Collecting Treasures: Help for you whether you’re selling your household items and collectibles at auction or you are in the process of moving across town
Look around your house. Does the thought of moving everything overwhelm you? No one looks forward to the process of moving, especially in a scenario where you are forced to downsize or you’re liquidating a loved one’s estate.
Whether you’re selling your household items and collectibles at auction, or you are in the process of moving across town, here are six tips to help you:
- Enlist the help of a friend: This is especially true if you’ve lost a loved one and you have to clean out their estate. It can be a very emotional time, and a friend can help you take an inventory of the valuables, greet the movers, make sure they are moving the items you specified, and provide moral support.
- Prepare in advance: Photograph or videotape your items, keep an inventory of them and gather any provenance, or documentation that you have such as certificates of authenticity, appraisals and other documents that will help determine the history of ownership and value.
- Decide who is packing: Do you have time to pack the entire house or is it worth it to pay the extra fee to have the movers do it? I caution you to be realistic here. Yes, it may cost you a few hundred dollars to have your belongings packed, but if you’re juggling a crazy work and family schedule, it may be worth it. Also, keep in mind that if you pack everything, once you tape a box shut, or hand over an open box to the movers, the liability is on you.
- Clear any paths: This includes driveways, walkways, and hallways. Let the movers know about any issues with ceiling heights or if there will be uneven or steep terrain.
- Unhook appliances: Unplug stereo equipment, TVs, washers and dryers and especially anything hooked up to gas.
- Keep your pets safe: If possible, have a neighbor watch your pet for a few hours, or keep pets far away from what is being moved. Movers may not be able to see dogs or cats if they are behind them, and pets can also get very stressed out by seeing strangers moving household items out of the house.
The auction house or moving company you are working with should discuss these points with you in advance. Make sure you are working with a reputable firm — after all, much of what they are moving are memories.
Erik Hoyer co-owns EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale and J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ejsauction.com or @EJs_Auction on Twitter
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