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Old 07-18-2013, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts...cleaning out parents house?

Hi everyone...

I just moved my mom into a Seniors Residence. She has lived in the same house for 60 years and my dad has been gone for 10 years now.

Now is the time to clean out her house to get it ready to sell. Have any of you had to do this? Any suggestions?

I'm tossing around the idea of a yard sale. I need to take everything out of the house anyway and instead of carting it all away, try to sell some of it and then she can have the extra money.

I've already been throwing out "garbage" items that I wouldn't expect any one to buy.

I'm planning what should stay in the house to sell it...furnished houses always look better for selling and her furniture is nice.

She has antiques and I'm going to call a couple of dealers to give me prices.

I called the Men's Homeless Shelter and Women's Shelters to enquire what they would like...she has good towels and sheet sets that are still in packages.

BUT...I need help with the rest...lots of stuff in the basement and garage and china cabinet and kitchen cupboards.

Any suggestions?

I'm doing this myself...my siblings don't want any part of...they just want to take want they want and that's it.

Thanks for any feedback!

Lynn
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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In addition to antique dealers, see if there are any "vintage" dealers in your area. They sell stuff from the 1950s-1980s and you would be surprised at the value some "ordinary" kitchen & dinnerware stuff has to some people. Of course, most of that won't be as valuable as true antiques, but you might be able to get more for it than at a generic yard sale. And your mom might like the idea that some of her things are going somewhere that they will be bought by people that really appreciate their value.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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If you are willing to part with the antiques, contact an auction house. While you will have to pay them a fee, you'll make more money for your mom than trying to sell to individual dealers because they'll be looking for goods at rock-bottom (wholesale) price.

As for the yard sale, unless your mom had tons of really good stuff, it really isn't worth all the extra work. Donate it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. The yard sales that make the most money are those with kids/baby items and/or tools. Grown-up stuff, especially clothing, doesn't do well at all. Most people who go to yard sales are looking for bargains or a real treasure--like a genuine Picasso or original Hepplewhite furniture--or grandma's diamond engagement ring buried in the bottom of a locked box.

I'm sorry your family isn't willing to work with you for the benefit of your mom.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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I had to clean out my Mum's place earlier this year and I'm sorry to see that your brothers/sisters aren't helping.

It's a long story but while Mum was still alive and in her last weeks her place had been broken into. So that we didn't have to worry about thieves coming back while she was still with us and so ill we took anything of major sentimental or financial value out of it then for safekeeping. While it was a pretty hard thing to do it did make things easier when it came to the final clear out before sale.

We left the major furniture in there at the suggestion of the agent and it worked in our favour as we offered the furniture with the place as a sweetener on the deal. (The buyer thought the lounge was just a perfect fit and look for that particular spot!)

For the antiques, don't just show the dealer what you think he should see, let him walk around and he might eye something you hadn't thought of.

And then we just loaded up the ute ( a few times) and took everything to the salvos or the garbage tip. As I said before, all the 'good' stuff had already been dealt with so everything was either for donation or rubbish. If we had a sale we would have made a few bucks, sure, but we all lived hours away so it was just so much easier so have it all done in as short as time possible.

All the best, Lynn, I hope it all works out as worry free as possible.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:19 AM   #5
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Thank you so much ladies for your replies, this really means a lot and I appreciate your thoughts, comments and I can feel your support.


She does have vintage items from the 50's and 60's so that's a great idea. I really like the idea of letting the dealers walk through the house...she has a lot of old things...very old items that are in great shape.

Yes, a yard sale is a lot of work...personally, I hate them. She offered me anything I want anything except a few pictures. I don't collect antiques, my house isn't that style and I don't want to store anything...I don't have clutter, I like to purge...except my stamping stuff...lol.

I work with charities and I know there are several that would appreciate donations.

I also stage homes for selling and my husband is a realtor so I know what to keep and how to put things and yes, offering the furniture is a great idea. One way not to have to worry about lugging our appliances and other items.

Thanks again,
Lynn
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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In my area, there are people who will have an estate sale for you. The "estate" doesn't have to be expensive furniture. It just means you're selling what's left after family takes what they want. They get a percent of the proceeds, but they also do most of the work for you. It's sort of like an indoor garage sale.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Estate sale, run by a pro who gets a cut of the take. The rest goes to charity, usually by the pro, who gets a tax receipt for you. Suggest talking to someone who runs estate sales before you let dealers cherry pick.

