Cleaning out clutter: Get rid of furniture, books and other things you don't use

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By Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza
Thursday, December 31, 2009

On the eve of 2010, resolve to confront the contents of your attic, basement and closets, and, in the process, maybe make some cash.

There are many options for downsizing collections you inherited or amassed yourself, or for getting rid of a piece of furniture that has more sentimental value than style.

Here's our plan to reclaim your storage space: Get your stuff into the hands of people who want it by selling it to a dealer, on consignment, at auction or online. The bonus is a little extra money at a time when many of us could use it.

We chose six categories -- books, records, furniture, stamps, sports trading cards and vintage wedding dresses -- and found several avenues for possible resale. Experts in every field stressed that the items in the best condition will net the best price. Other tips: Always call ahead. Investigate several venues if you have time. The savviest sellers are informed about the market and realistic about value. Let's be honest: Not everything you want to get rid of will find a buyer.

If you make a few dollars or none at all, at the very least you've liberated some valuable space in your home. That's something you can't put a price on.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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