From Bedlam to Brilliance – An Estate Clean-Out and Then a Move
I am sure many of you have been on the receiving end of cleaning-out a home because a loved one (family or friend) has passed away or needed to reside in an independent/assisted living community or a nursing home. Besides the emotions that go along with this, you are also dealing with all the “stuff.” I went through this after my father died in the house in which I grew up. Practically everything had a memory and I thought perhaps many of the things were worth a lot of money. Sound familiar?
Herein lies the problem. What happens when you are ready to downsize/rightsize, and now you have many things that you brought home from the estate? Or, maybe you put things in a storage unit, telling yourself you were going to go through all the boxes within a 6-month period. Not only do you have to figure out what of your own items to bring with you, but now you have the added burden of going through everything you brought into your house or put in the storage unit.
I recently worked with a client who was downsizing from a 4-bedroom home into a 2-bedroom apartment. She and her husband were very excited about moving and starting a new chapter in their lives. The issue was they had a week to pack before settlement on the house, they had to make sure the house was empty by the settlement day, yet they hadn’t really started to go through all the things in the home. Thankfully, they didn’t have a storage unit, but they considered getting one for all those items they thought they wanted to keep yet wouldn’t have room for in their new apartment. (More on that later in this article.)
Several “aha” moments occurred during this frantic week:
- They decided to only take what they would need, which also meant giving up a magazine collection that was near and dear to the wife’s heart.
- They decided not to have a yard sale. To put in a lot of time for not that much money was not worth it, and it would have added to the stress of packing and getting ready for the movers. As you can see above, the tables were being readied for the yard sale.
- They hadn’t gone through the green plastic bins, which stored items they took from his mother’s house after she passed away several years prior, that were in the basement. As you can see above, this freed up 7 bins which my client wanted to use for packing. I hear this so often – they were planning to go through the bins and figure out what they were going to need and use. Since my clients hadn’t gone through them in many years, they decided what would be the point now. (Actually, one of my projects was to empty all the bins and put the items in boxes for the auction person. This helped my client as she never wanted to go down to her basement again, which she didn’t.)
- When looking at all the “stuff” that had been accumulated through the years, they realized they spent a ton of money on things that were never used or that were not needed. It was a hard lesson learned, but they knew the time was right to move on with their lives.
- Their children were not left with having to go through all of this. Even if you don’t have kids, why leave this for the executor of your estate?
The best part is that my clients never needed to get a storage unit to house what they thought they might need but hadn’t gone through. Besides saving money, they also saved time as they didn’t have to go through things that they probably wouldn’t have needed or used anyway. In addition, they had less to unpack and take care of in their new apartment.
Isn’t it time to get this weight off your shoulders and start enjoying your free time? There is always help if you think you can’t or don’t want to do it on your own.
This is Your Time to Go From Bedlam to Brilliance!
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