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Thread: Clearing Out Parent's Home

  1. #131
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    I helped my mom clear out our house with 30 years of stuff stored in the basement. Not a hoarder at all but kept the stuff we outgrew through the years. It was fun because we did it together over 2 years. We had a bunch of moving sales. They wanted to move to a apartment. My MIL was a hoarder but only lived in a 2 bedroom trailer. She died unexpectedly but I was only 53 so easier than it would be now at my age. I have helped friends do the big clean out also.

  2. #132
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    The estate sale company that did my mom's sale cleared out everything that was left over. They asked us if it was ok to allow one of their contacts to come in and take what was left. We emphatically answered YES.
    "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

  3. #133
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    The gal that did our estate sale worked with a charity that came and took everything, left us a clean house a receipt and a the key. I was so relieved.

  4. #134
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    Update: the estate sale was a two day sale this past weekend. We found a reputable local company that did an excellent job of staging the sale from what I could see in online photos. According to MS, about half of the items sold. Now it's clearing out the rest, I will take a couple of items that "survived" the sale, send some to YS, some larger items like furniture will be donated (looking at Habitat for Humanity, smaller items are headed to Goodwill) and the rest will be hauled away. The estate sale company could have taken out everything but MS wanted to know what was left before they sent the haulers in.

    Trying to talk her out of trying to sell the framed prints that she still thinks will go for money on eBay but as long as she takes them out of the house so it can be listed for sale, she can have at it. I have told her that if anything did not go in the estate sale, with the considerable marketing done by the company that handled it, that it will likely not sell any other means. But again, the next thing is listing the house and she has had a realtor to look at it, finally.

  5. #135
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Honestly, it's not that I don't think I'm going to get some thorny issues with inheritable stuff (already getting grumblings via gossip that one of my kids thinks my renting to DS#1 is a bad move)... but I am very glad I disposed of 2+ tons of stuff, which should cut back on SOME grumbling at some point.

    When I had expressed to DH that I wanted to get rid of everything so it wouldn't be difficult for the kids, he essentially said "F the kids"--I think it was harder on him to dispose of all the stuff we did.

    I figure if I can get through the next 20 years more or less of life without re-accumulating stuff, that's a great thing. If I keep my footprint small, maybe the kids will decide to keep this house in VT as a family get-away, or maybe they'll sell it. I just REALLY don't want them to stress over the minutiae of figurines and knick-knacks and furniture that means something to me but to no-one else. My DS#2 did take an old dresser that was my great-aunts, and I hope he enjoys it and isn't taking it out of some sense of family loyalty.

    My mother dying with nothing gave me a profound message that the stuff we cling to just ain't worth it.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  6. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I just REALLY don't want them to stress over the minutiae of figurines and knick-knacks and furniture that means something to me but to no-one else.

    Dealing with the many things that meant something to my parents, or my grandparents, even great grandparents (yep my folks kept everything and were too willing to let the house become the family storage unit) took the most time, stress and more importantly, far too much life energy, to be worth it. I had to be very particular on what I brought in because I already have spent years downsizing stuff, I like having more space, and the prospect of moving out of our home seems less daunting.

    We don't have kids, so no concerns about who gets what, but this experience with dealing with generations of stuff has renewed my energies as far as downsizing, something that I have been doing, albeit gradually, for many years now. I am far more ruthless on what I will keep or toss including stuff taken on out of family obligation.

    DH's parents are still living but when the time comes, he swears up and down, he will not go through what I did. Fortunately his folks have a lot less stuff than mine did, due to a flood in their basement years ago. SIL is a packrat, so DH's plan is to let her take whatever she wants, and if their house needs to be sold (assuming they stay and not go into assisted living), get estate sale in there ASAP, chuck the rest, list the house, done.

  7. #137
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I just had an idle thought * hit me as I read these last couple of posts: how do you know all this stuff meant anything to your parents or grandparents? I can’t believe that every single thing in their house had “meaning. That’s just not the way we all live. We all keep crap out of ennui, For the most part.


    * Do you want to know what the dictation software wrote for “Idle thought“? What it wrote: auto fart.
    Hilarious

  8. #138
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    We had friends who kept numerous storage units of mostly deceased relative's household "crap" because "the kids will need it to start out, etc.". Well, not a single child wanted a single thing of their parents. Three of them moved to the West coast to work in Silicon Valley and one was transient due to education (Chemistry PHd and postgrad work). None could be or needed to be weighed down with crap. Parents finally cleaned out the storage units but years of payments were made on those units.

  9. #139
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
    We had friends who kept numerous storage units of mostly deceased relative's household "crap" because "the kids will need it to start out, etc.". Well, not a single child wanted a single thing of their parents. Three of them moved to the West coast to work in Silicon Valley and one was transient due to education (Chemistry PHd and postgrad work). None could be or needed to be weighed down with crap. Parents finally cleaned out the storage units but years of payments were made on those units.
    Isn’t it crazy when people do that? The millions and billions of dollars pumping into our economy to store dumb useless junk it’s just astonishing.

  10. #140
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    That's why I bought stock in storage REITs.

    I was actually thinking of getting one for my dad, so we can bring some of his stuff up to where he lives now, and he can still have it.

    It's probably a crazy idea.

    but I am not looking forward to trying to get rid of everything down there, and at least it would give us a destination for a few things that seem to matter to sibs, and there are a few things like that.

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