Organizing like Rumpelstiltskin: Cash for Gold!

Cash for gold? Are you kidding? Do I look that broke to you?

Granted, it feels a little like food stamps—really desperate. But wait a minute. What if my reasoning for talking about selling your gold is more about making room for more jewelry in your life? Like shoes—another precious, precious thing—gold that isn’t being worn is just sitting there, stagnant in your drawer, taking up space where new shoes could be.

Get Organized Already

Curtsey of badgreed_records

Why would I do that?

Whether you think of selling gold as releasing old energy to bring in new, better things, or you think of it as free money is up to you.

Either scenario sounds pretty darn good to me and I’ve had clients request this service for both of those reasons.

So, here’s what you do.


Go through your jewelry to find the pieces you honestly have no intention of ever wearing again: pieces from HS and college boy/girlfriends, out-of-date patterns, etc. In the case of jewelry I’m going to loosen my professional organizer belt and say when in doubt keep it. Jewelry (unlike dishes or your wedding dress) doesn’t take up much room at all and your children may actually want it.

Use a magnet

The first thing the buyer will do is use a magnet. If you’d like to save some time, test for yourself before you leave the house. If any of your stuff sticks to the magnet, forget it. It’s crap. No gold there. Put it in your donate bin.

Some of the things (HS boyfriend’s ring) I thought were fake actually were gold. So, don’t assume.

Check current buying rates

Buyers will weigh your gold by the ounce and give you some percentage of the current market rate. If you need some motivation in the form of a dollar amount to get you into the store, check this site for rates and roughly calculate how much green you’ll be getting for your gold.

scrap gold 2

Head to the store

To combat the I-must-be-really-broke-to-be-doing-this vibe you may be feeling, put on your big girl shoes and an outfit you generally feel good wearing. Dressing well always helps in a new situation. Don’t you think?

Let me highly recommend Diamano Fine Jewelry at 642 East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena (at El Molino). According to my telephone research in Pasadena, they pay more than other buyers: 75 percent of market value. They round up on the weight of your pieces. And, most importantly, they are friendly, very classy, and courteous. It’s a fine jewelry store, not a place to send money orders or buy bus tokens. If you aren’t near Pasadena, find a reputable jewelry seller near you who also buys gold.


Wherever you decide to sell, make sure you will get paid right there. It is a crazy wild feeling like winning in Vegas. Let’s put it this way, I’m going to New York this weekend with Jeff and the recent haul I took in was worth more money than my round-trip ticket. Gulp. That stuff was sitting in my drawer for twenty years!

Treat yo’self

Don’t blow it on gas and groceries (unless you really need to). See this video clip (shown to me by Bos Organization) for inspiration.


Organizing dishes: Break out the china!

Do you have some fancy pants china in your kitchen cabinets? Does anyone in your family know it’s there? In other words, do you ever use it?

too precious to use?

too precious to use?

One of the cardinal rules of organizing a kitchen is to use your real estate wisely because most of us don’t have expansive kitchens. So if you are not using that china on a monthly basis, I’ll bet you can find a more practical place to store it to make room in your cabinets for the things you do use every day and each week.

Not-so-prime Real Estate

Move the china to harder to reach cabinets above the fridge, the stove, or even in the dining room.

Garage/Storage space

If you only use china for the winter holidays, why not keep it in the garage with the other seasonal decorations? Even if you use it twice a year, this is a viable option.

Use it!

Now let’s get real about whether or not you even want to use your fancy china. Are you afraid you’ll break it? Don’t let that keep you from using it. In fact, don’t let that keep you from using anything you own. You are worth it and life is short.

Please don’t tell me you aren’t using it because you are saving it for your grandkids because your grandkids can use it now! Save them a trip to IKEA–go ahead and give it to them today.

I have a few pieces from different china patterns that I love and those pieces stand up very well to everyday use. It’s a comfort to me to know they don’t contain lead like most dinnerware being produced now (in China). I put goldfish crackers in the little bowls for my kids. I serve ice cream in them. I put them in the dishwasher and if they ever do break I can get other pieces pretty easily because unfortunately, the world is full of un-used, well-made china and crystal.

My last question is, do you love your china pattern? If you don’t, let’s talk about letting it go.

selling online is the most likely non-auction site to buy pieces of your pattern. However, it isn’t all sunshine and flowers. You still have to package it and mail in it and they pay you just a small percentage.

When I get china from clients I check with my buddies at iSoldit on eBay in Pasadena and they let me know if it’s worth passing the set on to them to sell. The store takes care of the packaging and the eBay hassles. But again, you won’t get a lot of cash for your china this way. In fact, in 80% of cases with my clients, the store has deemed the pattern “not worth it”.

