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.