# 4 Letting Go
One of the hardest things to do when you are downsizing is to let go of your possessions. It is difficult to get rid of them not only because of their sentimental attachment as we discussed last month but also because we know they have value. We want to be responsible with them but don’t know the best way to offload them. Should they be sold, given to family, donated or recycled? Before you can make this decision you should consider their value and your goals.
Their value -The value of an item is often only in the eye of the owner. It is skewed by how important it is to the owner, the sentiment involved or the owner’s knowledge of its original cost. We need to be cautious in assessing our possessions’ real worth. There are several kinds of professionals who can help you discern the worth of special treasures. If you own art, antiques, or collectibles, you may want to get an appraisal. For more common items like your sofa, tea cups, or musical instrument, you can visit a local consignment shop or search the internet to see the price others are asking for similar items. Remember the asking price (what’s advertised) and the actual price (what the item eventually sells for) may not be the same.
Your goals – Once you have a clear picture of your possessions’ real worth, you should consider your goals. What is important to you as you downsize and dispose of your things? Do you want to share your things with people who will appreciate them? Do you need additional funds to make the move possible? Are your time and the ease of downsizing important to you? The answers to these questions will enable you to make a prudent choice about where your things should go.
Your decision – With the true value and your goal in mind, it is time to consider the many options available for your possessions. Here are some possibilities to consider:
• Give to family – An excellent way to preserve a treasured possession is to pass it on to the next generation. However, there are some things to consider before taking this step. Do they really want it? Do they have the space or will it crowd their home and complicate their lives? When you ask, be willing to hear a “no” without being offended. You want the best for them as well. If it is not going to be shared with family, perhaps you can use a suggestion from last month’s newsletter by taking a picture, writing a description or historical account of the piece and sharing that with the family member.
• Sell – This is an option that can bring in some additional funds but at the cost of a lot of time and energy. Whether you choose to sell through a dealer, a consignment shop, the internet or a garage sale, you will need to research prices, set up the sale, follow up and wait for the funds to arrive. If you decide that your time is most important, selling your things may not be the best option for you.
• Donate – Some of the possessions you are downsizing may still have good life left in them and can be reused by someone else. A variety of agencies and non-profits can use your goods to benefit others. Consider what interest or cause is important to you and then support that cause by donating your goods there. Remember to consider places like homeless shelters, building programs, and community centers. This kind of donation will also benefit you in the form of a tax write off.
• Recycle –Have an item that is in poor condition and can’t be shared with others? Recycle it! Nowadays you can recycle so many things from paint to sneakers to electronics. Don’t think that just because it has seen its best days it should go in the trash; consider your recycle options first.
Before you get rid of the things you are downsizing, carefully evaluate what they are really worth and think about what is important to you during this process. Then you will be able to decide the best way to let them go.
Coming next month… # 3 Stay in touch
© 2019 Beth Giles