I have had a lot of luck with a website that can recommend estate sale specialists, auction houses and appraisers. It's the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Their website is www.nasmm.org. They can also help you make those tough decisions about what to keep, what to get rid of and when to downsize. No matter how you look at it - it's not easy to get rid of things you care about - but this is a good resource that can make it a bit easier.
There are many ways to find an auction or estate sale near your hometown. You can attend an auction for anywhere from sales leftover from estate sales to antiques to houses- and you can do so for free! Even if you don't have the cash to buy anything, these still can be exciting to watch!