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Friday, April 19, 2024
Part 4: A Clean Sweep: Selling some of your unwanted ‘stuff’ is an option
Brandie Sinclair of Niagara’s One Source Moving Solutions can help you clear out unwanted stuff. SUPPLIED

From junk drawers to overstuffed basements, many of us have a lot of “stuff” we no longer need. This four-part series will help you deal with it and maybe give new life to old items.


There is one last option to assist you in clearing out a lifetime of accumulated “stuff.”

Selling items might be time-consuming but the benefit of having a bit of extra cash can be appealing. 

Valuables like watches, jewelry or art should be taken to experts for proper valuation.  

Most jewellers will give an estimate and might even be willing to purchase the items. Art galleries might be able to help or will certainly tell you who could.

A garage sale might seem like a fun idea but the amount of work and the number of people needed for it to be successful can be overwhelming.  

Brandie Sinclair of Niagara’s One Source Moving Solutions says that “if you have just one item to sell it might be easier to donate.” 

And she advises: “Do you want strangers coming into your home to play ‘Let’s Make a Deal’?”

When it’s a bigger job, you might need professional help.

If an entire house has to be cleared out, Sinclair uses a company called MaxSold Auctions when working with her clients.   

Cesar Fuentes of MaxSold Auctions explained how his company works.  

The company comes to your home and catalogues all the contents to be sold. Many items might be grouped together for a quicker sale.  

Fuentes said he then gives the client a complete catalogue to go through to ensure it is what they want. 

Then MaxSold puts the pictures on its online auction site with details about what each item’s bid will start at and when the auction will close.

Buyers must register with MaxSold, provide credit card information and indicate any items they are interested in.

Once the auction wraps up, the winning bidder is charged for the items they bought and given a date and time for pickup.  

It is considered a controlled and secure way to sell the contents of your home.  

Fuentes’ company offers two types of service — MaxSold Managed or Seller Managed.  

The latter means you must do all the work and only use the MaxSold auction site for a determined fee. This might work for a small apartment, but not a large house.

MaxSold Managed means the company does everything, including moving furniture. There is an administration fee and a split of the sale proceeds: 35 per cent to the auction company and 65 per cent to the seller.

“With MaxSold, sellers can sit back and relax while MaxSold transforms unwanted items into cherished treasures,” Fuentes said.

For Sinclair, of One Source Moving Solutions, “the biggest goal when clearing out a home is to eliminate as much anxiety as possible.”

Many people who downsize feel a loss or sadness, she said, so her company tries to turn downsizing into a bit of an adventure.  

For offspring left with this task, Sinclair likes to help use positive motivation to keep moving forward and not get bogged down with emotions.  

Similar to Magnusson, the author of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” and Arlene Stephenson of Downsizing Divas, Sinclair recommends just doing one room at a time.

And focus on the four key categories: keep, garbage, donate and sell. Use Post-it notes on larger items to stay organized.

NOTL residents have one other option for clearing their home of “stuff.” 

Buy Nothing Niagara-on-the-Lake is a community Facebook group run by volunteers and just about everything has been posted on the site to be given away. The group’s real goal is to avoid adding stuff to our landfills. 

Within the Buy Nothing community are many who can refer you to another place or person who will take such items as sewing machines, bicycles, material for quilts and much more.

Aging baby boomers remain a large segment of the Canadian populace and throughout our lifetime we have dealt with diverse challenges. Today, it might mean struggling with availability of seniors apartments and nursing homes.  

Decisions will be forced upon us so now is the time to take control of our possessions. Is Gram’s tarnished silverware sitting in the bottom of your cupboard or is Gramp’s favourite tool box full of rusting tools really that treasured?  

Give them away and just cherish the memories while relieving your children of the task of clearing out your mess.  

As Magnusson says, “A loved one wants to inherit nice things from you — not all things.”

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