Clutter Control 2 — Disposing of Mom and Dad’s Coins and Jewelry


Yesterday I wrote about my efforts to sort, share and dispose of much of mom and dad’s belongings after mom’s passing now that dad is in a smaller assisted living facility.  Today’s post continues where yesterday’s left off.

Adding mom and dad’s belongings to my small home created instant clutter for me.  I set out to sort and eliminate as much as possible.  Previously I wrote about disposing of some of the furniture and mom’s clothing and storing the photographs and dad’s clothing, etc.

The next thing I tackled was the jewelry and coins that dad had found with his metal detector and valuable pieces that mom had in her collection.  I had found there is a range of possible prices one can get for the used jewelry and the stores vary greatly in what they will pay and their transparency in payments.  The price is different for 10 karat gold, 14 karat, 18 karat, etc.  The place I liked best gave me an itemized receipt listing the price at each gold weight and the amount of grams of each weight.

I visited 3 different stores, but now I know where I would go back if I found more items worth selling.  Unfortunately I sold the most in the first store which was not the best one.  I sold them for their gold or silver value.  I got about $3000 for all that combined and was able to put that money towards dad’s expenses at the assisted living facility.

The next item on the agenda was the two jars of pennies.  Mom had over 1000 wheat pennies and war pennies.  (War pennies are those 1943 pennies that were made from steel rather than  copper.) I just put them aside for awhile and then went through them to determine what I had.  In the end I sold them for slightly more than I would have gotten from one of those stores that advertise on television.  (They told me they would pay 5 cents for each war penny and 3 cents for each wheat penny.)  That still didn’t add up to a lot considering all the time I was spending on it.  I found a collector willing to pay over the store prices and sold the lot of them last week.  That freed up a lot of space in my closet!

Most of what I had left was costume jewelry which was not considered to be valuable, but still might have value.  I have already given each of my parent’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren a chance to choose one or more pieces to remember mom by.

For someone who rarely wore jewelry, mom had a lot of pieces in her possession when she passed away.  I know some had belonged to other family members and much of the rest was probably found by dad with his metal detector.  Other pieces, like Mardi Gras necklaces, were picked up by mom in her retirement to wear to the many events her mobile home community sponsored.

Mom didn’t care if a piece had great value, and for the most part she couldn’t tell the difference.  She just liked to wear pretty colored beads and things.  At this point, my goal was to just get cash for anything of value to help with dad’s expenses.  And, I didn’t want to end up with more clutter in my small house.

Then I met with a woman who has a booth in an antique mall nearby.  She offered less than I wished to get for the lot, but I decided to take it anyway.  I am at the point where the value of my time has to be considered too.  I decided that it would take more time than it was worth if I pursued this further.  I just said yes to her offer and sold the remaining pieces.  One could always get just a little more by pushing again, like sitting one more day at a garage sale.  But eventually you reach the point of diminishing returns and I felt I was there.

Thus I continue to make my way through the many items on my “to-do” list.  I would like to sell or give away enough to eliminate all of the clutter in my house.  I know it will be a long time before I finish with all the photographs.  But for this summer at least, I would like to find a way to scan or photograph the very large pictures and documents and then find a permanent storage place for them.  These consist of high school and college diplomas, large group photographs from the military or public schools, etc. I would print the pictures in a smaller 8 by 10 format or incorporate them into a memory book while preserving the originals.

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Elder Care, Eldercare, Family and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Clutter Control 2 — Disposing of Mom and Dad’s Coins and Jewelry

  1. kellidd says:

    It can be so difficult getting rid of everything! I hope my husband and I are smart enough to get rid of all this stuff, or at least most of it, before the kids have to have a sale when we are gone.

    • Yes, it has changed the way I look at things. I also tried to make notes on things like my grandmother’s jewelry so my children will know the sentimental value of some pieces that might not look that great,

  2. terry1954 says:

    it is a big job but u will get through it. i enjoyed looking through mom and dad’s things. it was like learning more about my parents than i knew while they were alive

    • At first it was fascinating especially to go through the papers and photographs. But mom had shown me the jewelry many times in the past 10 years to offer me pieces. I took what I wanted long ago. The rest wasn’t what I would wear. I still can ask dad about things like people in the pictures. He does remember a lot of them and even identified some of himself at a much younger age. But he doesn’t remember more recent events. I would keep a lot of this stuff if it didn’t take so much space. I downsized my own living space 3 years ago so now I have very little storage space and I have to either give things away or find a permanent place for them.

      • terry1954 says:

        i totally understand. i was left with parents total home furnishings and all personal items. others picked and chose but it was still a lot to deal with

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