What do you do with 10, 20, 30 or even 40+ years of furniture, housewares, art, memorabilia, and even clothing? This problem can come up when you’re moving, downsizing or managing the estate of a loved one. It can be a very daunting question.
Don’t worry, you have options.
Option 1: Donate!
It feels good – and you can make a difference in someone’s life. Your old stuff may even get you a tax credit.
Furniture Bank Toronto would happily accept your gently-used furniture to pass on to a family currently experiencing furniture poverty. Our furniture removal service is an easy way to give back to the community and help support families in need in the Greater Toronto Area. Click here to see what items we accept.
Here’s a list of charities and not-for-profits where you can donate other items, including clothing, books, sports equipment, office supplies, electronics and more.
Option 2: Hire a removal service.
There are many companies, like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? that will gladly come pick up your old stuff and take it off your hands for a fee.
Unlike these other companies, our furniture removal services help families in need across the Toronto area. Click here to learn more about our furniture removal social enterprise and how our fees are structured.
Option 3: Consider having an estate sale.
What is an estate sale?
An estate sale is the process of selling all or most of the contents of a home. Typically, these sales occur after a death, but can also be an efficient way to downsize before a move.
Estate sales are not for the faint of heart. A lot of time, patience and organizing goes into setting up and executing a smooth sale.
However, an estate sale can be a great way to liquidate those items you no longer want or need and make some money while you’re at it.
There are 2 main points to consider first:
- Estate sales are done on-site, which means the public will be walking through the house. Are you OK with this? If not, then an off-site or on-line estate auction may be a better solution.
- Who will manage the set up and the sale? You can definitely do this yourself, but as mentioned, it takes a lot of prep and planning beforehand.
- All items have to be labelled and priced
- You will need a team of people to help during the sale
- You will need to manage cash at the sale.
- You will need to be prepared to negotiate on items
- Be prepared for a long and busy day
- You need to advertise your sale
In case this sounds too overwhelming, you can hire a third-party professional services company to manage your sale for you. Companies such as Transition Squad and MaxSold, will do on-site sales as well as on-line auctions. Shop around and compare fees before you choose your service company.
How Do Estate Sales Work?
Whether you manage the sale yourself or hire someone else, estate sales follow some basic principles:
- All items to be sold are priced and labelled before the sale. Items that are not for sale should be removed from the site if possible, so as not to get mixed up with sale items.
- Sales are advertised in newspaper classifieds, both in print and on-line. The more places you advertise, the more likely you will have more buyers coming.
- Sales are handled on a first Come/first Serve basis, which means people may start lining up hours before the sale actually starts.
- Buyers are generally allowed into the sale in numbers of 10-20 at a time to avoid overcrowding. As buyers leave, others are allowed in. Door management/people flow is a must.
- Buyers will pick and carry smaller items with them as they browse, while larger items will need to have a SOLD sign placed on them following purchase.
- Sales are generally CASH ONLY; however, if you have a third party managing your sale, they may provide credit/debt payment services.
- All items are generally taken home by the buyer the same day. It is the responsibility of the buyer to move the items out.
- There should be several “sales staff” throughout the house to help with the sale. They will answer questions, possibly negotiate prices, and label SOLD items.
If you have any unsold items remaining after your estate sale which could benefit a family in need, consider hiring our team to come pick them up. Click here to enquire about our furniture removal service, which benefits families in need across Toronto.