Downsizing, selling your stuff requires a reality check and not wishful thinking.

You’re selling your home. You need to downsize. What’s the first step towards less is more? If the answer is selling stuff you have to be prepared for a reality check. Let’s pick two random items – a dining room table and an antique collectible “XYZ.”
Before you sell something find out if family wants it. Surprisingly, they may be looking at your stuff as their inheritance. Better check. Sibling battles may also ensue. Even if a family member expresses interest it doesn’t mean they’ll come get it. They may claim “spacelessness” and lean on you to keep on being the reliable storage unit manager. Your hard job is to set in motion a time table for pick up. If they baulk, move on, sell it.

Next find out if what you have to sell is in demand. Ask an expert. It may surprise you to learn the market is soft for dining room sets. Consignment stores routinely turn them away now. So don’t expect an easy sale or top dollar there.
And the collectible, antique “XYZ?” When it comes to antiques it’s even more important to elicit the honest help of someone like Bill Kime, a senior Decorative Arts Specialist with Waddington’s Auction House and Appraisers in Toronto.
I run things by Bill quite often and he is wonderfully blunt. “It’s the same old story… there continues to be a good strong market for good things and absolutely no market at all for the rubbish… there are very few ‘new’ collectors in any area these days and a seemingly endless supply of stuff means that the established collectors have become extremely discerning – they all want the same ‘cherry on the cake’ for their collection and they’re prepared to be very competitive in acquiring it.”

In short, less acquiring by more people and tons more stuff hitting the market by older Canadians. That’s not to say you haven’t got a gem or two. Best to ask.
Stay tuned next time for selling by classifieds. And let’s bring a little therapy to your home.
Stephen Ilott is a professional home organizer with For more information, visit or contact him at or 416-460-8098.