup some of the cost of items I either…
- a) … didn’t use enough to get my money’s worth out of. AKA guilt clutter.
- b) … was expensive and even though I used it a lot would still fetch a reasonable some of money.
- or c) … am not sure whether I want to keep them or not and making some money on them would tip the scales on the decision.
I have several avenues for doing this but ebay is my most common method. The way ebay is structured here in Australia crrently is that there is a higher than previous selling commission but no insertion fees. This means I can list items and if they don’t sell I have not lost any money. I would rather pay a higher commission on a successful auction than pay an insertion fee on something I have made no money on. The beauty of this is that I can list the same item over and over again at no charge until it does sell. I use the three strike rule in these cases, that is if the item doesn’t sell after three attempts I admit defeat and donate it. I am nothing if not determined when it comes to recouping money. And I have to say I am OK with this
However the worst case I can think of when it comes to the value of clutter is related to a subject that is often discussed her at 365 Less Things. The subject is the clutter left behind after a loved one passes away. Especially a loved one who has more than their fair share of clutter. The sort of clutter handed down to them in the same situation plus stuff they have acquired over the years through gifts, from garage sales, flea markets and the like. What worries me is the possibility that there may be some treasures among the endless clutter that are worth a lot of money. Treasures that could end up being sold for a couple of dollars at an estate sale or donated to charity in the haste of clearing the clutter in your time of mourning.
This scenario is bought into stark reality when one watches TV shows like Antiques Roadshow when, occasionally, people have an item valued at thousands if not ten’s of thousands of dollars that they had purchased for next to nothing from some poor unknowledgable fool’s garage sale. One would think these items are clearly worth a lot of money and you would recognise them for what they were worth at first glance but some of the oddest and sometimes ugliest things can be worth a lot of money ~ baldy old Steiff bears, ugly old damaged celluloid dolls, paintings you wouldn’t want to hang on your wall, battered old circus posters, battered old furniture etc etc. One would have to possess a vast knowledge of antiques to know what was valuable and what wasn’t.
Can you imagine seeing something you remember parting with in this situation suddenly pop up on your television screens months later valued at several thousand dollars. Personally I would rather let someone else in the family have and deal with these possession while I live in blissful ignorance of what came and went. And this is why it is important to get your clutter under control now so the loved ones you leave behind aren’t burdened with this situation. Make sure they know that of the items you chose to keep which ones are worth real monetary value so they aren’t left guessing in their time of grief.
I guess the best way to simplify all of these scenarios is to either not care or take what you can get at the time and be satisfied with that. Let what is left go to charity and don’t look back. Your piece of mind in the present is worth more than any riches, be they real or imagined.
Today’s Mini Mission
Round up all your small kitchen appliances ~ Choose one cupboard or shelf in in the kitchen for all of these appliances. I have done this in my kitchen with the exception of the toaster and kettle which are located on the bench top because they are used very regularly.
Today’s Declutter Item
Here is an item that belonged to my son that didn’t get much use. I listed it on Gum Tree once and ebay twice before it finally sold for $30. I mailed it out on Monday. I am glad that I recouped some cash for it but it sure did linger around the house for a long time from when the decision was made to declutter it until it finally sold.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Two other items selling on ebay and several others with lots of watchers.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast