As an auctioneer, you get to visit a lot of interesting places. I receive calls from individuals and businesses – so I pop right over to check out their goods. The singular common denominator is EVERYBODY has way too much stuff. Stuff in the house, stuffed drawers, stuffed attics, overflowing garages, full random suitcases. Did I mention everybody has too much stuff? And most of it is ill cared for. I spend my days buried in dust and grime rummaging through people’s stuff.
As an aside, consequently, my house is cleaner than it has ever been (you could eat off the floors). I have purged my closest and attic numerous times as of late, and I am definitely in the “don’t want too much stuff” mode. The cause of my new modus operandi is the fact I have discovered people get stuck to their stuff. Every prospective consignee I visit has an irrational attachment to their stuff. If it had emotional or commemorative value it would be logical, and I would recommend they not sell it. But that is not the case, it is just stuff, and they cannot part with it.
Should you consign your stuff? Well, if you want to, I highly recommend you do. The most money you will make for your consignments is at auction. You will receive fair market value for your items. In other words, you will get what people perceive it is worth. You will get what people are willing to pay for it. Consignors always ask me what an item is worth. It is quite easy to figure out; look up what similar items sold for recently (just like doing the “comps’ on a house), and that is the current value of your item. Items go up and down in value – just average out the recent sales.
A good rule of thumb for antiques is that they will have the most value 100 years after their creation. As we approach 2020, all 1920s items will be at their peak vale. Bakelite is hot right now, and at its peak value.
Personally, I can tell you after completely emptying out my attic (furniture, boxes of clothing and stuff) my house felt cleaner and lighter. After purging my closets, I found it easier to get dressed in the morning, as sometimes too much choice in the mornings is not a good thing. I did not get rid of anything with great sentimental value, and I do not recommend you do either. I did not want to be in a state of “stuck to my stuff”. Donate, consign, collect new, redecorate, keep your stuff fresh and moving, not stored away and unloved.
Lastly, you should know that big clunky chunky wood furniture is done. No one wants it, no consignor will take it. You may as well whitewash it and keep it. These days mid century sleek looking furniture or modern farmhouse is the rave. A clean, spacious look is the go. So clean out and consign!
Cheers! See you at my next auction.
Terri Aronson Auctions