April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
03 Oct 2018

Collections Inventory Course

CurriculumOne of our most popular courses is Collections Inventory, The reason for its popularity is that it offers detailed information to help you prepare and perform an inventory of collectibles. Many choose this course as the elective to achieve the Appraisal Examiner Certification because often collectibles are items that people request to be appraised. The course summary follows:

Everybody collects something. Common collectible items are photographs, event ticket stubs, trip souvenirs, athletes’ trophies … the list goes on and on. The reasons people collect are plentiful as well – for personal enjoyment by seeing their items displayed, creating a history to pass down to their heirs, for investment, competition with other collectors, social interaction by attending swap meets and exchanging information, to name a few.

Keeping these collectibles properly documented is important. For the home inventory professional, knowing the process of documenting a group of items in a specific category of diverse types and values is a benefit to their current service offerings.

Collections are not limited to individuals but also held by businesses and specific market sectors. As such, the collection should be documented in a logically organized repository consisting of photographs, bills of sale, and reference materials that allows for updates of additional information at any time – providing peace of mind for the owner.

In addition to learning processes and procedures to thoroughly document these special items, this course also includes information regarding how insurance plays a role in collecting valuables, how to market a collectibles inventory service, creating additional business through “upselling” this service, and how to price your service properly.

The three modules of this course are:

  • Introduction to Collections Inventory Services
  • Process Strategies
  • Monitoring and Identifying Success

If you are still needing CEUs to retain your CIS certification, this would be a great course to add to your library.

02 May 2018

De-cluttering: The Stuff You Have That Your Kids Don’t Want

Tricia HoekwaterDe-cluttering. It is always on my mind and I regularly look around my house for items to get rid of.  I don’t want to leave my kids with the unpleasant task of discarding a lot of clutter from my home.  I recently read an interesting NextAvenue article titled The Top 10 Items You Have That Your Kids Don’t Want by Elizabeth Stewart. It offers some helpful insight.

Your house, and what it contains, is a minefield in the eyes of your grown children. They can see from your example that collections of stuff are a curse; such objects are superfluous to a life well lived. They want a clean, clear field in which to live their lives. Your grown children will not agree to be the recipients of your downsizing if it means their upsizing.

No. 10: Books
Unless your grown kids are professors, they don’t want your books.

No. 9: Paper Ephemera
Things like family snapshots, old greeting cards and postcards are called paper ephemera.  Take all your family snapshots and have them made into digital files.

No. 8: Steamer Trunks, Sewing Machines and Film Projectors
Steamer Trunks are so abundant that they are not valuable, unless the maker is Louis Vuitton, Asprey, Goyard or some other famous luggage house.

Likewise, every family has an old sewing machine. I have never found ONE that was rare enough to be valuable. 

And every family has a projector for home movies. Thrift stores are full of these items, so, unless your family member was a professional and the item is top-notch, yours can go there as well.

No. 7: Porcelain Figurine Collections and Bradford Exchange “Cabinet” Plates
These collections of frogs, chickens, bells, shoes, flowers, bees, trolls, ladies in big gowns, pirates, monks, figures on steins, dogs, horses, pigs, 
cats, babies, Hummel’s, and Precious Moments are not desired by your grown children, grandchildren or any other relation. Even though they are filled with memories of those who gave them to your mom, they have no market value. And they do not fit into the Zen-like tranquil aesthetic of a 20- or 30-something’s home.

No. 6: Silver-Plated Objects
Your grown children will not polish silver-plate, this I can guarantee. If you give them covered casserole dishes, meat platters, candy dishes, serving bowls, tea services, gravy boats, butter dishes 
and candelabra, you will be persona-non-grata.

No. 5: Heavy, Dark, Antique Furniture
There is still a market for this sort of furniture, and that market, in the fashionable areas of the U.S., is most often the secondhand shop.

No. 4: Persian Rugs
The modern tranquility aimed for in the décor of the 20- to 30-somethings does not lend itself to a collection of multicolored (and sometimes threadbare) Persian rugs.

No. 3: Linens
Go ahead, offer to send your daughter five boxes of hand-embroidered pillowcases, guest towels, napkins, and table linens.  She might not even own an iron or ironing board, and she definitely doesn’t set that kind of table.

No. 2: Sterling Silver Flatware and Crystal Wine Services
Unless the scrap value for silver is high enough for a meltdown, matching sets of sterling flatware are hard to sell because they rarely go for “antique” value. Formal entertaining is not a priority these days.

No. 1: Fine Porcelain Dinnerware
Your grown children may not want to store four sets of fancy porcelain dinnerware, and frankly don’t see the glory in unpacking it once a year for a holiday or event.

SOURCE: The Top 10 Items You Have That Your Kids Don’t Want
Tricia Hoekwater is a Member of NICA and a Certified Inventory Specialist dedicated to providing peace of mind for home and business owners through the process of educating and helping people be prepared for life’s unexpected twists. Through her company, Uniquely Yours Digital Solutions, the services she offers are Home InventoryCollectibles InventoryDeclutteringPhoto Archiving and Paper Management systems.

04 Jan 2017

Collections Inventory Course Authored by Home Inventory Professional

NICA member authored a course for the National Inventory Certification Association’s Continuing Education Program.

HoekwaterThe National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) recently released an online, self-directed course, titled Collections Inventory. Extending the Continuing Education Program curriculum, this course was written by Tricia Hoekwater, Certified member of NICA and owner of Uniquely Yours Digital Solutions.

The association seeks to provide continuing education for members and others in the industry. The growing trend of having valuables and collectibles documented encouraged the creation of the Collections Inventory course. Often business and residential clients are not seeking an inventory of all their assets, but want to have an itemized inventory of their collectibles, such as figurines, stamps, weapons, artwork, books, sports memorabilia, etc. Others who choose to hire a home inventory professional to document all the belongings in their home also want the collectibles documented item-by-item, which is a more specialized service.

Collections Inventory Course

Cindy Hartman, Managing Director of NICA, stated, “Tricia is a member of the association and has extensive experience in providing itemized inventories for client’s collectibles. I was pleased when she agreed to share her experience and knowledge with the entire industry by authoring this course.” Topics include the purposes for collections inventories, examples of how to document specific types of collectibles, process strategies, and how to market a collections inventory service. Creating a collections inventory can be overwhelming. This course breaks it down into manageable steps to ensure a quality result for the client.

Hoekwater views her membership in NICA as an opportunity to serve the asset inventory industry. She explained, “I always strive to provide the best service to my clients, which is why I became a Certified Inventory Specialist. NICA is a resource for continued learning, which has helped me grow professionally and financially. Writing this course gave me the opportunity to help fellow home inventory professionals pursue this specialty.”  

In addition to providing comprehensive home inventory, collections inventory, decluttering, photo archiving, and paper management services, Tricia speaks to senior and community groups on the topics of Home Inventory, DeCluttering, Digital Legacy, and Digital Photo Libraries. For more information, call 925.206.0103 or visit Uniquely Yours Digital Solutions.

Click on this link to purchase the online, self-directed Collections Inventory course, which is available on the NICA website.