What should I do about the contents of a house I inherited?

I am the sole heir of my parent's estate. My mom was one of those hoarder collectors. I haven't had much luck selling the house contents (having garage sales and online) because what was hot in the 1970s is cold turkey in today's antique market (e.g. Depression glass, china, art prints, Victorian style furniture). Even the thrift stores won't take it because they aren't selling anything right now; some around here have even gone OOB. Auctioneers only want high-end antiques. I'd like to clear out the house so I can sell it, but at least get something back on what my parents spent.

Attachment image

11 Answers

  • drip
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    That doesn’t look too bad. Certainly in the category of hoarding. 

    My friend had to clean out her grandmothers house. Some stuff she had they had no clue what it was.  They had a 50 cent table, $1, $2, $5 and $10 tables. They hauled it and put stuff in on one of the tables.  The majority was under $5. 

    Sure they could of made more money on it, but the main concern was time and getting it gone. 

    Problem is, there is no way to do too much right now. 

  • Willie
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    Anything that is inside the house belongs to you, so have a garage sale on a sunny Saturday.

  • I care
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    First AUCTION HOUSES do pick up such as this, but make sure you go through all of it,  and not leave special items part of your family to others.  

    If they need you to pack items,  keep a running list so you'll know what is sold and isn't.  Per box # them to the list.  

    Also some consignment shops would go thru items with you to purchase.  I have already made up inventory sheets for my daughter,  and a few items should be passed on to family members.  Sorry this wasn't done before you were left with all of it.  Some relatives maybe could help you discover items that are truly special for others to save as keepsakes.  Good luck on this journey.

  • John P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Difficult, if what you have does not suit today's market.  Have you tried online markets, Craigslist, etc? Take good close-up photos.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 2 months ago

    There are places that sell on consignment, maybe you could check those out. I also inherited a house full of stuff that was never updated for 65 years (the house and contents). 99% had no value as an antique or otherwise.  No family members were interested enough to even look at any items. At different times I rented 3 roll-offs (much larger than dumpsters) and cleared it all out. The furniture was placed on craigslist and if it no one was interested it was donated.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Phone an Auctioneer. They can put the whole lot in a general sale and will spot anything valuable.

  • 2 months ago

    1-800- got junk

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Rent a storage shed to put what you think will sell into while you wait for normal outlets. To once again, open up. That will enable you to clear out the house enough to sell.  It's either that or rent a dumpster and just toss it.

    Just becouse something is old, antique, was a collectable at one time, does not mean it has any value today.

  • 2 months ago

    You have two choices.

    Be a hoarder like they were, and put loads of that unwanted stuff into storage “just in case it becomes valuable”, or be practical and ruthless: hire a skip to throw all the unwanted stuff away and just keep and resell the few items of value.

    The house is the most valuable item, and the sooner that’s cleared out and tidied-up to be attractive to buyers, the quicker you release that value.

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because stuff is old that it will be valuable.

    Crap is crap, even if it’s old crap. If you have to pay for removal of that gear to a storage unit and then pay to hoard it for years that immediately wipes out any likely profits on any few items which become fashionable/collectable again.

    Leave emotional attachment out of it: be ruthless in clearing the junk and set yourself strict limits on the few items you wish to retain as keepsakes regardless of value.

    One way to clear the house may be to pay an auctioneer to visit and assess whether it’s worth having an auction at the house or not. The auctioneer will at least be able to advise you which items may be worth transporting to an auction house for sale. Auctioneers have a good eye for what is currently saleable and what is best sending for recycling/landfill. If you choose to do that then make the job easier for the auctioneer by throwing away the really obvious junk such as cracked/chipped crockery and glassware, stained/moth-eaten textiles, and pretty much anything broken/incomplete. That’s not an exhaustive list.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You've been at this for more than a year now if memory serves.  I say this gently, but I think you need to adjust your thinking and call in an estate clearing company to come and haul everything away and consider that a cost of settling the estate.  Keep things that mean something to you personally, let friends and family help themselves if they want to, and let the rest go.  At this point it's a burden to you and I am sure that your parents would not want you to feel burdened.  Your mom bought things that gave her a lot of pleasure while she was here to enjoy them, so it wasn't money wasted, you shouldn't think of it that way.  People live such insecure lives now that they can't accummulate like in the past, which is sad for the sake of everyone who wants to be rooted, but that's the reality we live in.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.