Archive for the ‘Moving Sales’ Category

Attic Treasure Hunting

The value of any treasure discovered is always dependent on the quality, uniqueness, and scarcity of the particular items. Attics have always been the source of great treasure hunts for years, as well as the source of great agony.

For families who have to clear out and dispose of their valued treasures, it is difficult. Time and patience is a valuable commodity when sorting and clearing attic treasures. Care and concern should be given with all items as there may be items that have both monetary and sentimental value, or NOT. If you are fortunate enough to find one or two pieces in that category, then you need to decide what to do with them. Even finding a piece or two with sentimental value only – something you had long forgotten about it — will be a wonderful discovery.

Once the Treasure Hunt is complete and the “stuff” has been categorized what happens now?  For the items you have decided to keep, it depends on the situation you and the family are in; you might be moving so will these items move to new location or will you be taking them to your home? Or you may be staying for a while longer so that will require repacking and labeling the contents of the carton or bin. Be sure to put a date on the bin so you know how long ago you last viewed the contents. Put these repacked and organized containers neatly in a designated space for future access.

Now, you need to take away the items designated as trash, donation, give to family, or sell.

  • Move the trash, if possible, directly out to the curb, a dumpster or at least to the garage to wait for trash day.
  • If you have not already scheduled a donation pick up; do it now.   Move the donation items down to the garage clearly marking them as donations – not to be mistaken for trash.   Resist the temptation of second guessing your decisions.
  • Items marked ‘give to family’, bring them down to an area that can be designated staging area; put all items in here clearly marked with the designated family member’s name. Make a call and schedule a time for      things to be picked up. You may need to make several calls, and then  finally say; “If you don’t come by Sunday, I will be putting them in the trash on Monday.”
  • Put all items for sale in one spot (either leave them in the attic or garage marked sale items). Then determine what type of sale to have.  Arrange for  an appraisal, if necessary. Set a date, even if it is weeks or months away, it will help motivate you to complete the project.

For items that you truly feel have monetary value but you don’t know what it is, I recommend strongly that you pay for an appraisal from a qualified independent appraiser, who knows furniture or artwork. By having an appraisal of the pieces in question, you will be able to make an educated and informed decision on what you want to do with the pieces in question. You won’t walk into a store someday and see your piece (or something very similar) for sale for hundreds of dollars and you sold it for $5 at a moving sale!

Patience, persistence, and many helping hands are the basic elements needed to complete this project. It could take days, weeks, or even months, depending on the level of all available elements at any point in time.


Some Times I Wonder!

There are times when I really have to stop, think, and rethink what I am about to say.   I really wonder at times what people think about when they hand out advice, and get paid to do it.

Case in point is an 85 year old woman who just moved into a very nice, but expensive, retirement community.   I was called in to do a complete unpack and set up in the new apartment.   However when I arrived the morning after the move I walked into to a wall of boxes and furniture, and the woman I came to help was so confused and disoriented it was sad.

The community where she moved to employs a ‘move in coordinator’, who visited my client prior to the moving.   The purpose of the visit was to make sure that the items that were being moved would fit into her new apartment.  My client was moving from approximately 2000 sq ft to about 1400 sq ft.   Six hundred square feet makes a big difference.  However my client was told she could bring everything, and she did!

The bigger pieces of furniture fit, and were placed in the new apartment according to the floor plan produced by the move in coordinator.  What wasn’t taken into consideration and should have been were the closet and storage spaces between the old and the new apartment and no downsizing and decluttering took place prior to moving.  As a result, when the movers were told to pack everything, they did.

After 4 days of working to find appropriate ‘homes’ for all the items it was necessary to sit down and really have a focused (as much as possible) heart to heart discussion with my client.  I explained that there just was no more room for my team to put anything else.   There were still several cartons of ‘stuff’ that we needed to decide where to put them.     Eventually, with my client sitting on a folding chair in the storage room area, we pulled out several cartons that she had absolutely no idea what was in them.  They were old greeting cards, letter, etc., that had not been unpacked from a previous move years ago.

I cannot understand how someone could tell my client that she could bring everything and it would fit.  Of course my client relied on this advice.   I only wish that I could have been with the client on both ends of the move.   Because decluttering and downsizing prior to the move, would have saved time and money, because time is money.    But it also would have saved unnecessary stress and aggravation for the client.

My advice to Retirement Community move in coordinators, think about what you are telling your future residents about what they should and should not bring, and offer to find them some assistance.   This will be less frustrating on everyone involved in the move, from the mover, the family, and most importantly your new resident.

