Downsizing in DC: Valuable and Historical Items

Carter Ross

Decluttering and downsizing can often uncover surprises. You might find old letters or documents that have more than sentimental value. You may have pieces of art, antiques, or jewelry that are valuable. Old LPs or knick-knacks may be collectors’ items. Deciding how to handle such items can be time consuming, but if you have the time and the interest, it can be worthwhile.

For collectible items, finding an appropriate consignment shop may be the simplest solution. You can search the directory at Reuse DC for places that might offer consignment services, but it may require more work for some items. In some cases, such as for art or antiques, an auction house may be the best option. Do your research before committing to a consignment shop or auction house to make sure you understand their fees and contingencies.

Old family records and mementos may also have historical significance. Letters, diaries, scrapbooks, photos and business records can provide unique insights into day-to-day life and important moments. Finding the right archive, library, or museum for such records can be difficult, however. In some cases, there may be an obvious repository to approach; other times, you may have to do some research. Often the best place to start is a local historical society, such as the DC History Center, or genealogical societies and family history organizations. This being D.C., if you have records related to the federal government, the relevant agency’s librarians may be interested. You can also contact the Society of American Archivists to help in locating an appropriate repository. Most archives cannot accept everything they are offered, but they may be able to help you find alternate places.

Sometimes the first step to downsizing is putting the task on your schedule. Full members who need help with small organizational projects can call the office for volunteer assistance at 202-935-6060 or

Click here to read the current Weekly Update

Community Bulletin Board

Stay up to date on the latest

Tickets for a Cause
This year’s Tickets for a Cause fundraising event helps support the vital services of our volunteer corps.
Vin Rocque is NNV’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year
December 4, 2022
Each year, members and staff nominate volunteers whose service goes above and beyond expectations.
2021 Annual Report
Our 2021 annual report is available to download.
Dine in at Blue44!
Our sincere thanks to everyone who came out to support NNV and your local restaurant Blue 44
Catalogue for Philanthropy Class of 22-23
NNV has been accepted to the Catalogue for Philanthropy Class of 22-23!
Positive Aging Sourcebook
Hot off the Press! DC Villages is the Cover Story in the Positive Aging SourceBook.
DC Villages Day
February 15, 2022
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared February 15th 2022 to be DC Villages Day!
Leading Age DC Award
Northwest Neighbors Village is Awarded The 2021 Leading Age DC Excellence in Innovation Award!
Northwest Neighbors Village shares up-to-date information on relevant topics and what’s happening in our community.
Check out a list of events in our community.
Virtual Speaker Series
Our popular series featuring interesting speakers and experts on a variety of topics.
Weekly Update
Sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter to stay in the know about our programming.

Sign up for our weekly E-Blast

Through a centrally-coordinated, local network of screened volunteers and vetted professional providers, Northwest Neighbors Village offers its members transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping assistance, home repairs and handyman help, computer and technology assistance, access to social and cultural activities and more.

Sign Up Here