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What to Do When Your Parents’ Rightsize – Part III

We continue our series on What to do when your parents rightsize continuing down the list of things to do while they are alive. Let’s jump right in.

3. Reduce the Image and Video Burdeon

Many families have films going back to the 40’s and 50’s and they are all are on those picture sheets from Kodak. Some even had 8 Millimeter or eveh VHS. So rather than keeping those multiple stacks, why not contact a company to transfer them all to something the entire family can get a copy of? They can also safeguard copies of important documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses and titles; scan copies of less-important papers that you’d like to preserve but not store.

You can store those documents in the digital vault with one of the Drives or Box offerings

4. Have Quality and Name Brand Jewlery, Art And Collectibles Appraised

Ages ago, find artwork, name brand jewelry and collectables were easy to put a price on. But over the years, many of the buyers of those items have retired. Today, you have to be smart about what values are with these highly specialized items.

A professional appraiser knows the difference between treasure and trash. Mom’s pearl necklace or the painting over the mantle could have monetary value — or just sentimental value. An appraisal is never free, but it will help you know the value of the items, and then in turn you know to either sell, keep or donate those items.

If your parents had collections, they may be worth an appraisal. If you choose to sell the group, take digital photos of the items so your parents can still reminisce about the objects without the need to store and maintain them.

There are three rules to collections.
1) Whole collections have value, partial collections have little value. 2) Collections of TV Coinage or TV or Magazine realated collectables (Such as anything purchased from any company with “Mint” in their name has lost value. 3) Many Collections are special to one a single set of individuals, so the value is subjective to only that set of individuals.

5. Invite the Family

After the siblings have decided to keep what they wanted, now is the time to invite a wider set of family to come and get the items they want. Whether they want to keep a memento of your parents or they’re simply looking to furnish an apartment for a college student, they’ll help you pare down tthe items to cut down on the work.

6. Sell the Items

If you’re planning to sell items, you have lots of options, depending on how much time you want to devote to the effort.

In person: Consignment stores will take clothing, furniture and household items but some won’t pay you until the items sell. An auctioneer can sell an entire household of items or just pieces that you think have value. You can hold a sale on your own, but hiring a pro who prices, stages and promotes a household sale could pay off in terms of a hassle-free experience.

Online: Etsy and eBay have large vintage and collectible markets where you can sell anything from collectible plates to handkerchiefs. You might find Facebook groups that are dedicated to buying and selling antiques. And free ads on Craigslist can help you dispose of basic items.

Don’t expect to make a fortune from these sales. Current market trends often dictate what will “move.” For example, if demand for antiques is down, your parents’ bedroom furniture may not sell — but their retro 1950s dinette set may earn top dollar.

Next Week, we will finish up our series and then begin a regular weekly series on Auctions, Estates and Real Estate!

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