But keeping them, Mr. Mesnier said, felt a bit pointless.
“I’m not that happy to let them go, but what am I going to do with them?” he said.
In September, the molds will be auctioned off, including a delicate one shaped like a dove that Mr. Mesnier said he had used to make an ice cream dessert for the 1993 lunch President Bill Clinton hosted to negotiate the Oslo Accord between Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Mr. Mesnier is one of many clients who were spurred by the pandemic to rethink belongings that once felt impossible to sell, said Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, owner and chief executive of the Potomack Company in Alexandria, Va. The number of clients who want to auction items increased 25 percent in 2020 and 2021, compared with 2019 levels.
“The pandemic just put the normal purge cycle on steroids for people,” Ms. Wainstein said.
The months spent in lockdown compelled people to reconsider their careers, where they live, and whether they should remain married. The time at home also caused them to scrutinize what was in their homes, especially after months of stocking up too eagerly on electronics, toilet paper and even suits.
In May and June of last year, 1-800-Got-Junk reported a 10 percent increase in the number of customers who the company said were using the service to declutter compared with the same time period in 2019.