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How Do You Determine What to Keep, Sell, or Donate?

Liquidating an estate can be tricky, both on an emotional level and a practical one. You may need to get rid of things as soon as possible, but the desire to hang on to certain items may be too strong to resist.
You should keep any items that have true emotional value for you.  Of course, this can initially leave you with a long list of things to keep! If you have trouble narrowing down, keep in mind that family members and friends may want some items, as well.
You should sell high-value items that you have chosen not to keep, such as furniture, antiques, jewelry, and household items.  Some will be more appropriate for an estate sale, some for auction, and the lower value or more common items may be better handled in a garage sale.  Again, your estate management professional will advise you as to which items would be better suited for which context. Consignment shops are generally a bad idea – they charge high commissions and frequently have clauses in their contract that revert ownership to the shop after a period of time.
As for what to donate, it’s important to remember that donations are not just a way to dispose of everything that doesn’t get kept or sold.  You’ll want to do some research to find out which charities and organizations accept which kinds of items.  You don’t want to show up with a truckload of items to find out that the charity does not want them.  Some organizations in your area may even arrange pick-up, but usually only for larger or more high-value items.  But keep in mind that if you opt to do a pick-up, they will usually not pack the items for you and help getting them out of your house. You will need to pack everything and move it to the space they designate for pick-up. A few phone calls can certainly go a long way in making this process as smooth as possible.

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