When downsizing for any reason, one of the hardest things to do is deciding what can stay and what must go. When space limitations become an issue, collections are the first items to cull. But, for a collector who has spent years finding treasured items, getting rid of things can be stressful and emotionally draining indeed. Here are a few ways to help turn a tricky task into a rewarding experience. 

• Immediately purge anything that doesn’t have value or importance to you. 

• Eliminate duplicates or things you forgot you had. 

• Choose a few representative items from the collection that have the most meaning to you, and set them aside to keep. 

• Research your items, which may have appreciated in value. A good place to start is www.ebay.com online marketplace or a local auction house. There are also consignment services and dealers who may be able to help. 

• Consider making a donation of your collection. The greatest way to share the joy of your treasures is to pass the collection along to others. Area charities are a fantastic place to start when trying to find a home for your prized possessions. 

• Keep conservation in mind – many collections can deteriorate or degrade if not stored in a climate controlled area. 

• Display your favorites so that you can enjoy and admire them, rotating items as space allows. 

• Sharing your collection with others is one of the great joys of collecting in the first place, and sometimes having to downsize the collection can give you a completely new appreciation for the individual items as you spend time considering each piece. Once the clutter is cleared you may enjoy your smaller collection even more knowing the treasured memories it represents!

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