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Thread: Clearing Out Parent's Home

  1. #71
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    How frustrating this must be for you. It has been going on for some time. Is it possible to jointly discuss this with a realtor or lawyer or other professional that is known and trusted by all parties to give an objective perspective on the next steps? Sometimes this objective voice with no agenda or skin in the game, so to speak, can diffuse the emotions of everyone involved.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #72
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    I just erased my post for privacy reasons, but Saguaro, I am going through it too and you have my deepest sympathies. I keep thinking this too shall pass, and we will have happy memories of better times.

    But what a mess to live through in the here and now.

  3. #73
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I would like to add one recent observation of the estate sale process at my friend’s house:

    I believe the estate sale company priced things way too high, and then, when they did not sell, their job was still done. The total household sale profit was $6,000 which my friend had to split with the company. And while that split is fine, their job was done on Sunday at 6pm while my friend was left with craploads of stuff to get rid of by his house closing 3 days later.

    It took several friends with trucks, plus two charitable organizations coming into his place to load up on free items, to empty this house. Which was not huge, by the way, but it did represent 30 years of accumulation.

    So I guess the lesson here is: be careful of your expectations of how much an estate sale will clear out this house.

  4. #74
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    @IL, you just echoed my thoughts about estate sales. Sister is convinced a lot of stuff will sell in the estate sale. She's now second guessing our selling of 700 books to the book reseller last October, thinking that "maybe we would have gotten more money in the estate sale". She was disappointed in the $120 we fetched after pickup fees. To me it was not the money, but getting those darn books out of the way. After the estate sale is done, whenever that is, the next thing will be calling junk people or the Goodwill truck. I don't think sis realizes how much is going that way.

    @razz, my sister has an attorney. I don't know if she's talked about any next steps with the attorney or not. I do know she met with attorney a few months ago and the result of the discussion was that most estate stuff was taken care of, that "all that was left was to sell the house". Sister has a way of digging in her heels when I or other sister suggests things, which is why I agree that getting an objective perspective might be helpful and is also the reason I have kept quiet. Other sister flew in to attend a family event over weekend, is leaving tomorrow and just texted me she was unable to convince executor sister to sell now.

    @Tybee, thanks for the good wishes. I am sure we will get through this, just it annoys me to no end that it was be done the hard way. Doing things the hard way seems to be ingrained (or hardwired?) in some members of my family.
    Last edited by saguaro; 5-29-18 at 2:15pm.

  5. #75
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    My mom passed away in August. We went through the house and found important papers, etc. My brother and I and our families took momentos, furniture, etc. we wanted. I gathered up all the photo albums and geneology notebooks, etc. and brought them to my house. My 21 yo son had just moved out, so his old bedroom became the storage for that. We had an estate sale in October. The way they work here, the estate sale folks do all the sorting, pricing (and sometimes cleaning) for 40% of the gross. Saturday is full price, Sunday is half-price. They gave us the option of using a contact they had to come in Sunday after the sale and buy up what was left. We chose that option. We didn't make a lot of money, but we didn't have the time or energy to do it ourselves.

    I spent the winter sorting pictures. I gave my brother stuff I thought he'd be interested in and I kept a couple of large totes that I'll go through again myself. The rest are going with me to a family reunion in July for family to take what they want (my mom had a bunch of old family pics, etc.). What they don't want will get pitched. I do have some stuff from my Dad's side to go through, too, but not near as much as from my Mom's side.

    I hope your sister decides to do something similar. It's hard, hard, hard. I finally decided that my home is not the family museum and archive and told myself that even if an item was precious to my mom, it's okay to let it go. It's served its purpose by providing her joy and happiness and that purpose has been fulfilled.

    Good luck and many hugs.
    Last edited by beckyliz; 5-30-18 at 11:40am.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  6. #76
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    @beckyliz, thanks and I am sorry about the loss of your Mom. And thanks for sharing about what you are doing.

    Sister and I have gone through some photos and did a rough sort. Sister does not want to do anything like having family go through things because, I am told, these same family members didn't want the stuff when grandparents passed, which is why my folks took it all. Not sure that story is completely true but it doesn't matter now. Now they are calling her asking about things but she's mad that they didn't want it before and now that particular can can no longer be kicked down the road, of course, now they want it. This is no surprise to me. My stance is just give it to them if we find it. Get the sorted photos (so far) out to respective family members. My uncle wants his parents' photo albums, I say box it and send it to him, they are sitting in the living room. There's some stuff that can be dealt with now, and save the rest for later.

  7. #77
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saguaro View Post
    @beckyliz, thanks and I am sorry about the loss of your Mom. And thanks for sharing about what you are doing.

    Sister and I have gone through some photos and did a rough sort. Sister does not want to do anything like having family go through things because, I am told, these same family members didn't want the stuff when grandparents passed, which is why my folks took it all. Not sure that story is completely true but it doesn't matter now. Now they are calling her asking about things but she's mad that they didn't want it before and now that particular can can no longer be kicked down the road, of course, now they want it. This is no surprise to me. My stance is just give it to them if we find it. Get the sorted photos (so far) out to respective family members. My uncle wants his parents' photo albums, I say box it and send it to him, they are sitting in the living room. There's some stuff that can be dealt with now, and save the rest for later.
    aw OP, I can tell that you and
    i could work easily together to clear out a parent’s house. Too bad I am not your sister.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    aw OP, I can tell that you and i could work easily together to clear out a parent’s house. Too bad I am not your sister.
    LOL! I agree. This house thing would have been done already.

    After spending years decluttering my own home, I have become pretty ruthless about getting rid of stuff. It shocks DH sometimes. I haven't told him about the major photo purge I did just on our own photos (duplicates, bad shots, the "what is this?" photos, etc.) but he doesn't look at them anyway.

  9. #79
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    I had to do this a few times and we sold everything ourselves. I didn't see the point of splitting with someone else. I also did this for a good friend when they massively downsized their home. My DH, son and I spent about 4 days getting everything ready and then a 2 day sale. Sold most of it but I know how to price things to sell. Sunday I put half price on everything left.

  10. #80
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    At my friend’s estate sale there was an 8’ long antique bookcase, 4’ high, with leaded glass doors. A handsome old thing. But a little odd looking be ause it was of German origin and was in two kinds of wood. The dealer put a price of $2,200 on it.
    It weighs a freaking ton.

    No one bought it.

    And when the time came, my friend could not even give it away. I refused to lift it and haul it around for our charity sale. Fortunately, the last minute solution was successful: the new owner of the house said he would take it, for free of course. So no one had to break their back lifting it.

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