Trash or Treasure

Trash or Treasure: Sorting through the Stuff | Pittsburgh, PA

Every year, thousands of families find themselves having to make decisions about what to do with (insert name)’s things. These decisions can be stressful as many times family members have different opinions on what is a treasure and what is not. So, how do you determine what items to keep and which ones need to be gotten rid of? Here are some tips to help.

Determining if an Item is Valuable

If you find yourself looking through your home, or perhaps that of a loved one, and trying to decide if something is worth keeping there are a few aspects to consider.


What is it made out of? Items such as shoes, handbags, or furniture that are marked as 100% leather or “leather upper” and are in good condition typically have a good resale value. Also of value, are clothing items that have woven tags or furniture, décor, or clothing made from natural materials or fibers.


If you find yourself going through a place where there is a significant amount of heavy furniture removal needed and don’t know where to start, begin by separating the items made from hardwood from those made out of manufactured or simulated wood. Once you have the hardwood pieces identified, take time to inspect them for any wear and tear. This can help determine if the piece is worth saving or if it is better off disposed of. As you look over these pieces, pay close attention to furniture that has any distinctive markings such as those a craftsman may have used. You will also want to research any similar pieces and learn what you can about who made the piece.

Also worth noting regarding furniture, especially in heavier pieces, is whether it has a steel or solid wood frame, as this can add value.


Did you inherit a box full of jewelry and have no idea of its value? No problem, there are a few ways to determine what to keep and what to pass on- especially if there is no sentimental value associated with a piece.

  • Look for a stamp that tells who made the piece. If a designer is named, do some research.
  • Check any clasps, prongs, links, or inside of rings or watches for damage.
  • Look for any loose or chipped gems.
  • Consider getting it appraised to determine the authenticity, carats, quality, or purity of any gems or precious metal.

Simple Calls: Items That Easily Fall into the Trash Category

Some items don’t require a great deal of thought in deciding if they are trash or treasure. The list may vary slightly based on the space you are working on, but here are some basics.

  • Unused hardware and extra pieces
  • Plastic- Grocery bags, containers, tubs, etc.
  • Kitchen utensils with only one purpose
  • User’s manuals -These are online now, no need to save these bulky books.
  • Magazines and newspaper clippings
  • Old electronics
  • Old, outdated, stained, or damaged clothing
  • Out of date medicine or beauty supplies
  • Broken furniture or other items (bikes, power tools, etc.)
  • Expired food
  • Old crafting items

If you find yourself faced with the daunting task of an estate cleanout, getting rid of the obvious junk items first will often make it easier to focus on the more valuable pieces Then once you have sorted things out, contact a company such as Get Movin’ Storage in Pittsburgh, PA.  They have the experience needed to make finding the treasures more pleasurable.  They can help with foreclosure and eviction cleanouts, too.