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BeBop

Disposing of the Accumulated Material Goods of One Life

17 posts in this topic

I inherited a 47-year old woman’s worldly possessions and now need to dispose of them. Her family took the things easily convertible to cash; I have the rest. The woman would have probably wanted me to strike some sort of balance between converting a few things to cash (or cash equivalent, through tax deduction), and “doing good”.

In summary, I have:

  • 200 or so books (mainstream intelligent stuff: biographies of Lyndon Johnson, for example)
  • Lots of shoes, worn once and back in original box (quality shoes, though family took the “brand new”)
  • Some nicer clothes, though the best stuff is gone
  • The contents of a kitchen – plates, tableware, glasses…and canned food, spices, packaged food
  • DVDs and VCR tapes (like the books, mainstream but tending toward intelligent fare)
  • Cassettes
  • Moderate quality hi-fi/stereo stuff (NAD, Denon, Wharfdale)
  • Living room furniture
  • Tons of toiletries (probably destined for a local womens’ shelter)
  • Bed, bedding, towels (another shelter item?)
  • Futon and frame
  • General computer stuff – printers, monitors, software
  • General office stuff (paper, pens, clips, staplers)
  • Phones, calculators, gadgets, cameras
  • Toys and games
  • Luggage, briefcases

She bought good quality things.

I’m overwhelmed physically (I have no place to store anything), financially (I’m paying for storage) and psychologically/emotionally.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Now in storage, these things aren’t where I can have a garage sale. Nor can I get them to a flea market/swap, other than as consignment items. And no, I'm not trying to sell this stuff here.

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Do you know someone who could act as your agent in this for a share of any money brought in? Who could do the legwork for you. . . take the logistics off your hands. That might be the best course. . . .

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Goodwill/Salvation Army. Tax Deduction. They give you a blank, signed receipt and you fill in the blanks with inventory and estimated value. No need to take it in all at once, just as you're able.

We do this every time we clean out our garage and closets and attic.

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On Lon's suggestion, I'm looking into consignment sellers for furniture and (better) clothing.

On JSngry's suggestion, I'm exploring the limits of what they'll take (surprisingly low limits in this area - no used clothes, shoes or furniture; only full sets of matched kitchen stuff...)

And the womens' shelters for selected items mentioned, but wow! are they picky! Nothing used, imperfect or touched by human hands...at least the first three placers I checked.

Seems like no one has any space. Rents are high, no one has any money to buy.

Interesting little side note: no one will touch Ikea furnishings. She had a pair of: IMG_3818.JPG

Edited by BeBop

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I guess it depends how much time you want to devote to this project. The quickest way would be to arrange for Goodwill or Salvation Army to pick up the lot. That's probably the easiest way to dispose of the furniture, futon, toys, shoes and luggage. Around here, these services often don't accept computers, printers, etc. since they are harder to sell as used items.

The clothes, shoes and any unopened food products / canned goods might be accepted by a women's shelter. They may also have need for donated computer equipment and office supplies.

There are brokers in many areas who will sell your stuff for you on Ebay for a percentage of the sale or a flat fee. You might see if there is such a service in your area if there are any particularly attractive or collectible items that might be worth the extra effort.

You may be able to sell the furniture via craigslist, but then you have to set aside time to show it to people and expect that they won't show up (and hope that they won't be armed with a gun if they do show up).

You could also see if there is a local church or school with a rummage sale coming up that would accept some of these items.

Edited by duaneiac

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I guess it depends how much time you want to devote to this project. The quickest way would be to arrange for Goodwill or Salvation Army to pick up the lot. That's probably the easiest way to dispose of the furniture, futon, toys, shoes and luggage. Around here, these services often don't accept computers, printers, etc. since they are harder to sell as used items.

The clothes, shoes and any unopened food products / canned goods might be accepted by a women's shelter. They may also have need for donated computer equipment and office supplies.

There are brokers in many areas who will sell your stuff for you on Ebay for a percentage of the sale or a flat fee. You might see if there is such a service in your area if there are any particularly attractive or collectible items that might be worth the extra effort.

You may be able to sell the furniture via craigslist, but then you have to set aside time to show it to people and expect that they won't show up (and hope that they won't be armed with a gun if they do show up).

You could also see if there is a local church or school with a rummage sale coming up that would accept some of these items.

In this area, Goodwill and Salvation Army don't do any pick-ups. (Which is a problem, since I don't have a car.) And they won't take any furniture or, as you point out, electronic stuff.

Once upon a time. I had the impression that shelters would take toiletries (unopened); lots of my traveling colleagues donated hotel shampoos and stuff. Now, it's a big "no".

But thanks everyone for good ideas. Still exploring many of them.

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BeBop, perhaps there is a local St. Vincent de Paul location which would be interested.

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How the hell do Goodwill & Salvation Army get by not accepting used clothing and/or furniture? What do they sell in their stores? That's just a world gone wrong.

Here's an idea - find some of those people who do, like, the storage locker auctions and get them over, see what they'll take for the lot. Cash and carry. I'd guess that the management of your storage unit facility would know who they are.

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How the hell do Goodwill & Salvation Army get by not accepting used clothing and/or furniture? What do they sell in their stores? That's just a world gone wrong.

They'll accept it if you can get it there, but they don't always pick up. It's a different world now. Hard to even give stuff away...

I think in Chicago, you can sometimes get Brown Elephant to pick up, and possibly Salvation Army.

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I'm guessing this is in the Bay Area, where many of the Goodwills are practically carpeted with gold. It's really different here.

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I'm guessing this is in the Bay Area, where many of the Goodwills are practically carpeted with gold. It's really different here.

Yes it is. Horrible place.

I miss it so much...

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BeBop: Sorry to hear about your dilemma and sorry to hear about what I presume is the death of a very young friend or relative.

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Another possibility -- the Junior League around here has a big rummage sale every two years. I know they accept (some) furniture because I still have an upholstered chair I bought at one of their sales maybe 12 years ago. It appears the Junior League in many communities do this type of rummage sale, so maybe they would be willing to accept some of the items no one else seems to want.

Catholic Charities might accept some of the clothes and household items.

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That IKEA chair is fine - we bought one when we moved in her in December 2012, and it is sturdy and serves its purpose well. It is sold for 100 € here.

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