In Her Easter Bonnet

My first client was at one time a very fashionable woman.  She had clothing that would make most women very jealous.  Designer dresses and suits with matching shoes, handbags and  most importantly a hat.  Most of these beautiful clothes had not been in style for at least 30 years.

When it came time to sort through her clothes and decide what she could keep, it was a very traumatic experience for her.  My client, I’ll call her “Ms Daisy”, wanted to keep everything.  Even though she was not able to wear any of the outfits. 

After much discussion and a few tears “Ms Daisy” reluctantly agreed that to donate the clothes, shoes, and handbags.  However, “Ms Daisy” said that she wanted the hats!  Most of them had been beautiful at one time, but their beauty was long gone.  Again after much discussion and a great deal of compromise on both “Ms Daisy” and me. So we packed up one small box of hats that moved with ” Ms Daisy”.
“Ms Daisy” really loved her hats, every time I visited with her she had one of her hats on.  It didn’t matter how bad it might have looked, it made her feel dressed up!  She never stopped admiring hats. One of my last visits with her, I took her to an appointment, and she was all dressed up with her mink pill box hat. 

On our way to her appointment we had a conversation about the hat the Aretha Franklin wore at the 2009 Inauguration.  She loved that hat!  

I believe wearing her hats made her feel physically better than she actually felt.  So compromising a bit and taking a few of her favorite hats made her happy. Ms Daisy felt more in control of her life even though she new she really was not. 

“Ms Daisy”, if she could, would strutting her stuff wearing her best Easter Bonnet!

View From Claire’s Window!

The view from my office window  is a beautiful ocean, beach scene.  I havewindow this window compliments of my sister, who gave it to me for Christmas.  My office doesn’t have a window, and I kept saying I needed a window.  I sit there and visually and ideal pleasant day until I leave the office and I see the real world and the white, winter wonderland people living in New England, really up and down the East Coast, have experienced this winter.

 I am sitting in my office looking at the window and thinking about some indoor projects to do when ‘the weather outside if the weather out side is frightful’.  Here are 3 de-cluttering and organizing projects.

  1. Organize Your Books. Pick up all the books lying around the house, pull out all the books on the book shelves, dust the shelves and the books, organize the books, and put them back on the shelves. Any books you do  not want donate them to the Friends of the Library for their next book sale.
  2. Front Hall Closet.  Pull everything out of the closet, examine it, try it on, inspect clothing items to see if it needs repairs or cleaning, donate items that you do not use or does not fit. Only put back in the closet the items that are meant to be there.  Find a home for everything else.
  3. Your Work Desk. Take everything off the top of the desk-everything you do not use either throw out or give away, do not put anything back on the desk top until you finish going through all the drawers. Do 1 drawer at a time, dump the contents on the desk top, go through everything and determine its value – keep or throw out-do this for every drawer.

These projects are things we put off doing but we all need to do them once in a while.  With the weather we have been having these 3 projects will help to pass the time and give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you cannot or should not venture outdoors in the snow and on the ice.  

Wishing you a warm and safe this winter, as I continue to stare at my ocean scene counting the days until Spring.

Are You Going to Sell Soon?

Last week I attended a local Chamber of Commerce meeting where I met a local real estate agent.  At chamber meetings this is not unusual; however, this gentleman and I seemed to hit it off right from the start.  Maybe it was our age, we are both aging baby boomers, but I believe the reason was we are focusing on the same target market – aging baby boomers–and we believe the same things. 

What we were both saying is; Baby boomers should not wait until the last-minute to start preparing their home to sell and move.  The time to start thinking, preparing, and doing; is 3-5 years from when you want to sell and move.  This is true for your own home or your parent’s home.  The earlier you start thinking about this process the better off everyone will be.

There are so many things that can be done to prepare ahead of time to prepare to sell and move from your longtime home.  Most of us seem to procrastinate and put things off until the last-minute.  We seem to think that there isn’t too much to do, and we are shocked and overwhelmed to find out just how much you should have done in advance, how little time you now have, and how much this is all going to cost you in both time and money.

My realtor friend would tell you that if you plan on selling three years from now you should consider doing some repairs, upgrades, and neutralizing to your home during this time period.  You could very easily recover the cost of the work, and your home will sell easier and quicker. Now I would tell you that it is a good idea to start de-cluttering, downsizing, and organizing the areas of your home that might be over crowded and cluttered.   It is never too early to start this process, and by the time you are ready to sell and move, you will be so far ahead of the game.  

