Personal possessions may hold some of the most incredible memories, and others are just collecting dust.
Today I want to talk about why we should sell or donate personal possession to make it easier on those you leave behind.
The Impact Of What You Leave Behind
If you own something free and clear, it belongs in your life’s possessions pile.
Getting rid of clutter has been our goal for 2018 after the passing of my father-in-law.
Currently, my mother-in-law has been diagnosed with onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Since then, she has purged the entire home because she wants very little in it.
She continually says, “I’m just one person,” However, when my father-in-law was alive, it was only the two of them, and boy, they collected many things over the years.
Honestly, it looks like the house is for sale, but it’s not.
She’s just sick of the clutter and wants it gone, and in some ways, I don’t blame her.
Our space should be essential to us; whether we have ample space or a small space, and filing it up only takes away from our room to move freely, something we should value more than stuff.
Purge Every Day
Out with the old, forget about anything new or used, and stop bringing stuff home even if it is free.
That should be because we don’t always have to replace what we get rid of since we accumulate more stuff costing us money.
The ups and downs of our situation have impacted us significantly, and we hope our story might help you consider going through your stuff and getting rid of what you don’t need or have doubles and triples of for no reason.
It seems that just nine years ago, we moved into our home with clothes and an air mattress but have since accumulated personal possessions we no longer use.
Mrs. CBB and I often made excuses as to why we needed to keep something, but no more.
The other day, I pulled out nine ice cream scoops from the kitchen drawers I’ve been collecting over the years, picked two I needed, and am selling the rest at an upcoming garage sale my sister-in-law is hosting.
Buy, Sell, and Trade websites are some of the biggest industries in Canada where we can take our unused personal possessions and turn them into money.
Even if you don’t want a financial return on your possessions, you can often give them away for free.
Whether you sell your possessions or not, you keep stuff from entering the landfill and continue using items that likely are collecting dust at home.
Letting Go Of Personal Possessions
Sometimes the most challenging part for people is to give up personal possessions that don’t add value to their lives.
When my father-in-law passed away, Mrs. CBB struggled, and she’s still going up against his possessions to keep and sell.
We have a curio cabinet with a shelf dedicated to him and a few odds and sods we’ve brought back.
It seems that no matter what we own, use or not, and there is a story behind each item. m sure you can relate.
How the story impacts your life dictates whether you want to keep something or not.
The hardest part is to let go of possessions that offer no value but think you might need in the future.
Struggling To Get Rid Of Stuff
Perhaps you may, but if you don’t, then all you are doing is allowing clutter to build, becoming more of a hassle down the road.
To this day, we are still trying to downsize the number of possessions he accumulated over the years.
Some might call this hoarding, and perhaps it was, but it indeed was organized chaos.
Since growing up, poor was in his blood, and he kept any possessions he found an ounce of value.
There was always the “what-if,” and trust me when I say he had more than just doubles of what he owned; think multiples.
Savings vs. Costs of Personal Possessions
Over the past months, we’ve been downsizing what my father-in-law left behind. The task has been overwhelming for all of us.
We’ve already paid to have three 15-foot bins taken away, costing my mother-in-law approximately $1000 in rentals and dumping fees.
What we couldn’t sell or didn’t have time to sell ended up in the landfill or for free on the front lawn.
It’s shameful that we don’t have the time to maximize returns on his possessions financially, but it gets overwhelming when there’s so much.
Even though we are far from done cleaning out his possessions Mrs. CBB and I have started to do the same at our house.
Leaving behind such an enormous task for a surviving spouse, children, relatives or friends to take care of is not fair at all.
Sometimes things happen that we are unprepared for in life, and other times we know something may happen.
Either way, slimming down what possessions we own often makes the transition easier for everyone.
In about three months, we’ve sold lots of our hidden or unused possessions and have banked about $2500, which is better than nothing.
Along the way, we have learned that if we want to see the most significant return on what we own, then taking the time to research each item is imperative.
I can’t even begin to tell you the stories from potential buyers about why they can’t afford something, why they should get it cheaper, and so on.
Actions like this deter sellers but don’t let buyers who try to push you into lowering your prices bother you.
It’s just a game and if they don’t want to pay, let them go because there is always a buyer as long as what you sell is in decent shape.
Just remember there is a difference in pricing between what you sell at a garage sale and what you sell classified.