So, is your pattern worth it? Check for your pattern on Craigs List and on eBay to get an idea of how rare it is and how much it’s going for.

look for the stamp

look for the stamp

Find the stamp on the bottom of your pieces to determine the maker and pattern name of your stuff. In general, serving pieces are worth more than plates and bowls.

Another option for selling china or crystal is I only recommend selling items there if you already have a shop going. It’s like eBay–definitely an option, but not worth learning the ropes just to make $40.

donate it

I’m sorry to report that selling your china isn’t going to make you a huge wad of cash. And unless you have some really vintage stuff in mint condition it’s probably time to take it to the thrift shop. Let a hipster take it home and prove to their friends how eclectic they are! You can also donate it to a church or shelter if you want to spend some time finding a specific home for it. But for a one-stop solution, I recommend the Goodwill every time.

How to Conquer Clutter: 3 tips for reducing clutter in your house

Thanks to Don Andrues, a realtor here in Pasadena, for having me as an expert on his “Instant Home Tips” series.

This short little video contains three of my top suggestions for conquering clutter.

Get Organized Already!

Kitchen organizing inspiration with the lovely, Ms Magrath

At our bookclub meeting last week my friend Monette got all giggly and excited to show me her kitchen cabinets. (This is the kind of social situation you find yourself in when you declare yourself a professional organizer. That, and everyone tells you about their neighbor/aunt/crazy grandfather who was “for sure a hoarder”.)

Seriously, though. This is a friend for whom I have done a little organizing. She supported my business in its infancy by hiring me to help with her home office and a closet. Evidently my tips for her during those sessions a couple of years ago made an impression!

She now gleefully promised me that I was the inspiration behind her decision to move her seldom used bake-ware to her top cabinets and bring down the heavy corning ware and pyrex to put in its place. Also, she moved lighter things like linens up high and put heavy things lower where they are easy to get out. And something as simple as that was now inspiring greatness in her kitchen!


But, Wait! That’s not all!

Look what she had done to her make-up drawer. “You don’t understand, Nonnahs. You should have seen it before! It was a nightmare!” So, here it is and I am beyond impressed (and a little proud).

What items do you use often that are currently too far out of reach? Do a switch-er-oo for yourself and tell me all about it!

Everything in its place: OCD on display

Recently I uncovered 10 unused, padded FedEx envelopes while going through some boxes of packing material.

Neither my client nor I, nor anyone else within earshot had use for them. Instead of throwing them away like a well-adjusted person might, I chose to bring them home to get them back to Fed Ex at some point.

Maybe I’ll flag down a driver?

Maybe I’ll drive to the Fed Ex location nearest me?

The point is, I have some serious issues about things being returned to their rightful place.

You can benefit from this (slight) mental imbalance! When I come to organize your space, everything you let go of will be taken to a good home. No doubt about it.

So call now and Get Organized Already!


Serving NELA and the San Gabriel Valley

Getting used to the obstruction: Clutter, clutter everywhere!

For reasons that don’t matter at all, I put a clothing rack in my living room a few days ago. I put it there temporarily and I put it in the least obtrusive place. At least I thought it was the least obtrusive. The rack is tall and partially obstructs a window.
Once it was in place the (very minimal) loss of natural light and the blocking of the window itself bothered me so much that I just stood there amazed at my annoyance. I talked myself down from the ledge remembering it was only going to be for 4-5 days. Geez! What an anal retentive basket case!
Now, its 4 days later and I don’t even notice the clothing rack.
How did this happen?
My house is pretty sparse, as you might imagine. So, for me to get used to a large object blocking the flow of light and energy and that once bugged the crap out of me in only 3-4 days is pretty amazing to me. Makes me wonder what other things I’ve gotten used to around the house. What else could be shifted to improve the feeling in each room? This is where it helps to bring in an objective eye.
An objective eye could be a photo lens. Sometime if you take a picture of your space and then look at that photo later you’ll be able to see the things in your house more critically.
An objective eye could be a good friend who has a gift for interior design. Ask them to give you come ideas. Or hire a pro.
Take a look around your house. What is blocking your light? What has been blocking a pathway for far, FAR longer than you intended it to? A suitcase that isn’t unpacked yet? A box from something that came in the mail last month? Something you mean to give to someone but you keep forgetting?

Handle it. Take this opportunity to handle it. Take the stupid item to the car for your friend so you’ll HAVE it when you see them next time. Unpack the suitcase.
Now how amazed are you at the space you just reclaimed for the health of your home?