Updated: Mar 27, 2020
In the Marie Kondo, organization, downsize and declutter fad going on, I am here to remind you….there’s money in your drawers. Often, I watch these shows and see people donating treasures, having yards sales, basically purging the old. I totally get simplifying your life. I also get, if you don’t love it, have a personal attachment, fond memory or get joy from these items, you should remove them from your life. Most likely this comes from being raised by hoarders. It’s where stuff literally becomes very personal and actually comforting to the hoarder. As you know, collectors are not hoarders, but there is a fine line. The collector of all things is a hoarder, but a true collector is a conservator of a genre. Sometimes, its passion for the items or the just the thrill of the hunt. I’ve heard both reasonings, but the hoarder gets a sense of comfort from “stuff” surrounding them. Possibly, filling a nest or a void. Wow, I got psychological there and this is not the point of my article, but it gets personal when I speak of hoarders and my love for them.
On to your drawers….you know, the kitchen junk drawer, I have two. Used to have only one junk drawer, now two. If I could post a picture and embarrass myself, I would probably clean it out. As I look at it now, I think I need everything in there, but seriously? The “C” batteries? Can’t think of anything I have that they work in. Not one thing anymore, but there I go again, back to the point which I have only touched on slightly. You have money in your drawers!
In the appraisal and estate consulting business, I am most often called to estates, when YOU don't care what’s in your drawers. Injected dark humor, but seriously, I could be called the “find the money” ghost whisperer. And what I find to be the most overlooked spot is the drawers. People often “clean” before I get there. Call in a dumpster, throw out the “junk” and then call. I always say, “Don’t get rid of anything before I come” because, I can’t tell you all the horror stories. Okay, of course I can, but you’ll have to buy my book. But I can give you the tips of what to look for…
The scratched-up box of old flatware, your Grammy gave you. It may be worth, perhaps a $1000 or more? And you’re thinking, in a Valley Girl Voice “those old forks and spoons are not my style.” The drawer full of your dad's old pens…who wants to use a refillable ink pen? So, you throw away $300 Parker, $200 Waterman, $500 Mont Blanc and other pens. Do you think I am kidding? I pulled $10,000 in pens out of a trash cans in Scottsdale in 2018. It made me look really good on auction day. Tokens, coins, souvenirs, cereal premiums, pocket knives, photographs, hand held video games and calculators all sound strange to you. I am not kidding. In each of these categories there are treasures. There is also a lot of junk, but why risk it. Please. No matter where you live, call an expert or do your homework before throwing away. Google it people. I can’t stand to see money get thrown in a landfill, people get taken advantage of, or people hoard junk. So, there it is. I am a downsizer too. Just be smart about it.
The photos above are for real world and recent examples....(1) Case Pocket Knife $200 found in a Dad's Desk Drawer, (2) a used Gameboy Handheld System $200 on a yard sale table for $8 and (3) a Mack Truck employee metal token $80....all considered "junk" by their owners....
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