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Are You Realistic About the Value of Your Clutter?

Maybe you've been eyeing the wedding gifts you registered for years ago but never used. Perhaps it's furniture from your old home that just doesn't look right in your new one. Or it's a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear that's making you uneasy.

black storage bins to avoid clutter

Sometimes the hold-up in purging an item isn't that you aren't sure if you want to get rid of it, but the mental blocks that are keeping you from letting it go.

Here are some common reasons why we may hang on to things we don't want or need:

- Sentimental

- Useful, but not to us at this time

- Someone else might want it (a sibling, your child, a friend, etc)

- Guilt (it was a gift, it was expensive, it's still "good")

- Valuable (perceived and actual)

While each of these points are valid and probably warrant a post of their own, let's focus on the last one and determine how to value your clutter. While there are exceptions, most of the things we tend to hold on to don't have the monetary value we think. In fact, studies show that the longer we hang on to a thing, the greater perceived value (but not necessarily actual value) we assign to it.

If you're waiting to get organized because you want to sell your items first, here are a few things to consider:

- Do you have a deadline to clear out your space? This could be things like preparing to list your home for sale, a guest coming to visit who will be sleeping in your overstuffed guest room, or a storage unit you pay for on a certain day each month.

- Do you have the time to resell? This includes pricing research, posting or advertising the sale details, hosting the sale, negotiating and meeting up with potential buyers (who may or may not show up), packing and shipping items for online sales?

- Do you have space to sort and store the items you're selling until they're sold?

- Are you comfortable meeting up with strangers for in-person sales?

- If you are depending on other people to help the resale process, do they have the time and energy to participate?

- When using third party resellers, are you comfortable splitting your profits?

- Does it make sense to take the tax write-off for donations instead of selling?

- What is your plan for the things that don't sell?

- Are you willing delay getting your home in order and organized until you resell your things?

- Are you realistic about the value? According to the Salvation Army, here is a breakdown of how to value common household items on the low and high end. This assumes appliances, electronics and equipment are working, and all clothing and furniture donations are in good condition.

What's The Value of My Clutter?


Air Conditioner $20-$90

Dryer $45-$90

Electric Stove $75-$150

Gas Stove $50-$75

Heater $7.50-$22

Microwave $10-$50

Refrigerator (working) $75-$200

T.V. (color, working) $75-$225

Washing Machine $40-$15

household clutter and unpacked moving boxes

Household Goods

Bakeware $1-$3

Bedspread/Quilt $3-$24

Blanket $3-$15

Chair/Sofa Cover $15-$35

Coffeemaker $4-$15

Curtains $1-$12

Drapes $6.50-$40

Fireplace Set $20-$80

Floor Lamp $6-$50

Glass/Cup $0.50-$1.50

Griddle $4-$12

Kitchen Utensils $0.50-$1.50

Lamp $5-$75

Mixer/Blender $5-$20

Picture/Painting $5-$200

Pillow $2-$8

Plate $0.50-$3

Pot/Pan $1-$3

Sheets $2-$8

Throw Rug $1.50-$12

Towels $0.50-$4


Bed (full, queen, king) $50-$170

Bed (single) $35-$75

Note: Not all donation centers accept mattresses

Bedroom Set (complete) $200-$1,000

Chair (upholstered) $25-$75

Chest $25-$95

China Cabinet $85-$300

Clothes Closet $15-$50

Coffee Table $15-$65

Crib (w/mattress) $25-$75

Desk $25-$140

Dining Room Set (complete) $150-$900

Dresser w/Mirror $20-$75

End Table $10-$50

Folding Bed $20-$60

Hi Riser $35-$75

High Chair $10-$50

Kitchen Cabinet $25-$75

Kitchen Chair $2-$10

Kitchen Table & Chairs Set $35-$170

Playpen $3.75-$30

Rugs $20-$90

Secretary $50-$140

Sleeper Sofa (with mattress) $85-$300

Sofa $35-$200

Trunk $5-$70

organized and beautiful closet inspiration

Women's Clothing

Bathing Suit $4-$12

Bathrobe $2.50-$12

Blouse $2.50-$12

Boots $2-$5

Bra $1-$3

Coat $10-$40

Dress $4-$20

Evening Dress $10-$60

Foundation Garment $3-$8

Fur Coat $25-$400

Fur Hat $7-$15

Handbag $2-$20

Hat $1-$8

Jacket $4-$12

Nightgown $4-$12

Pants Suit $6.50-$25

Shoes $2-$25

Skirt $3-$8

Slacks $3.50-$12

Slip $1-$6

Socks $0.50-$1.25

Suit $6-$25

Sweater $3.75-$15

Men's Clothing

Jacket$ 7.50-$25

Overcoat $15-$60

Pajamas $2-$8

Raincoat $5-$20

Shirt $2.50-$12

Shoes $3.50-$25

Shorts $3.50-$10

Slacks $5-$12

Suit $15-$60

Sweater $2.50-$12

Swim Trunks $2.50-$8

Tuxedo $10-$60

Undershirt $1-$3

Children's Clothing

Blouse $2-$8

Boots $3-$20

Coat $4.50-$20

Dress $3.50-$12

Jacket $3-$25

Jeans $3.50-$12

Pants $2.50-$12

Shirt $2-$6

Shoes $2.50-$8.75

Skirt $1.50-$6

Slacks $2-$8

Snowsuit $4-$19

Socks $0.50$1.50

Sweater $2.50-$8

Misc. Items

Bicycle $5-$80

Board Game $1-$3

Book (hardback) $1-$3

Book (paperback) $0.75-$1.50

CD $2-$5

Computer Monitor $5-$50

Computer Printer $5-$150

Computer System $75-$400

Copier $40-$200

DVD $2-$5

DVD Player/VCR $8-$15

Edger $5-$25

Golf Clubs $2-$25

Ice Skates $3-$15

Luggage $5-$15

Mower $25-$75

Mower (riding) $75-$300

Radio $7.50-$50

Roller Blades $3-$15

Sewing Machine $15-$85

Stereo $15-$75

Stuffed Animal $0.50-$1

Tennis Racket $2-$5

Typewriter $5-$25

Umbrella $2-$6

Vacuum Cleaner $15-$65

Are you surprised by the values listed? What are you holding on to but need to let go? I'd love to hear your comments.


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