serenbat, I think I haven't been very clear. Sorry for the confusion. My sister will take things back when she comes, but all of us agree that there is too much stuff to go through to wait until after Christmas (which is the only time she can come) to do it, so I'm going to try to take some photos of items and we'll make the decisions via email. And no, I don't need to get paid for anything. I don't have any disagreement with my sister. What I'm worried about is my brother insisting I take items I don't won't.
MIL once made a big deal about some nicer, expensive items to give me from Dh's grandmother that Dh didn't want(more girly type stuff). It was made very clear that I had to keep them, but these things were not to my taste. I said no thanks because they would have been shoved in a drawer and never used. I personally would rather have a stranger appreciate my things than a family member just storing them.
Yes, this is how I feel, too. I'd much rather put the old books back out into the universe so someone else can potentially be excited about finding them than have them take up shelf space in my house about which I would potentially be resentful. I think sometimes we (as in both my family and the general public) sometimes hang onto things just because our parents and grandparents, etc, did. The things take on a perceived value simply because they're old and it's always been in the family. We do have some stuff like that which really is interesting — old records from the farm, even really old receipts from the 1800s — but an old book that I could find easily on eBay, eh...not so much for me.
What I really need to do is get my personal space organized so I can deal with this influx of new items. I know I will be able to redirect much of it, but some of it will probably end up coming here (hopefully no books) and I need to have somewhere to put what I do want. That's another thread, though!!