From Treasure to Trash; The Ruins of The Hoard

Heart breaking but true, part of my job is to tell people what they perceive as treasure is trash. It always starts with the story of where and when they bought it. Then comes my line….

* There is no market for it

* Its not sellable

* Its in a state of ruin

Things change. Furniture styles, technogy ect.. That computer that you once paid $1500 ten years ago should be heading the the electronic recycling center.  The antique market has changed quite a bit as well. I don’t see people my age collecting milk glass or china. They are more than happy to offload their grandmothers collection.

Many of the things you purchased years ago don’t hold the same value. When you are cleaning out your house, you have to go on a case by case basis. Right now I am up to my ears in beanie babies. Once a popular item, the market has gone south for them.

So if you don’t love it, want it, or use it–Let it go. Release your items while they still have value and use!


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  • I see that your job is an organizer, so your perspective doesn't even go to cases such as that reported yesterday, and several other times a year--person found dead in a trash filled house.

    I know someone with TWO houses filled with newspapers and the like. I bring up the dead people cases, and have even told her that one of her houses isn't liveable, and is it worth it to pay $3,000 in property tax per year for now 7 years just to store old newspapers? She also says such things as "I need a paper shredder for the newspapers." Not even the Tribune Co. archives its old papers in paper form any more.

    Hence, the people who request your services have gotten over one hump, and basically need to be told that the old tube TV (or as you mentioned, a 1998 Windows 3 computer) isn't worth saving. There seems to be another class of hoarders with much deeper psychological problems.

    Of course, there is also someone in my condo who thinks that throwing a tube TV to the curb means that it is going to be picked up, even though it has been sitting there for three weeks, so that person needs to get your recycling point.

  • Jack,

    Thanks for the comment. I deal with all different levels of hoarding. It can be quite heartbreaking at times but I try to make positive changes for my clients!

  • In reply to erintheorganizer:

    Thanks for your response.

    Is there some way to make the person I described one of your (or at least someone's) clients? I have mentioned the "Hunks hauling junk" type companies, and some organizer from Park Ridge who was on 190 North, but even bringing up that they have to be cheaper than paying those property taxes doesn't seem to have effect. The excuse seems to be "I have to be there to see what they haul out, but I can't [for 3 or 4 reasons]."

  • In reply to jack:

    You cant make someone be your client. They have to decide that they need help. I see alot of people that need decluttering assistance. Everyone has a different reason why they hoard or have organizational issues. You should read my post on clutter as a shield.
    Until your friend realizes that there is an issue, they won't seek assistance. They have to make the first step.

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