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Clearing a house stuffed to the gunwales (empty for 20 yrs)

(13 Posts)
MrsSeanBean Wed 24-Feb-16 10:28:44

Where to start? I have a house which has been left empty for almost 20 years following a death. It now falls to me to start clearng it out ready for refurbishment and rental.

I've started by clearing out some paperwork and photos.

What to do about the mainly 50s/ 60s vintage clothing? Some antique furniture, mainly 19/20th C. Is there likely to be any value?

Huge cupboards full of china crockery sets. Sets of miniature china dolls' tea sets.

I don't want to just send stuff to tip if any of it has any value / could be auctioned.

Does anyone have any experience, would an auctioneer come to look around if he or she could navigate the clutter ?

Hennifer Wed 24-Feb-16 10:48:04

It sounds amazing and I'd love to have a look through, it's my thing - I am sure there will be some value to some of the things.

I think you need to clear out the obvious junk first and then see what you have left.

Are there any actual dolls? I used to restore antique dolls so could help you out with valuing those if you like - would need to see a photo.

Sounds so exciting!!

Hennifer Wed 24-Feb-16 10:49:35

And yes most local auction houses will send someone to 'prospect' - often they don't want to take things unless they are pretty valuable though.

We had some success house clearing on ebay - my granny died a few years ago so we had a similar situation, she kept a LOT of stuff.

MrsSeanBean Wed 24-Feb-16 10:57:43

Thanks Hennifer. No actual dolls discovered (yet!) - will bear you in mind if any emerge.

specialsubject Wed 24-Feb-16 10:58:45

wow. Yes, an auction house would be a good try.

re the china - to get this valued, you need to catalogue every piece and even then it isn't worth much.

keeping it all out of the landfill will be work, but please try.

Hennifer Wed 24-Feb-16 11:00:08

We did resort to a local furniture charity who brought a huge van and took away anything we didn't want to sell. They were absolutely invaluable and it made it a lot easier to deal with what was left.

BosomySusan Wed 24-Feb-16 11:01:19

I browse a lot of our local auctions (looking for furniture mostly) and they sell a lot of house clearance stuff, quite often they'll put a box together of china or books if individual things aren't worth much. Definitely worth calling round a few I'd say. With the clothing, are there any vintage shops/fairs near you? Again we have quite a few of those who I'm sure would love to look over the clothing.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Wed 24-Feb-16 11:15:09

I've had to do similar. I was astonished at what was popular - retro is "in" at the moment.

Agree with those above about getting an auction house or specialist dealer (google is your friend) to value first.

For whatever doesn't go that way, pick and choose charities eg
- furniture charity
- charity with specialist vintage shop (we have one locally which, in addition to its normal branches, maintains one shop in a chi-chi area where vintage stuff sells)
- Oxfam (has a big enough operation to do the same)

EBay is possible but time-consuming, especially if the items are in the house and it isn't nearby.

bojorojo Wed 24-Feb-16 13:52:11

Sell any decent Victorian furniture on ebay. You will not get very much for it though unless it is unusual or by a top drawer maker. You will have to pay the auction house to move the furniture to the auction room and then a commission if it sells, and it may not. It will then be down to you to take it home. This is expensive! Ebay buyers collect. If this does not appeal, just get the house cleared by a house clearer. Can you store and sell a few better pieces?

Vintage shops take vintage clothing. Charity shops definitely do and some speialise in Vintage. Where is the house?

China is worth very little, unless it is by a recognised top quality manufacturer. Take a sample into a vintage shop. Or sell on eBay. It really depends what work you want to put in. My MIL's furniture and effets were just worthless junk - even the jewellery was fake! Don't spend too much time if it falls into this category. My DH rescued a few photos and that was it. We made a pact that we never have junk in our house. If it is in this house it is because it either has function or beauty or both. If it is jewellery, it is real!

MrsSeanBean Wed 24-Feb-16 14:07:34

Thanks for advice so far. I don't know why, but I feel very anti house clearance people. I resent the thought that I have to pay me to take it away, and they then on top of that will (might) make a profit from it. I also hate to see people's once treasured belonging carted away like rubbish. [ soppy]

I think I'd rather plough through and ebay stuff.

Even if individual items don't sell for much it's better than paying for it to be taken, and I'm nothing if not dogged and persistent!

I could pass the clothing onto a vintage charity shop, there is one in a nearby city, good idea. I don't mind if the proceeds go to charity, it's just that I resent greasy second hand dealer types telling me it's worth nothing then making a fast buck at my expense (financial and emotional)..

MrsSeanBean Wed 24-Feb-16 14:08:15

* pay them! not pay me (darn autocorrect)

wonkylegs Wed 24-Feb-16 14:20:08

We have used a local hospice charity which has a furniture/ home shop to clear furniture from an elderly relatives house. They came and collected everything except sofas/mattresses (although they would have taken these if they'd had fire tags)
It was painless and we were glad that the furniture would be reused and funds would be raised for a worthwhile charity. There is also a furniture recycling charity near our house that reuses furniture for families in need. This might clear furniture that has low resale value but is still too useful for the tip.

AnnieOnnieMouse Wed 24-Feb-16 14:30:49

you can always give stuff away on your local Freegle site - people take all sorts of things!

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