Sound Off Liz Bacon What do I do with all my personal belongings when I sell?

August 25, 2018

So the time has come to sell. But the thought of emptying out a house with a lifetime of stuff is so daunting that it’s keeping you up at night. Sound familiar?

Over the years, many of my clients have dealt successfully, albeit differently, with the task. So, here’s what I’ve learned along the way when dealing with that debris field of life. Deep breath. We can do this.

1. Start early. If you are planning to sell at some time in the not-too-distant future, think about unloading that big stuff — sell or donate the piano; encourage your family to take anything you don’t love or won’t use anymore; and take advantage of annual fundraiser events such as school, church or Boy Scout tag sales (be sure to get your donation paperwork for tax purposes).

2. If your decision to sell is more immediate, plan on a 3-month timeline for the clean out/get-ready-for-sale process. Unless your household is super organized and runs lean on “stuff,” a three- to four-bedroom house may take a commitment of about two to three hours per day, four to five days per week. It adds up.

3. Do not underestimate how long it can take — or the mental energy it requires — to wade through memorabilia.

4. Let it go. Especially if you are downsizing. Donate, recycle, give — it feels good, and the weight will be lifted physically and emotionally. Don’t pay to move something you may end up deciding to shed later.

5. For couples out there, know that you and your partner will differ on the value of many things. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

6. Finally, book your mover early. Everyone moves at the end of the month. Unless it’s your idea of fun, don’t wait or you may need to resort to a D.I.Y. situation.

Liz Bacon,

Halstead Connecticut,

(203) 856-2913,


Update hourly