Difficult Decluttering: "But It Might Be Worth Something Someday"
If potential future worth is the reason you’re holding on to any item or collection of goods, you better be prepared to answer to the firing squad. Here goes.
Is it going to be, really?
If you’re going to keep things based on the belief that they’ll be worth something in the future, you need to– at the very least–conduct an internet search. Hit up the Google and Ebay. Read about the item or collection of things you own. Learn about the value. Educate yourself about what specific factors make an item valuable or suggest it will be in the future.
It might be that out of that whole box of baseball cards, only thirteen are going to fetch big dollars. In which case, you can probably ditch the rest and focus your resources on preserving just those few.
That something looks old, cooky, or vintage does not necessarily mean it will fetch any great sum. And if it’s taking up space in your life, you best clarify that.
Get it appraised, you fart!
If you own something that you truly believe is going to be worth a significant amount of money in the future–enough for you to manage it for the next however many years– you’ll show that intention by enlisting the services of an appraiser.
An appraiser will not only verify that what you have in your possession is the real deal (forgeries are sometimes impossible to spot), but provide you with a certified note that you can use when you sell it.
In it for the long haul (?)
If what you own is worth next to nothing now, the chance that it’s going to take a very long time for that item to reach its peak value is high. The implication of this fact is that you or your family are committing yourselves to looking after an item or a bunch of items for many years into the future before anyone sees a notable sum for them. Are you or your family really prepared to do that?
So then…is it worth it?
Ah, that good, old question around here, what’s it worth?
So often people get caught up in a scarcity mindset which causes them to view their belongings not as what they actually are, but as potential monies. This losing game keeps you trapped in a never-ending cycle of attachment. You feel you can’t let an item go because you’re focused on what you once paid for it, or on how much you could make on it. And, inevitably, the amount you will get for it feels unsatisfying.
If, after careful research and introspection, you realize that thoughts of scarcity are what’s driving your desire to hold onto a potentially valuable item, I encourage you all the more so to let it go now.
But like really, what’s it worth?
After you’ve done your research about what the item is likely worth now and in the future, figure out whether that amount is worth the cost of holding on to whatever the item(s) are for as long a time period as it will take to reach peak value.
I’m not talking about vaguely considering this notion; I’m talking do the math. Sit down with a calculator. Divide the future-worth by the amount of days/weeks/or months between now and that point. How much are you actually
“earning” each day or week by holding on to that?
If your main motivation for holding onto something is the intention to one day sell it for a profit or pass down an item of great value to your family, you’re keeping it in the very pristine condition, aren’t you?
I can’t tell you the number of people who are haphazardly storing various items they think will one day make them rich. These things–they aren’t ones you or I would ever want to buy, and it isn’t because of their look or style or place or time of origin. It’s their condition. They aren’t being stored properly, not to withstand the elements of many years. Their condition now is already pretty poor, and many years down the road will only make them worse.
In the meantime, do you love it?
Because what it’s worth to you is ultimately what matters most.
Image credits: Annixen, Gargoyles Ltd. Gallery, unknown, Boden, Audioklassiks, Ebay
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