Garage sale prices are rock-bottom, and online ads are valued higher because, most often, the seller is not in a rush as it would seem with a weekend garage sale.
The number of new products in wrapping we have dug up in my father-in-law’s garage would astound you.
Many of you might think we should donate everything, but he has a widow who needs the money.
Life Doesn’t Get Easier Just Challenging
We’re all on a journey; whether we want to believe it or not and how it plays out depends on many factors.
Sometimes being in the right place at the right time brings joy or grief to our lives.
Other times a seemingly healthy person falls ill or someone who thought they had time had little to no time at all.
Life is precious, my friends, and although we must live it to the fullest, we must always consider that tomorrow may never come.
Often we forget how our health can impact our lives today or in the future and for those left behind.
When a spouse passes away, it can be overwhelming for those left behind to pick up the pieces.
There is no way my mother-in-law would know where to begin selling his possessions, many of which are worth lots of money.
The money we can earn for her will go to her bank account and help fund her living costs until she is no longer with us.
After his passing, we’ve since learned how expensive it is to move into a retirement home and what services are and are not available for seniors in the community.
To put things into perspective, a decent retirement home, IF you can get into one, can cost upwards of $3000, depending on where the house is located. Toss any severe health issues, and that number increases.
If you thought life was tough financially while working full-time, wait until you retire and have little to no income or savings.
What if you still have a mortgage to pay W at if you still have debt W at if your health deteriorates?
What if you have disabilities or have nobody to help you?
People with severe disabilities face a number of challenges in everyday life, chief among them financial – including barriers to employment and additional costs to manage their conditions, from mobility devices through to specialized therapy. Related: The CRA makes life more difficult for those with disabilities
That’s when life gets real, and although some people might rely on the government or even their kids to pick up the pieces, there’s never anything good that comes from it.
The amount of red tape and hoops will blow you away if you’re not prepared.
We’ve experienced arguing, relatives who turn their backs and so-called friends who try to get stuff for cheap or free knowing the value of what they are getting is higher.
It’s essential to think about your finances for today and tomorrow because anything could happen.
Maximizing Return For Personal Possessions
Over the past months, Mrs. CBB and I have been tasked with investigating items my father-in-law owns so we know how much to sell them.
Thankfully before he passed, we talked about what he had and how much they were worth.
We needed to understand what items were worth, especially his hobby equipment.
- golf clubs
A host of other things kept him busy during his retirement years, and with that comes clutter.
Pricing Personal Possessions For Sale
A quick example of our legwork would be the brand new snow blower in the garage that cost $1500 to purchase and someone offering my mother-in-law $100 for it.
If we weren’t there to step in, she likely would have sold it, not because she doesn’t care. It’s because she doesn’t know any better.
Not everyone understands the value of something, but when money is on the table, they are likely to crack and take it, especially if they are desperate.
Not all kids will jump in and do what we are doing to help my mother-in-law bring back some money into her savings account, nor does everyone have kids, family, friends or relatives to help out.
These are things to remember when you continue to buy stockpiles of items just because they are on sale or offered free to you.
Take what you own and slim it down to what you need and not what you think you might need today or in the future.
If you find that your closet has 15 jackets take what you don’t use and sell them or donate them if the money is not essential to you.
We’ve still got a few more trips and bins to fill up before we are done, which will cost her around $2000 in removal and dumping fees.
If you think about the money you are saving on stuff you buy but don’t use and the costs of getting rid of it for those left behind, you might find that it’s not much savings.
Selling Personal Possessions
Where are the best places to sell your possessions?
There are online websites and mobile apps available in Canada for buying and selling to consider.
Most importantly, if you are selling someone else’s possessions, take the time to research items you aren’t sure about pricing, so you maximize return.
Even beyond this list, some websites offer to sell specific items such as used wedding dresses such as Stillwhite.ca.
- Varage Sale
- Facebook Marketplace
- Garage Sale
- Consignment Store
- Pawn Shops
Alternatively, donate to local shelters, community centres or second-hand shops if you’d instead downsize and ship it out the door.
Less Is More
When I was living in the UK, there were zero closets in my house, meaning I needed a large and bulky wardrobe.
I’ve since learned that if we pretend we don’t have closets, shelving, garages and basements to store stuff, we bring less into our house.
If you have to stand back when you open a closet because something might fall out, consider getting rid of those personal possessions.
Discussion: How do you decide what personal possessions to keep and sell?