What's in Your Attic?
This is a great time to check out those treasures you have stored in your attic. But first you must ask yourself, "Can I safely get into the attic?" If you can’t navigate the steps or handle the dusty, warm conditions, please get someone to help you! They can take photos and show you what is up there so that you can make decisions from the comfort of your living room chair.
If you are able to get into the attic and choose to do the sorting yourself, do so before the hot summer weather sets in. Being hot and sweaty can lead to making snap decisions just to get it done.
Some things stored in the attic belong to other family members. Give the kids a deadline to pick up their items. This lets you set a boundary and gives them a chance to decline, without having to tell you, if they don't want their stuff! We often take pictures and upload them to an online photo album so family can see what’s in the attic and decide what they want.
Attics are often home to family photos, cast-offs from the kids, antiques, and items passed down from earlier generations. If there are family heirlooms in the attic, take time to write down the story of those items. That story may end with you if it isn’t recorded! Then no one will know about Great Aunt Mabel's dresser that traveled by covered wagon to Iowa. Take photos of items so you can treasure the memories of things you don't need to keep (no one yet has figured out how we can take our possessions with us when we pass on!)
You may have items of value in your attic. Antique furniture, old comic books, advertising materials, postcards, or similar items should be checked out by a reputable source. Old toys and military items are good sellers and vintage clothing can sometimes bring some money if they are in excellent shape. Always pull the drawers out of dressers to make sure nothing has slipped behind or under the drawers.
Old pictures of local buildings that are no longer standing may be of interest at the History Museum. Art work, photos on tin, even photos of unidentified relatives can be sold if you choose to have a sale. A general rule is, if it is ugly and no one wants it, have it checked out! These items are often disposed of but are worth money!
Once you identify items that need to have a second look, check with a reputable liquidator. Antique dealers will want to get things for the lowest price and ask you how much you want for them. A reputable dealer will tell you how much they will sell for and have a sliding commission scale based on the amount of the sale.
Copyright 2013 Christine Smart