You have finally decided to downsize, redecorate or just clear out the clutter. It sounds like a great plan until you are faced with the reality or what to do with all that extra furniture and household items.

It’s not as daunting as you may think. Luckily there are just as many people needing furniture as there are wanting to get rid of theirs. You can always donate it to a good cause such as HOM. A group from St. Gabriel’s that works with the Salvation Army to help furnish homes for misplaced families.

Consignment Shops

Whichever charity you select, ask if they offer free pickup. You don’t want to pay a mover to transport items you’re giving away. Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Purple Heart and Vietnam Veterans of America all offer free pickup service.

Garage Sales? Not for this girl. They are too much work and the return isn’t there. Craig’s List and other online sites require too much one-on-one personal involvement. There can be a safety issue and shipping logistics.

Consignment Shops

For items that are in good condition, antiques and collectibles you might want to consider a consignment shop. There are several very good stores in Charlotte. Southend Exchange, Classic Attic, Hamilton-Stuart, Consignments on Park and Clearing House.

If you’re not familiar with these stores, take an afternoon and check them out. Each store has its own personality and cliental. Southend Exchange, located in the South End, is a great resource for the thousands of millennials that live in that area. Classic Attic, in Park Road shopping center, is a Charlotte fixtures and specializes in collectibles, antiques and more traditional furnishings.

You can tell very quickly if your items are right for a particular shop. If you like the vibe, then ask about their consignment policy. Most shops work on a 50/50 or 60/40 split. Ask for a copy of their consignment agreement.

Consignment Shops

Share a little information about what you want to sell. They know what they customers are looking to purchase. They don’t want to waste valuable floor space and you don’t want to waste your time.

Ask them to recommend a mover that can transport your piece to the shop. They do not pickup but they know movers and work with them on a regular basis. Expect to pay between $75 – $150 depending on the number of pieces and location.

Most shops will ask you to email them photos of your pieces. Be a photo stylist. Make your furniture look as if it’s in a magazine. Fluff up pillows, clear off dresser tops, etc. Take photos from several angles and include any special features. Take measurements.

Consignment Shops

If you know the manufacturer, list that in your email. A piece from Bernhardt or Century will hold its value longer than a less valued manufacturer. If it’s performance fabric or the covers zip off for easy cleaning, it’s important to include that information.

Most shops will tell you the price they plan to ask. Every 30 days the price will be reduced. After 90 days, you have the option of picking up the piece or they will donate it to charity.

Be realistic. It’s not about what you paid for the piece 10-15 years ago. It is what it is worth in today’s used furniture market. You’ll goal is to retrieve a little money back from a piece that has already served your house well. You don’t want it back.

It is a great feeling to pick up a nice check from your consignment shop to reinvest in new furniture or deposit into the bank.