How to Tell If You Should Give, Sell, or Keep Items During a Cleanout


Many homeowners find themselves in limbo over what items to give, sell, or keep during a cleanout. What items should you keep, and what items should you sell or give away?  

There is no doubt that everyone has some old stuff lying around. Whether it's a sofa set or an old TV, the time comes when you've got to decide on what to do with them. Should you make extra cash to care for pressing needs or donate the used items to a college kid?

Follow the tips below to decide what items are worth donating, selling, or keeping when you declutter your home.  

What items should you give away?

Even if an item is of no value to you, it could still be useful to someone else. You have to decide between selling it or donating it to someone who might need or want it.  

Should you choose to donate, which items will you give away, and where should you take them? Is it okay to donate torn socks or trousers, or should you throw them away? Chances are, you will throw away really worn-out items.  

On the flip side, here are some things that you can give if you no longer have use for them: books, still-functioning electronic devices, eyeglasses, kitchenware or appliances, sports equipment, furniture, beddings, linens, towels, pillows, costume jewelry, and toys. 

When you are divided between throwing away an item and donating it, ask yourself whether it could still be valuable to someone else. One thing about giving your things away is that you will be participating in the noble cause of supporting someone in need.  

What should you consider selling?

To decide whether to sell an item or give it away, you need to do some homework. You have to determine whether it's a treasure that can still make you money. You can do a self-review by asking yourself questions about the use of your item: When did I last use this? Has this outlived its storage space? Is this still worth keeping? These questions will help you determine if you have junk that needs to be discarded or a still-useful item that you can give away instead.  

Some stored items that can generate money include jewelry, artwork, old coins, antiques, and precious metals. That said, you shouldn't expect all items to be worth a lot since their value will depend on the other party looking to acquire them.  

Here are tips to help you cash out on the items mentioned above and other saleable items within your home. 

1. Check for indications of antiquity, such as stamps and labels.

If you want to sell items that you believe are antiques, check for their authenticity first. Ideally, you should check for labels, stamps, and marks on them. Check for similarities in signature and traits. You can also search for replicas in different companies to find out whether the items measure up to the standards of the item in those companies.  

You can also frequent antique shops so you can train your eyes to spot collectibles and valuable items.  

2. Get your items appraised.

Spend some time and effort to find the right price for the items you want to sell. You will want to ask for the help of a professional appraiser to help you estimate the value of items. Armed with this information, you can sell your treasures at a fair price.  

3. Research pricing.

Most people sell their items during spring cleaning to declutter their homes after winter.

If you intend to sell what you consider valuable items, be sure to research the pricing. You want to have a general impression of how much your treasures are likely to sell before you put them up for sale.  

You can visit Amazon or eBay to research and compare the pricing of other similar items to yours. Bear in mind that every marketplace has a different pricing standard. The pricing in a used clothes site is different from that in Amazon.  

4. Sell your stuff online.

The alternative to holding a yard sale is selling online. Some of the best sites to sell your items on the Internet include eBay, Poshmark, Craigslist, and thredUP. 

What items should you keep?

Keeping an item after it has outlived its use can only mean one thing: it's still of value to you. If something still carries some value to you more than money, there's no point in selling it yet. For example, if you have a coat that might be worth a sale but is still of sentimental value to you, hold off from selling it. Use this approach when having a look at other items in your house.  

Some things you may not want to get rid of just yet include clothes you still look good in, sports equipment that still function, holiday decorations, winter clothing that could still come in handy in the next winter season, items you still use once in a while, or any item to which you still have some personal attachment. 

How do I make the choice?

Being the homeowner, you have the freedom to decide what house items should be donated, sold, or kept around. The pointers mentioned above should help you determine which option to follow. Decide whether you want to make money, feel the joy that comes with giving, or keep something that you still treasure after all these years. Whichever option sets your mind at ease, follow it. 


Deciding if you should give, sell, or keep items during a cleanout shouldn't be rocket science. It all boils down to conducting a self-review to know your current needs and what items are no longer useful. With that settled, making up your mind should be pretty easy.

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