Since I specialize in downsizing client’s belongings, the subject of finding good homes for discards is one of the first things we discuss. Most, if not all of my clients are generous, sometimes to a fault. Not many of my clients want, or have a need to sell their discards, but they do want to make sure they go to good homes.

There are various reasons why people downsize their belongings. It may be to move to a smaller home, it may be to clear out a home after a death, or it may be an accumulation of clutter that is becoming an issue.  Whatever the reason, they have a need to reduce the amount of the items in the home to be proportionate to the living space.

Donation is a good, and generous way to find new owners for items you no longer want or need. Understanding the value of these items before you donate them is also important. Some don’t really know the value of their things, while others believe their things are worth more than they really are. Of course, everyone has a different idea of the meaning of the word ‘valuable’.  In this post the word ‘valuable’ means monetary.

When you donate an item that may be worth a lot of money, you don’t know if the charity understands the value of the item, and that’s not necessarily bad, but you may be doing a disservice to the charity. It may be better to get an appraisal, and if the item is worth a lot of money, have an auctioneer sell it and donate the more generous profit to the charity that you were going to donate the item to initially.

A quick internet search can give you an idea of the value of an item. That’s typically how I find an items value when I run across a piece that looks valuable. If I can’t find it, or a similar item, I’ll set it aside to let the experts assess its value before it goes into the donation box.

There are apps that will tell you how much an item is worth to buy and sell items online, such as What’s it worth on ebay?.  This app may not be the best for antiques though. There are also a few smartphone apps that will provide the value of an antique by taking a photo of the item, but they can be pricey.  It may be better to leave the assessments to the experts. This way you can get a more accurate value to sell this item to provide a more generous donation.

This post is not intended to persuade generous clients to sell all of their discards. The intent is to help them to clearly understand the value of their items to make a more informed decision about how to discard their more valuable things.