My staff and I talk all the time about the life lessons we have learned from supporting our clients through the process of transition. Here are a few notable ones:
1.If you have good dishes, crystal and the like – use it! Nearly every client we move has carefully saved a lifetime of these treasures only to have them go to auction when the time comes to downsize. I took some cheesecake to the neighbours the other day and used an expensive antique serving tray passed down through my husband’s family. He looked dismayed but I told him “what’s the point of having these beautiful dishes if no one sees them or uses them?”
2.Clutter often accumulates because there is no clear motivation to remove it. When the time comes to downsize, the process can get expensive and overwhelming if there are 40 years of BC Tel bills to sort through as well as masses of other items that should have been set free long ago. I take advantage of the Big Brothers Big Sisters call list. They call me once a month when they are going to be in my area. I always say I will have a donation and that is motivation for me to go around the house and gather up a bag full of items no longer in use. Regular decluttering will help you be more efficient in your daily life so you’ll reap the reward of regular editing of your belongings even if moving is not on your immediate horizon.
3.Your treasures are not necessarily as valuable as you think they are. Often clients are disappointed when they get less than the perceived value for items they are selling, particularly through auction. Clients have to come to terms with the fact that in order to sell these items, commissions must be paid to the seller unless they are attempting to sell them themselves. Also, the items are only as valuable as what a buyer is willing to pay for them. These days auction houses are flooded with items from people downsizing their homes. Speaking generally, there are more people who are attempting to disperse antiques and household items than there are people trying to collect them. This is a bitter pill to swallow but something many of our clients must come to terms with through the process of downsizing. Another little tidbit I have learned from my colleagues in the antiques business is that just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it is valuable. And if you have something that is worth a little now, don’t assume that its value will go up the longer you hold onto it.