Procrastination is a tough road block to break through.  If everyone said I will take care of this tomorrow nothing would be getting done.  One improvement, upgrade, or repair a year or every six months and one de-clutter/organizing project every quarter will keep you moving forward toward your goal of selling and moving.  Before you know it, it is time to put the house on the market and move.

Unfortunately, most of us wait until the last-minute or until a crisis happens, then we are pushed to take action.  Whether it is illness, death, or just plain old procrastination it makes things far more difficult to get things done when working under pressure and stressed because of a current situation. The old adage of “works well under pressure” isn’t necessarily right. Working under pressure causes mistakes, damage, additional money, and unnecessary stress.

 My Tip is:  Avoid procrastination, work steadily toward the goal, and you will be rewarded for your hard work when you achieve your goal.

The Anatomy Of A Move #2

Day two of my 30 day blog quest.  Yesterday I briefly touched upon 3 things you should consider when looking and engaging a professional mover to handle the “heavy lifting” that takes place during a move.

Today I want to back up a bit, and talk about the time line of  what and when things need to be started and completed.   Many people feel that selling the house and finding a new place to live is the very first item that needs to be started and completed.   Once that is done everything else just falls into place, right?   If you were taking a true/false quiz the answer I would mark as correct would be false!   Why, because once you decide you want to sell and move that is when you need to start organizing, de-cluttering and downsizing process.  An organized and uncluttered home will show and sell better.  

Depending on the size of your home, how long you have lived in the house, and its condition organizing and uncluttering could take a weekend of dedicated work or several weeks of work as time permits.  This is before even listing for sale.   Once this is done and the house in on the market, it could sell quickly or it could take weeks or months depending on the Real Estate market in your area.   So for starters the timeline begins as soon as you decide to move.  

Then once you have a signed purchase and sale agreement and everything is done, all you have to do is sit back and wait for moving day!   Wrong, you are given a certain date when you need to pass papers on the house and usually you need to be moved out completely by that date.   It ranges from a week to thirty days, and if you’re lucky it could be six weeks.   This is when the true move timeline is important in order to meet all the necessary deadlines.  

Stay tuned as we follow the timeline throughout the thirty days.

The Anatomy Of A Move — #1

Over the next 30 days I am committed to writing and posting to my blog once a day.   I am following in the footsteps of my business coach, Elizabeth Hagen of SuccessPlus Coaching .  So in order to make my commitment happen, I am planning to  dissect and explore the steps, processes, and tips in organizing, preparing and completing a move.  OR The Anatomy of a Move! 

It has been said that moving is one of the top 5 most stressful things you will do in your life.   If you have every moved you will probably agree.   So whether you are moving yourself, helping a friend or relative, be prepared to have some stress for at least 4 weeks, probably more, before move day and a couple of weeks after move day.   Over the remaining 29 days to show you why it may be beneficial to have professional assistance of amove  manager and mover.

The time of year you choose to move can add to the stress of the move.  Summer time is usually when most people plan to move, so consequently that is when the professional movers are the busiest.   Mover’s are usually very busy, frequently over booked, and understaffed.  This is a recipe for the perfect moving become a horror story. 

To help to prevent this from happening you should remember three key points:

  • You can always find someone with a truck and a couple of strong burly men to help you move.   However the old saying: “You get what you pay for.”; is true.    What you pay for a move is very important and my company always recommends obtaining 2-3 estimates of reputable, qualified, and experienced movers.  When you do this, you are most likely to be comparing “apples to apples instead of apples to oranges”.  
  • Again price isn’t everything!  Choose the mover who can: accommodate your schedule and do you need to rearrange your life to accommodate them?   During the summer, the moving industries peak season, movers tend to over commit and their schedules can, and at times do, become back logged.   This can create horror stories – mover’s loading the van at 9 PM using headlights and flashlights to see what they are doing. 
  • Understand that Murphy’s Law can always come into play when you are planning a move.   Remember that house closings can be postponed or delayed!  To prevent this from happening you should arrange to move out of your old home the day before a scheduled closing and move in the day after closing on the new home.   Also remember you cannot schedule always schedule your move only on sunny days!  Be prepared to move in the rain, snow, or blistering heat! 

There are many things that need to be considered and if you follow my blog over the next 29 days, I will give you some food for thought and breakdown the The Anatomy of a Move for you.

Three Suggestions for Baby Boomer’s to Downsizing Parents Home.

