How did I end up with so much stuff and what do I do with it all?

What are the options when looking to downsize your home

You walk into your beautiful home and your memory bank begins to flood with holidays, family dinners, and the occasional adolescent meltdown over teenage love. The memories fade and you realize the home you created is too big and filled with things that collect dust instead of memories. This realization can be overwhelming, and usually two questions arise. “How did I end up with so much stuff and what do I do with it all?” These questions are asked everyday and Blue Moon Estate Sales is here to help you make the best decision with your personal effects. When looking to downsize your home there are three options; donate, sell it yourself (garage sale/online), or hire an estate sale company. All three options have pros and cons and here we will walk you through each, in hopes to educate and alleviate the stress that comes with downsizing.


Donations to family, friends, and organizations is a viable option depending on the size of the home and what you will be donating. The advantage is a minimal time commitment and only requires a few phone calls as well as the time it takes to remove everything from your household. To give is always a great emotional booster and can sometimes be worth more than any monetary value placed upon the items you pass along. The disadvantages of donating include loss of potential income and limits to what can be donated. Majority of the items donated were purchased with hard earned money and still hold a monetary value that will be lost when donating. Depending on what organizations are in your area, there is a limit or restriction on what can be donated which leaves the next option the dumpster. Donation is a great place to start for those looking to downsize. If you have a smaller home or are just looking to get the ball rolling, donation is a way to begin cleaning out the house. Unfortunately with the loss of potential income and the limitations on what can be donated, downsizing and entire home, without filling up the dumpster is highly unlikely and sometimes costly.

Sell it Yourself

Becoming your own sales broker by hosting a garage sale or using the internet marketplace is another way to downsize your home and increase your next bank statement. The advantages of selling everything yourself is all the profit you make goes directly into your piggy bank and you are able to somewhat control the prices of each item sold. The disadvantage of selling it yourself is the large time commitment. Putting everything in your house online (eBay, craigslist) will be a daunting task with a potential of sitting online for several weeks. Putting on your own garage sale is no small task either. The pre-sale requirements of staging, researched pricing, and marketing can take several weeks, depending on the size of the house, how much research is done to price items accurately, and how busy your life is. Without a loyal buyers network the weather, time of year, and location all become bigger factors into the success of the private sale. A good garage sale will sell out 20% of everything available, leaving the other 80% to be donated or thrown in the trash. If you are a “do it yourself” kind of person, enjoy the process of getting your hands dirty, this is definitely the route for you. For those with other life responsibilities, a short deadline to get out of the house, or looking for an easier way you may want to consider another option.

Estate Sales

Acquiring the services of a reputable estate sales company is now easier then ever but make sure you do your homework. Mom and pops rule the market and service level and operation will greatly vary compared to a franchise like Blue Moon. Ask former clients, check for online reviews, or even go check out a sale they are having to make sure they are the right company for you. The advantages in using an estate sales company are a compressed sale timeline, expert pricing and analysis, and a large network of buyers following estate sales week in and week out. A good estate sale company will be able to stage and price a home between 1-4 days depending on size of the crew and number of items in the home. The company should only occupy the house the week and weekend of the sale. Expert staging and pricing of the items can make or break the entire sale and having experts with non biased market knowledge is extremely important. The loyal following of estate sales is one of the biggest draws to using an estate sale company. They have a large network of buyers that will come out to buy and enjoy your homes contents. The disadvantages is the possibility of getting taken advantage of by an unethical business and having to share a percentage of the profit. Unfortunately there are some bad eggs and the best way to avoid disaster is doing your homework and making sure the company you choose has an established record of quality service. Most companies charge between 30-40% of the total sale. With correct pricing and a large buyers network, 90-95% of the house will be sold, leaving you with little to clean up and proving to be worth every penny shared. Finding the right company to conduct your sale may take a little bit of work but has the potential to save you time, and ease the stress of simplifying your life. If you want to get rid of things quickly and efficiently, don’t have much help around the house, or your knee’s are not as spry as they once were, using a quality estate sales company is the way to go. Downsizing a home can be extremely stressful, but understanding what your goals are for simplifying your life will determine which route will work best for you. If it is a few items or you have the time for a new project, donating and selling everything yourself is the plan for you. If life is a little busy or do not feel up to the task, consider giving Blue Moon Estate Sales a call for your free consultation and take the burden out of downsizing.

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