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Many of you are, or will be, stressed, worried and anxious figuring out what to do with your parents’ stuff. We know this because our 2017 story, "Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff" is our most-read, most-shared piece. And it led to a flood of reader responses with their experiences and advice regarding property and possessions inherited from parents.

That’s why we’ve pulled together below our best stories about “your parents’ stuff” — a vital resource with smart, practical tips from experts. We hope these five stories, plus tips from Next Avenue readers, will be useful for you, or for you to share with friends or loved ones who are looking for assistance. 


Next Avenue’s Money channel editor Richard Eisenberg published this article shortly after his father died. When he and his sister tried to find buyers or charities who’d want some of their parents’ possessions, they had little luck. In this story, experts offer practical advice to others in a similar circumstance.
 
Reader Tip No. 1: "My family had large Christmas gatherings every year at my grandparents house. My grandmother used her china, that she saved hard for, at these gatherings. When she died she left it to me and I kept it for 30 years … I emailed to all nieces, her great grandkids, cousins, etc., saying … Hey remember that china? I split it up between many who were happy to take a plate, cup or setting."
Cynthia Broze

In response to Eisenberg’s story, here’s what Next Avenue readers recommended people do if they inherit their parents’ stuff. Plus: their advice how to prevent the stuff you own from one day becoming a burden to your family.
 
Reader Tip No. 2: "Please call your locally owned antique shops or vintage stores first. Small businesses like these often will come in and buy many things you think are worthless."
Julie Popovic

Roger Schrenk and Chris Fultz, co-founders and owners of Nova Liquidation, shared their wisdom on determining the value of furniture, silver, coins, art, rugs, china and glassware.
 
Reader Tip No. 3: "When my mom moved out of her large house into an apartment, I made a quick FREE sign with a board, a pole and stick-on letters. I posted it outside near the road and every day I put a small pile of things that normally would have been discarded. It was so much fun to stand by the window and watch neighbors and passersby “go shopping” in our free pile! Young families took our scrap lumber, guys in pickup trucks took the ladders and handcarts, all the gardening supplies were scooped up, etc, etc. This was much better than hauling it all to the dump."
Diane DiVittorio Strauss 

Laura H. Gilbert, author of The Stories We Leave Behind, recommends a legacy-based approach to items you inherit or ones you may want your loved ones to inherit from you.
 
Reader Tip No. 4: "In some communities there are organizations which can use some furniture when setting up homes for formerly homeless folks."
Marleen Allen Varner

Real estate professionals Doug Myers and Kes Stadler provide a four-point plan to avoid making big mistakes when you inherit a house from your parents.
 

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