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Strategize Organize LLC 
Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 4

This month's newsletter is brought to you by the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (  It is produced by the Newsletter Committee:

Editor - Cynthia Gentit, Eat That Elephant! LLC
Newsletter Advisors - Deb Stanley, Red Letter Day and Betty Huotari, Logical Placement, LLC

 It's Time for A Fresh Start!    

Trash or Treasure?  Advise from the experts.

As organizers, part of our effectiveness is in helping our clients separate their treasure from their trash.   But what if their trash really is a treasure, or at least someone else’s treasure?  To help us help our clients make the best decisions possible, the NAPO Southeast Michigan Chapter recently educated themselves courtesy of Ken Lindsay, auctioneer, about those items we may find that have monetary value.  Listed below is some of his expert advice.  As with anything, remember these are just guidelines; there is an exception to every rule.  Condition affects the value of almost everything, and just like clothing, antiques and collectibles go in and out of fashion and prices vary accordingly. 

Board games – Those over 35 years old have some value, the older & more complete the better.

Silver, flatware & serving pieces - Plated silver is often not valuable but items marked sterling can be very valuable.

Magazines from the last 35 years have no value and with magazines older than that, remember that the more popular the magazine, the less valuable it will be.

Women’s magazines from the 1800s are worth $15-$20 each at most.  People buy them to frame the covers.  The first issue of any magazine is the most valuable.

Pre-1955 sale catalogs & old owners manuals (like old tractor catalogs) can be worth a lot depending on the contents. 

Political buttons – Be aware that many are reproductions done in the last 60 years.  Sometimes on the edge it will say “reproduction” or have a stock #.  Non- reproduction pieces from the early 1800s are the most valuable.  As with magazines, those buttons that were the most abundant such as JFK or Nixon are generally least valuable.

Singer sewing machines rarely have any value but you can date and research them.  The exception is the mini Singer model.  The machine cabinets sell better than machines do.

Vintage sewing items such as old thimbles are “hot” right now and can have value.

Glass hens in nests are popular at the moment, especially in rural sale settings.  Earlier versions are unmarked.

Vintage photos such as old portraits are not usually worth much.  Pictures that are full-body, farm scenes, or pertain to African Americans may be worth more.

, even those reporting historic events, often have little value but may be accepted by libraries for their local history collections. Old Detroit/local supplements from papers may have some value (but probably not much even then).  

Barbed wire may have great value depending upon the pattern and will require further research/appraisal.

Vintage quilts vary greatly in value and are tough to appraise.  Condition and style are very important and tied quilts rarely have any value.

Bakelite jewelry may be difficult to identify as it appears to the untrained eye to be more contemporary plastic.  It is highly collectible and can be very valuable.  Bakelite was also used as decorative handles for many old cooking utensils and they are also valuable.  Ken’s tip: If you suspect your item is Bakelite, rub it quickly until it is warm and then smell the item.  Plastic doesn’t have any smell but Bakelite has a chemical odor.

Costume jewelry may be very valuable and most good costume jewelry doesn’t have an identifying mark.

Baseball cards – post-1975 have no value.  Older sports memorabilia should be appraised by an expert.

Antique furniture is selling for much less than it was in the recent past.
Ken Lindsay is the owner of American Eagle Auctions and Appraisals,

Clean Your Screen – Computer Tips     

You may have your home office arranged just the way you want it: a place for every paper clip and every paper clip in its place. But your computer screen is another story. Icons crowd the desktop, file names are unclear, and you can’t find anything.

  • Reserve your desktop for files that need immediate attention. Stash everything else — including that funny video your mom sent — in an appropriate folder on the hard drive, or just delete it.
  • Before you file the items from your desktop, give them a name that makes sense.  Think in an   “un-English” manner when naming documents and photos. For instance, instead of calling something “Letter to Janet,” label it as “Janet_letter_Nov_3_2005”
  • When you open a folder or a directory, the files are usually sorted in alphanumeric order. For files you are into frequently, place an underscore (_) or ~ at the beginning of a file name, it will float to the top of the list. (No more scrolling to find ToDoToday.doc.)

Tips excerpted from Organize Your Work Day in No Time by author and professional organizer, K. J. McCorry. 

Good luck,

The Clutter Accountability Network - CAN       
In Clutter Accountability Network meetings you will get ideas receive support, and set up organizing goals for your unique situation.  
  • Starting date - February 19th
  • First and Third Friday of month - Ann Arbor and Troy locations
  • Six 90 minute sessions
  • Topic handouts and resource documents are included
For more information click here.  You may need to
download Acrobat Reader. Or you can visit the
 for more details.

My company name is Strategize Organize LLC.
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Copyright (C) 2008 Susan Hunsberger Professional Organizer All rights reserved.
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