For years, with both happiness and sadness, parents have sent their children off to college and the children leave a lot of their “STUFF” behind.  This “STUFF” has a tendency to “hang out” at the house for a long time.  Somehow this gives parents the feeling that “The children will be back because they want their “STUFF”
In a lot of cases, parents whose children left the family home years ago – for college, pursuing a career, or for marriage, left behind “STUFF” that is still hanging around in the basement and attic.  When I work with clients I find and I am told; “Oh that belongs to Suzie (or Dick), I have it until they have room.”

Fall is when many of us are thinking of clearing out our gardens and preparing them for winter.  This would also be a perfect time to start weeding out all the stuff that has been hanging around your parent’s homes that you left behind when you moved on with your lives.

Three suggestions on how to begin to help your parents to organize and downsize and get rid of the trash you or your siblings left behind.

  1. Send a friendly little email to your siblings, telling them what you plan and when you are planning to do it.
  2. Give them a specific date that if they want anything they left behind to come and take it away.
  3. Stick to the plan.  When the deadline comes and goes, start the clean out process, and donate, sell, or throw out all items that you do not want or need.
You will feel so much better for having done this and so will your parents.  Remember this will need to be done sooner or later and NOW is a perfect time to start.

We All Have To Put Our Trash Out

I was scheduled to speak in Newport RI today about ‘Where Do I Begin To Downsize?‘  and, unfortunately,  it was cancelled.    Since it was a beautiful day and I had no other appointments scheduled, I felt like taking an afternoon ride around the fabulous homes and mansions of Newport.   It would do me good, so off I went to Newport!

It certainly put me in a better frame of mind.   Today was trash day in Newport RI and, almost without exception,  every one of the mansions and McMansions that line Ocean Drive had their barrels lining the street in front of their long, winding,  gated driveways.   I was reminded that, no matter how rich and famous you are or however big and elegant your home is you still have trash!

The more I thought about this the better I felt.   Even though the owners of those mansions, probably have all kinds of help to haul the trash to the street, they have the same bottles, cans, and junk  that I have.  Other than having a bigger and more affluent home and lifestyle they are no different from you and I.

This was a valuable insight for me today, because I have been dealing with a lot of my own trash lately — both junk and mental trash.   So today is trash day for me!  All the trash I have is going out today!   It is time for me to get rid of my actual clutter, AGAIN.   The  old catalogs, papers, and stuff that is hanging around cluttering up my space and subconsciously causing me aggravation – GONE!  Now I know how my clients feel when I work with them to clean out their clutter and trash.   It is also time to trash old and dated thoughts, anger and pet peeves – I AM LETTING THEM GO! WOW, what a great feeling to know that  things that bog you down can fairly easily be gone.

Baby Boomers rejoice!  If you are fortunate enough to live in an Active Adult Community, like I do,  you can haul your trash to a community dumpster, press the compact button, and away it goes.    Mental trash is a little harder to be rid of but, it can happen and the sooner the better.

Remember there  is always someone who will help you remove whatever clutter you need to deal with today.   Just remember we all have to put the trash out and we all have similar trash.   Yours is not any worse or better than your more affluent neighbors — it all smells after a while!

No Air Conditioning, Fans, or Fresh Air!

Okay, I am sitting here at my computer barely dressed, in an air-conditioned office, under the overhead fan and I am hot!    I love summer as long as my home and car is air-conditioned and I have ceiling fans, with out these conveniences I would not be a happy camper.   Not sure how we made it through so many years with out these things.

Even though I am hot, I am far better off compared to a woman I visited this morning.     This woman was in a small, very cluttered home with no air conditioning, fans, or fresh air!   It was stifling sitting at her kitchen table.   It amazes me how she was able to be in that house.   How do our seniors do it.

We talked for about 20 minutes before I was given the grand tour of the home to figure out what was required — just to put the house on the market.   It really was a nice home in a very nice neighborhood of starter homes.   Her problem is that she is sick, old, and physically unable to maintain the property.   She is barely able to take care of herself!   There was no discussion of family in the area to help her, and we talked about her using my services.   She said,  she was at her WITTZ END!   And she was!

Once I get going, and tackle the house one room at a time it will quickly start to shape up!   This is what I do, one room at a time, I move my clients from FRAZZLED TO DAZZLED!   After her home is sold we will move her into a retirement community where she will have all the amenities that she deserves, and she will not have to worry about the lawn, heating oil, or air conditioning.

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