FDP_OldInterior_by_surasakiStock - resized

Image courtesy of surasakiStock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


How many of you have inherited items from a loved one that passed away?  How many of you kept all those things whether you had room for them or not?  And how many of you now have a cluttered house, basement or garage with inherited items?

Anyone that received inherited tangible items can relate to this dilemma to some degree.  Most of us that are not just starting out in our adult lives have our homes furnished to our liking. This could mean that we have little to no space to add furniture, home décor, tools or even clothes to our spaces without it looking and feeling cluttered.

We all have a finite amount of space in our homes. If we keep bringing items in and not removing items, at some point there will be no space left for us to move around!  This brings to mind the one in, one out rule.  As I think about that rule, it seems to me that it should actually be one in and two or more out to free up space, instead of just maintaining our current amount of space.

As mentioned in numerous previous posts, clutter is stagnant energy and can affect our lives in negative ways.  Our loved ones would not want to inflict these bad feelings upon us from their things.  They would want someone that needs them and has a use for them to enjoy them as they once did.

At this point you may be thinking that I’m going to suggest that you give away all those items that were passed down to you.  I’m not going to do that because I understand that we all have sentimental attachments to things that belong to us as well as to others.  Donation is one viable strategy, but there are others I offer below to help you keep your things proportionate to your living spaces.

First things first

First I recommend that you look at the items you inherited to see which items you really want to keep for yourself.   You may not like everything your loved one wants you to have and that’s ok.  Tag the items you want.

Next you need to look around your home to see where these pieces would easily fit without packing every nook and cranny.  If you find a space that already has something there, make a decision about the existing piece; do you still use it, or love it? If not, find it a new owner.

Finding new owners

There are many ways to find new owners to inherited items that need them.  For the items with sentimental attachments that need to go, take a picture of the item and document the story behind it before you let it go.  My suggestion is to take a digital picture and attach the story so you don’t use up tangible space.  I would keep it on a flash drive or store it in the cloud just in case your computer crashes so there’s no worry about losing the memory.

Family and friends

Family members would be first on my list to ask.  You may have some young adults that are just starting out and have a need for some items.  This keeps items in the family and you will see them again.

Friends are next on the list to ask.  Again they may be younger and really appreciate furnishing their homes without the cost it takes as they may be just starting out.


There are a few options for selling the remaining items.  Estate sales or garage sales are viable options depending on the number of items to sell.  Keep in mind that both are a lot of work and may not provide the best return on investment.

Many people consign items at resale shops that are typically higher in value.  You need to check into the rules for the resale shop that you are considering.

Internet selling such as ebay or craigslist is becoming very popular.  You could hire someone to do it for you or check into doing it yourself.  I recommend that you do some research before entering into this arena.


This option may be the best for those that don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into selling items, and has a couple of benefits.  One benefit is that a lot of charities will pickup your donation items if you have many, or larger items such as furniture.  The other benefit is that you can claim a deduction on your income tax.