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Spring cleanups can reveal treasures and profits

March 10, 2012
Art & Antiques by Dr.Lori , The Inter-Mountain

I am a firm believer in the ritual of spring cleaning. When it comes to the seasonal clean up, many people believe that the easiest thing to do is to just throw everything away. However, that's not always smart.

On a regular basis, I visit homes of people who are downsizing or people who are cleaning out the home of a deceased loved one. I help evaluate what objects are worth keeping and what objects are worth selling. I show people the smartest way to get the most money for unwanted objects - both new and old. I remind folks that trashing that unwanted item may cost you. Today, those objects represent the much-needed money for rising healthcare costs and other vital needs.

Far too many families make uniformed and costly decisions about valuable objects without unbiased professional help.

Article Photos

Submitted photo by Dr. Lori
This circa 1940s Blue Ridge set of dinner plates is worth $30 per plate.

I visit thousands of homes every year nationwide and share my sound advice and expertise about the value of unwanted objects. I show folks how to identify the valuables and glean much needed cash for them.

Get the 411

Consider this: Grandma passes away. In order to put the house up for sale, grandma's family members meet at her vacant house to empty it. The family works to throw away most of grandma's stuff - beaded purses, ceramic canister sets, silverware. Her belongings - the same items that were perfectly fine a few weeks ago before her death - make their way from the house's vacant rooms to the dumpster in the driveway.

Just because grandma's family members don't want her belongings, that doesn't magically make these items worthless. Grandma had been insuring her personal property including art, antiques and collectibles for at least $100,000 under a typical homeowners' insurance policy for years, yet suddenly her items have no value? This is ridiculous. You wouldn't set fire to grandma's house because she's not using it anymore, would you?

Grandma's 20-year-old grandson probably won't realize that grandma's set of 1940s Blue Ridge dishes is valued at $30 per plate as he tosses them into the dumpster. Grandma's daughter doesn't know that her mother's late 1880s Victorian side chair is worth $500. Grandma's nephew, an accountant, doesn't recognize an old family portrait painting as a work by an esteemed Colonial artist with a $75,000 retail value.

Grandma's family unknowingly throws away a significant amount of money, just as if they opened their wallets and threw the cash into the street.

Some families host yard sales or house sales to generate some funds, however, be sure you know what you are putting up for sale and be certain that your prices are correct. I have seen many items priced ridiculously too low when family members are organizing a yard sale of grandma's unwanted items. For instance, I saw a $20,000 American Impressionist landscape painting offered for $10 with a bright green yard sale sticker affixed to its frame! Don't let it go until you know what it's worth.

- Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author and award-winning TV personality Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. Dr. Lori is a star appraiser on the hit TV show, 'Auction Kings' on Discovery channel. To learn more about antiques, visit www.DrLoriV.com or www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call 888-431-1010.

 
 

 

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