As the Corona virus has most of the world staying home, antiques lovers and spring cleaners alike are undertaking projects galore. If you can’t go to work and you can’t go out and socialize, you can try to improve your living space. People are taking on projects like cleaning out closets, disinfecting children’s toys, organizing attics and de-cluttering basements. So, the first question that comes to mind for our newly shut in society is “I wonder if this is worth anything?”

If you are reconsidering your surroundings now and taking a new look at your art, antiques, and collectibles around the house, here are some tips. 1. Don’t be overzealous when cleaning aging objects. 2. Art, furniture, and jewelry remain the top three valuables when considering antiques in your home. 3. Video call appraisals are on the rise now. If you are wondering what I am doing… I am fielding questions from folks who have sent me photos of their antiques and collectibles and I am spending more time than usual in front of my laptop and desktop computers conducting video call appraisals from cleaners/collectors the world over.

Many thrifters and antiquers are now looking into their closets, storage units, and basements to review inventory purchased from thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets. Other homebodies are seeking out objects that were, prior to the Covid 19 virus, considered forgotten items or stored heirlooms. Before Covid19 virus mandated home stay, the need for accurate identification and appraisals was important but now video call appraisals are quickly becoming all the more necessary and very, very popular. I conduct these video house calls all the time and have been doing so for many years. Video calls using facetime, zoom, skype, etc. are the best way to get information when you can’t go out. And you can have your family members from around the country in on the call too without leaving your safe and virus-free home.

Get out your smart phone and take a photo and send it to me or book a live one on one video call with me to make a connection and get guidance about your unwanted items or an appraisal of your cherished art or family heirloom. In as little as 10 minutes, you can get all the information you need to properly identify your antiques and get it appraised. From there, you can decide to keep it, clean it out, or get it sold online --all from the comfort of your Covid 19 virus free home.

To prepare, have objects out on a table or in one room to save time moving around as you chat on the video call. Don’t unpack items during a video call as that wastes precious time. Unpack and unwrap objects before the video call appraisal starts. That way, all the time you spend during the call is for the exchange of information, asking questions, learning about the markets, and getting appraisals of the retail values your objects. You can get on the spot information from a short 10-minute call and learn even more during a long 30-minute call where you can go through objects in a whole house or estate with me on the other end of the line.

If you don’t want to video call, sending photos and getting a written report is also an option for those pieces that are worth the cost of the appraisal report. I think it is only right to tell people if their item isn’t worth the appraisal fee before they pay for a report. If it isn’t worth the appraisal fee, I’d like to know that so I tell people that ahead of time.

If you were wondering what your fellow antique lovers were doing at this time of crisis…this is what the world is up to…at least those who share my world. We are all adapting to a new, albeit temporary, way of life. Many of us are still here to offer help and expertise and a somewhat normal way of life during this difficult time. We must stay at least 6 feet from each other but we can still interact and technology is making the world a much closer and kinder place. Be well!

Dr. Lori Verderame is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser on History channel’s #1 hit show, The Curse of Oak Island and weekdays on the Doctor and the Diva. Dr. Lori presents her Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show to audiences nationwide. Visit www.DrLoriV.com/events. Call (888) 431-1010.