Archive for the ‘antiques’ Tag

Attic Treasure Hunting

The value of any treasure discovered is always dependent on the quality, uniqueness, and scarcity of the particular items. Attics have always been the source of great treasure hunts for years, as well as the source of great agony.

For families who have to clear out and dispose of their valued treasures, it is difficult. Time and patience is a valuable commodity when sorting and clearing attic treasures. Care and concern should be given with all items as there may be items that have both monetary and sentimental value, or NOT. If you are fortunate enough to find one or two pieces in that category, then you need to decide what to do with them. Even finding a piece or two with sentimental value only – something you had long forgotten about it — will be a wonderful discovery.

Once the Treasure Hunt is complete and the “stuff” has been categorized what happens now?  For the items you have decided to keep, it depends on the situation you and the family are in; you might be moving so will these items move to new location or will you be taking them to your home? Or you may be staying for a while longer so that will require repacking and labeling the contents of the carton or bin. Be sure to put a date on the bin so you know how long ago you last viewed the contents. Put these repacked and organized containers neatly in a designated space for future access.

Now, you need to take away the items designated as trash, donation, give to family, or sell.

  • Move the trash, if possible, directly out to the curb, a dumpster or at least to the garage to wait for trash day.
  • If you have not already scheduled a donation pick up; do it now.   Move the donation items down to the garage clearly marking them as donations – not to be mistaken for trash.   Resist the temptation of second guessing your decisions.
  • Items marked ‘give to family’, bring them down to an area that can be designated staging area; put all items in here clearly marked with the designated family member’s name. Make a call and schedule a time for      things to be picked up. You may need to make several calls, and then  finally say; “If you don’t come by Sunday, I will be putting them in the trash on Monday.”
  • Put all items for sale in one spot (either leave them in the attic or garage marked sale items). Then determine what type of sale to have.  Arrange for  an appraisal, if necessary. Set a date, even if it is weeks or months away, it will help motivate you to complete the project.

For items that you truly feel have monetary value but you don’t know what it is, I recommend strongly that you pay for an appraisal from a qualified independent appraiser, who knows furniture or artwork. By having an appraisal of the pieces in question, you will be able to make an educated and informed decision on what you want to do with the pieces in question. You won’t walk into a store someday and see your piece (or something very similar) for sale for hundreds of dollars and you sold it for $5 at a moving sale!

Patience, persistence, and many helping hands are the basic elements needed to complete this project. It could take days, weeks, or even months, depending on the level of all available elements at any point in time.



Are you or someone you know . . .?

  • Preparing to enter the spring real estate market?
  • Overwhelmed with all that needs to be done to get ready?
  • Has limited time or energy to do everything?
  • That needs help on where to begin, who to call, or how much time this process will take?

If you do, I can help!

During February, I have an extra day to help you!
Schedule your complimentary Strategy Session
to review your plans, objectives, and goals; and I will answer
your Where, Who, and How questions, on beginning
 to downsize and preparing for the move.

CALL TODAY, 508-285-4802, to schedule your
 LEAP YEAR strategy session, and receive:

  • A written summary of primary action areas and dates to meet to complete project on time.
  • An Opportunity to save $75.00 or more* on a WITTZ END service package IF booked during your Strategy Session!                


*Save $75.00 or more on a WITTZ END service package (depending on package size), when booked during your  strategy session.  Everyone receives the written summary just for booking strategy session.


No Fireplace To Hang Our Christmas Stockings!

Even though we lived in a wonderful old home, we had no fireplace.   This was a problem only at Christmas, because you need to hang your stocking on the fireplace mantle!   Well Dad and my Aunt Alice fixed this problem! They made a fireplace with a mantel, painted it brick red with white lines (the lines were not quite straight or in the proper spot but no one mentioned that!) it looked as “real” as possible.   They even painted logs and flames to further the illusion.  Christmas cards and evergreens decorated the mantle, and there were hooks for everyone’s Christmas stocking; 4 children, Mom and Dad, Grandma, and Aunt Alice.  The stockings were filled with small trinkets, toys and games but that was beside the point, it was all about the fireplace and the stockings and less about the small gifts – IT WAS FUN!   

 Around the holidays as we get older, we often look back and remember the way things were when we grew up.  We keep wishing that all those happy times could be relived.   I have said this before, we should honor the past traditions, create new ones, and bringing back the ones that have fallen by the wayside.   I am doing it, this year we are bringing back the Christmas Stockings! 