Then CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. Buyers are put off if the place has that distinctive "old person" odor.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaBabe View Post
Estate sale, run by a pro who gets a cut of the take. The rest goes to charity, usually by the pro, who gets a tax receipt for you. Suggest talking to someone who runs estate sales before you let dealers cherry pick.
Totally and completely agree with this. You and your siblings take a few items that you want and then find someone with experience to take care of everything. They will take a chunk as compensation (30-40% I've heard) and you get a check. That check, even with the bite out of it, will most likely be higher than you could get on your own. Plus you won't have all the anguish. It is a HUGE job. The people I know who balked and thought they could do it on their own still have storage lockers full of stuff after a couple of years. Really, find someone and pay them and get on with your life.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:18 AM   #9
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I am starting this process now. If you sent my mom a card, letter, newspaper clipping...she has it in a box in a closet. My parents house is overwhelming right now but it is rather fun to read some of the letters . I even ran across a large envelope with my parents 1st Christmas cards in Dec 1949. Those cards are fun to see. I know I cant keep all of this but I will sort down and then sort down again and again. The furniture and larger things are easy sorting out to family but the nick knacks, Wow. We are in no hurry to get this done as my DH and I have bought their house. The house we live in may be rented out to my son. It is a big job but little by little we will get through. Whats sad is I am
just as sentimental to things as my mother
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Since the original post is from July I don't know if you still need more advice ... but I will leave it in case someone else is reading and needs it.

I had to clear out my Mom's house (along with my sister) after she passed away almost 10 years. She had lived in the house for 38 years so there was a lot of stuff (plus it was a big house).

After we went through everything and divided up what we wanted, we took the nice stuff to a consignment place. As things sold, we'd get monthly checks and that was nice. Whatever we didn't take we had picked up to go to charity to be sold. There were also things we didn't personally want in our homes, but we couldn't bare to get rid of them, so since I have a storage unit anyway for holiday decorations, etc, I just store them in there. Little by little I am finding myself realizing I will never use this stuff so I am now selling or giving away.


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Old 10-24-2013, 04:44 PM   #11
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Default UPDATE!!!

I forgot that I posted this!!!

Thanks for all your ideas!!!!

This was a tough process and I learned a lot...NEVER...do this to your children, clean out, purge, toss, get rid of, we don't need to keep all this STUFF for years.

After my siblings took what they wanted, they left me with lots of stuff to get rid of. I took her antiques and collectibles to an auction and it was very profitable. I then called in junk dealers and they paid for a lot of the stuff. I then made a deal with them to clean out the rest of the house and they even paid for this.

I was left with over 50 bags of garbage.

The realtor had people coming in from out of town and wanted to show them the house, I wasn't ready. I had just started to clean, it was smelling nice and looking really nice too but I didn't get it down. The garbage was piled high on a covered patio. The garage was all cleaned. The realtor told me that people could look past all the cleaning supplies on the kitchen counter.

Well...they DID!! The house wasn't even listed. The people offered over what we were going to ask as they wanted the appliances, which were basically all new. They had a firm deal, no conditions and the house closed within two weeks.

I was thrilled!!! A big job done!

I have since gone through my basement, went through totes that were put there from a year ago when we moved to our home and gave away what I didn't need/want. I've cleaned and organized closets and cupboards.

Life is lesson and there were lots through the process.

One more thing...it was very difficult mentally...brought back a lot of memories of growing up and how much my parents worked hard to give us a good life. It was our family home, the only one that I have known and it made me think of my dad that has already died and my mom and how leaving her home that she really grew up in...lived there for 59 years of her life...was a big decision for her.

Thanks for all your support!

Lynn
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
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Like you, my Mom's house was my childhood home. It was so hard going thru things. I still have boxes I haven't opened up in several years, but slowly I am clearing more things out and keeping only things that have true meaning to me. I have also taken photos of things that I am not keeping, but want to keep the memory alive so I can revisit later. Besides my Mom's stuff, I had all my grandmother's stuff as she had moved in with us the last 10 years of her life.

Another thing I have problems with is getting rid of things with my Mom's writing on them. I also have a lot of plaques and awards that my parents earned because they were both golfers in their younger years. What I've done to some trophies, I've taken a picture of the trophy, and peeled off the plaque part with their name, date, and what it was for. The trophy portion is either broken off in parts from being in storage for so many years, or they are all oxidized and gross. The plaque part I can polish up a little and frame later along with the photo.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:20 PM   #13
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SO glad it worked out well for you, Simvan. Your learning experience was very valuable, and you *won't* do that to your children. We moved from NY to Georgia this spring and I purged a ton before we did so. but, you know what? By the time we received and unpacked all our boxes, I had identified another lot to go. We not only changed location but state of mind. 3 loads to the goodwill and counting.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:49 PM   #14
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SO glad it worked out well for you, Simvan. Your learning experience was very valuable, and you *won't* do that to your children. We moved from NY to Georgia this spring and I purged a ton before we did so. but, you know what? By the time we received and unpacked all our boxes, I had identified another lot to go. We not only changed location but state of mind. 3 loads to the goodwill and counting.

I'm cleaning out again...lol...always going through things in my house now, just hate the thoughts of having piles of boxes and stuff that is never used. Congrats to you too, it's a lot of work but so worth it.
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