Whether it’s magazines or Beanie Babies, this guide can help you identify, condense, and organize your most prized possessions.

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There are two reasons to collect items: they’re either valuable or they’re cherished. If you’re at a crossroads when you need to purge some of your items, you want to ensure you make smart choices. Sort through your belongings one item at a time to determine what you can keep, what you can toss, and what you can sell to get some cash in your pocket.

Determine What You Keep

Sometimes you rifle through items in your storage unit and are unsure if they are worth something or not. If there’s any chance it might have some value, set it aside. If you have items that don’t have much monetary value, but have a lot of sentimental value, evaluate your reasons for keeping the collection. Try to pick the items in the collection that mean the most to you. Keep those items and feel free to get rid of the rest. The items you choose to keep will still have sentimental value, but you’re not weighed down by the clutter that often comes with an entire collection.

When you have the items you want to keep, find a cabinet or a shelf where you can display them. “I suggest placing the same type of collectibles or decor near each other,” recommends Toni Hammersley. “Things display more beautiful as a collection, as opposed to all spread out, throughout your home. And it creates a more organized space.”

Take Your Item to a Reputable Dealer

If you come across an item that may be a collectible, the first step is to determine its value. Find a dealer that specializes in the item and see if he or she can appraise it for you. “Quality is very important. Just because something is old doesn’t necessarily make it valuable,” advises Crawford Direct. “The better its condition, the more it’s worth.” Take a little bit of time to clean up the items that you have; if they are worth something, you’ll get more money for them if they’re more polished. 

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Sell What You Don’t Need

If you have a valuable collectible or collection that you’re looking to sell, there are a few options. One option is to sell the item privately. “Private sale is when you negotiate a sell between you and other parties,” according to Antique HQ. “This can be done by yourself or through a broker. If you choose this option, I would suggest using a broker. Brokers usually have a network of buyers and they also know how to negotiate in these situations on your behalf.”

Other options for selling collectibles include:

  • Auction Houses
  • Consignment Sales or Consignment Stores
  • Online Auctions
  • Online Antique Stores (or whatever store would sell your collectible)

If you’re looking to get rid of items that you collected, but that aren’t necessarily valuable, consider having a yard or garage sale. Price the items low enough that they will sell, but not so low that there’s no room for haggling. You won’t make as much money as you would if you went through a broker, but the items will move quickly and you’ll have instant cash in your pocket.

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When it comes to collectibles, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You can’t judge a book by its cover, so it’s worth the time to investigate and see if your items have any monetary value. No matter how much they’re worth, you can get your stuff out of the self-storage unit, get rid of the things that aren’t important to you, and properly display those items that bring back the best memories. 

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