Even though I am now down to four people in our immediate family and we are all adults, we picked a name and we are filling a Christmas stocking for the chosen person.   There are new stockings, although I still have the old and tattered ones from years ago, and the stockings this year will be hung on the mantel of our wonderfully convenient gas fireplace that will be turned on as we sit around and open our stockings after breakfast on Christmas morning!

Three Suggestions for Baby Boomer’s to Downsizing Parents Home.

For years, with both happiness and sadness, parents have sent their children off to college and the children leave a lot of their “STUFF” behind.  This “STUFF” has a tendency to “hang out” at the house for a long time.  Somehow this gives parents the feeling that “The children will be back because they want their “STUFF”
In a lot of cases, parents whose children left the family home years ago – for college, pursuing a career, or for marriage, left behind “STUFF” that is still hanging around in the basement and attic.  When I work with clients I find and I am told; “Oh that belongs to Suzie (or Dick), I have it until they have room.”

Fall is when many of us are thinking of clearing out our gardens and preparing them for winter.  This would also be a perfect time to start weeding out all the stuff that has been hanging around your parent’s homes that you left behind when you moved on with your lives.

Three suggestions on how to begin to help your parents to organize and downsize and get rid of the trash you or your siblings left behind.

  1. Send a friendly little email to your siblings, telling them what you plan and when you are planning to do it.
  2. Give them a specific date that if they want anything they left behind to come and take it away.
  3. Stick to the plan.  When the deadline comes and goes, start the clean out process, and donate, sell, or throw out all items that you do not want or need.
You will feel so much better for having done this and so will your parents.  Remember this will need to be done sooner or later and NOW is a perfect time to start.


Downsizing, de-cluttering, organizing, or whatever you want to call it, it is a necessary evil that we all need to face at some time in our lives.   Probably we should do it periodically, but most of us procrastinate and let things accumulate in the basements, attics, garages, and sheds.  There are various reasons to de-clutter; from moving into a smaller home, to stay safely in your home,   you, your spouse or partner may be ill, disabled or have died or you cannot maintain your home any longer.   These are all very important reason to seriously think about downsizing and NOW is a good time to start!  Whenever possible family members should be involved in the process, because there may be items that they might want.  


  •  Set aside specific periods of time. 
     Start off slowly, one to three hours a day is sufficient because of the physical and emotional strain involved.   Take frequent breaks, to avoid becoming overwhelmed and dehydrated.   If you decide to tackle the basement first, break it down in sections.   Make sure that you dispose of all trash and take the items to be donated away (this eliminates second guessing!)  Only leave items that you are keeping or planning on moving. When you complete that section STOP!  You will feel good about what you have accomplished and schedule your next session.    

  •  Develop a system for sorting. 
    Start with large items (too large for cartons) first, by putting color stickers on these items: i.e.: Yellow = Donate, Blue = Keep, Green=Give Away, Pink=Undecided.    Then determine how and where these items are going and right that on the stickers.   Knick-knacks are smaller and stickers don’t stay put.   Set up cartons and mark them KEEP, GIVE AWAY, DONATE, UNDECIDED.    If you need make
    the phone calls for pickups right away and schedule it to happen!  Don’t procrastinate make the calls! 
  •  Take time to remember:
     Don’t rush the sorting and downsizing, it will take time and if you start early, before the pressure is on to finish by a certain deadline date, you can decide what you want to do and make sure you are comfortable with your decision.  Take time to laugh or cry, reminisce, look through old papers, and to remember and grieve.    You need this time and it will help you to let go.
  • Take pictures or video of items. 
    In order to remember and pass the memories down to your family take pictures or a video of the items.  Recording your memories and recollections of an item and its connection to the family is particularly important if the items are family heirlooms.  The younger family members may not aware of the history or special significance the piece(s) have to the family history.   Your recorded recollections will bring added value to your family. 

The earlier you start to prepare for a move, the better off you will be.   Downsizing and moving is a very stressful time in a persons life, no matter how old they are.    Doing this after years of living in the same home, and having accumulated a lot of “STUFF” is a lot of work.     This only adds to your stress levels.

In my next posting I will talk about the downsizing and how to get rid of the stuff we have all accumulated over the years.    The pros and cons of moving sales, and why your items are not selling for what you know they are worth!

To all the Mothers, Grandmothers, and wannabe Mothers – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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