Your Home, the Retail Store

By Jennifer Morehead

I have done a lot of research on making a home inventory. Most blogs and websites start by telling you how unimportant people say a home inventory is and that it lives at the bottom of any to-do list. Sure you might have been told by an insurance agent or friend to do it but you just haven’t gotten around to it. Then they sprinkle in a bit of fear to really get you motivated.

So I wanted to talk about why I put together a home inventory. Yes, I live in fear of one of those catastrophic events just like anyone else. We have insurance on everything, it seems, including pet insurance for our dog. But in reality, the likelihood of one of those crazy events happening is small (thank goodness).

I wanted a home inventory so I could have a running total of the value of our stuff.

I have this weird way of categorizing anything that crosses my path and needs money: is it an investment or an expense? Most items count as an expense (especially, sigh, those Rock & Republic jeans). You pay money for it once and you get the experience of using it, wearing it, eating it, etc. but basically the dollar amount goes down after you use it.

As I’ve gotten older, the shelf life on my clothes, purses, coats, and other items has gotten longer. But now that we have young kids, we’ve entered a phase where all of their stuff has a really short shelf life. Now we’re entering phases every 6 months where their toys should be different and they need new clothes.

In my ideal world I would run my home like a Gap or Zara store. Zara is famous for getting fresh inventory every 6 weeks and we know that the Gap is constantly letting us know we need skinny jeans, then boyfriend jeans, then boot-cut jeans, and then we’re back to skinny jeans (usually within a calendar year).

My husband Brad always gives me a hard time because when I tell him about my dreams to redecorate our bedroom or bring in a painting to the dining room he asks how we’re going to pay for it. I always tell him that I have a plan. He teases me because in my mind I truly believe our old bedroom set or living room set will sell for “something like $10,000 each on eBay or Craigslist.” I’m usually completely out of touch, considering we didn’t pay that much for either in the first place.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you could run your home like a retail store? You could have new, fresh items sprinkled throughout your home’s décor while efficiently getting older inventory out the door. Afterall, if you wait too long, certain items don’t carry a value at all anymore. Then you’re just paying for them to be moved or stored or you’re lugging them to the donation bin.

We’re aiming to help people create that type of efficiency with their stuff on Lockboxer. The Lockboxer tool starts with the price and helps people add as much detail as they want to their home inventory. Then they can sell, donate, or make that wish list for something new. That way, no one is caught being out of touch about the value of their stuff.

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What’s It Worth? TV Shows About Pricing Your Stuff

By Kylie Gilbert

If you turn on the TV, you can easily find that finding out what your stuff is worth is all the rage right now. These shows have become such a huge phenomenon and quite frankly some of them are addicting.  Let’s face it, just like those shows about extreme makeovers or home decorating, you can easily get sucked in thinking you are in fact the person who has just lost 200 pounds, or gained a new living room.

However, in the case of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, it is huge chunks of cash that people often gain, and believe me, this can make for one exciting show-even if you’re only watching it happen to someone else.   Some customers have an idea of what their item might be worth and come in asking for amounts that can reach up to $750,000.  However, others have no idea that the item they may have found at a garage sale or retrieved from a dusty closet could be worth thousands.

Sometimes the Pawn Stars can’t wait to get their hands on an item, other times they just can’t offer the customer the price they are asking, and sometimes they just laugh in the customer’s face.  Regardless, watching one person’s trash turn into someone else’s treasure can definitely make for entertaining television.

PBS’s Antiques Roadshow is another popular show centered on finding the value of people’s stuff.  This year marks the 15th season of this “part adventure, part history lesson, and part treasure hunt,” which along with its eight Emmys and 10 million weekly viewers prove just how engaging this show can be.  Viewers are fascinated as they see antiques and collectibles appraised, and latch onto the fascinating stories behind each item.  Just like in Pawn Stars, what one person deems worthless can actually be worth thousands.  In one episode, what some left on the side of the road was picked up by others who saw its value- and the payoff was huge.

If you really want to talk trash to treasure, tune into the History Channel’s American Pickers.  In this show, ‘pickers’ Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz earn their living by travelling the country to find items in junkyards and garages everywhere and restoring forgotten relics.  If you’re a history buff at all you’ll love watching this show and seeing the great lengths this duo will go to in order to find the most interesting, quirky, and historic items out there.

There’s no doubt that people care about finding out how much stuff is worth.  That’s why all of these shows are so popular and exactly why Lockboxer is so valuable. Lockboxer gives you all the tools you need to find out how much your stuff is worth instantly, and then sell, donate, or add the item to a home inventory.