Archive for the ‘Moving Sales’ Tag

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.


Quiet Progress

I met with a client the other day, she felt like she would never be ready to move by the end of the month.   Then she started telling me what she had all ready started and finished.   It was huge!

This small petite woman, realized that she needed to start doing something to make this move happen.   In her own quiet way, she allocated a few hours throughout the day to sort through dresser drawers.   Throwing out items too worn and unserviceable, collecting all good and usable items for donation, and neatly putting the keepers back in the drawer.   That is huge, and I told her so!

She did the same type of thing in the kitchen and bathrooms.  So when it came down to really getting serious about downsizing for the move, she have very quietly made progress toward her goal.

It is amazing what progress you can make with just an hour or two a day!   Try it, you will be very pleased with your results.

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.

Panic In The Attic!

Standing alone in this cold and cavernous space called “the attic”
Among years of stored memories and stuff,
staring in awe and Panic!
How did this house become so full it’s only been 30 years!

There are Barbie dolls, GI Joe’s, baseball cards
And even Elmo carefully stashed
hoping to make lots of cash!
Everyone moved on long ago leaving behind their legacy.
In “the attic”, the graveyard of memories and stuff.

Boxes of obsolete text books, covered in dust,
Never to be used again.
Precious baby clothes loving packed in tissue paper,
endless prom, bridesmaid and wedding dresses
preserved for future generations.

In “the attic”, the graveyard of memories and stuff.

Stacks photos of people no one knows
All buried in the attic – who knows why!
Boxes and boxes of endless treasures;
That once tickled our pleasure!

In “the attic”, the graveyard of memories and stuff.

Don’t have a place for that old lamp that one day you’ll fix
or the clothes that just don’t fit.
The crib, dresser and the various odds and ends.
To “the attic” they go!

In “the attic”, the graveyard of memories and stuff.

Standing alone in the cold and cavernous space called “the attic”.,
Days are counting down; “the attic” needs to be cleared.
I keep asking What do I do?   Where do I start?
How do I shift through years and years of memories?

In “the attic”, the graveyard of memories and stuff.

Staring in awe and Panic!
What do I do? Where do I turn?
I am at my wits end!
In “the attic”, the graveyard of memories and stuff.

By: Claire LeSage, June 1, 2008

You know You Grew Up In . . . When You Remember!

It is funny how Face Book pages are springing up reminiscing about the good old days of growing up in your home town.  We are all looking back on them through rose color glasses, and fondly remembering things that we did way back when.  I am doing the very same thing and I really enjoy connecting with classmates and others who remember a kinder gentler time.

I remember when every Saturday morning we loaded up the car, in my case it was my Mother’s Rambler American, with trash for the weekly trip to the Town Dump.   The Dump, not politically correct now, was the place to go, be seen, to meet people, and to find precious worldly treasures.

Every politician running for office would do meet and greats at the dump!  Every organization with a cause to promote was at the dump passing out information or demonstrating for their cause.  You could always see and talk with someone you knew, whether you wanted to or not.

Then there were the people who would rummage through the items people dropped off looking for the treasure of the day.   You would be amazed and the people who were rummaging.   Looking back this isn’t such a bad idea.   Many good things have been tossed out in haste and found by people who were just browsing.

Today, I am finding that some well known charities have stopped accepting furniture and other household items.   It is becoming more difficult to find places for clients to donate or give away their valued possessions.   Although our environment no longer encourages open dumping, I fondly remember the “good old days” when I spent Saturday mornings at the Town Dump, shaking hands with politicians and the trash pickers!


Get your Kids to take their “stuff”!  Set a deadline date (3 – 4 weeks down the road) for them to come and take their “stuff” that you have very nicely sorted and put to one side for them.   You may need to use tough love!   Tell them if they don’t come or don’t want the items you will arrange to dispose of the items.   If they don’t come by this date (you can give them gentle reminders during this time period) schedule the trash person to come in as soon as possible after the deadline.    

Give your special items now to your family.   If there are special items that you know you are not going to need or use again, why not consider giving them to that special person now while you can enjoy giving the gift and the person receiving the gift will appreciate and can thank you in person.

Only keep the items you truly treasure!    Remember you cannot keep everything, and you need to be ruthless in your decisions.  You may change your mind several times.   Until you are really sure or have any doubts don’t throw or give anything away.   Make lists, add and subtract from the lists and make sure this is what you truly want.   Once you give them away or throw them out they are gone forever.

Donate to charity.   If you have three sets of dishes, be realistic do you really need them?   Anything that you don’t need, cannot use, and don’t want (but is good and serviceable) donate them to your favorite charity.  There are so many good charities that can use these items.    Clothing to homeless shelters, books to the local library, furniture to Goodwill and any number of places are looking for good serviceable items.  And most are happy to give receipts for tax purposes.

Whatever you do, do something!   Just don’t sit there and let stuff pile up around you until you cannot walk safely in your own home.    It is better to be in control with where and how to dispose of your stuff than have someone come in and take control and give you no say in the matter.     There is plenty of help out there, ask at the Senior Center or your clergy person for recommendations on how to proceed.  

You will feel so much better when you start the process.


Downsizing, de-cluttering, organizing, or whatever you want to call it, it is a necessary evil that we all need to face at some time in our lives.   Probably we should do it periodically, but most of us procrastinate and let things accumulate in the basements, attics, garages, and sheds.  There are various reasons to de-clutter; from moving into a smaller home, to stay safely in your home,   you, your spouse or partner may be ill, disabled or have died or you cannot maintain your home any longer.   These are all very important reason to seriously think about downsizing and NOW is a good time to start!  Whenever possible family members should be involved in the process, because there may be items that they might want.  


  •  Set aside specific periods of time. 
     Start off slowly, one to three hours a day is sufficient because of the physical and emotional strain involved.   Take frequent breaks, to avoid becoming overwhelmed and dehydrated.   If you decide to tackle the basement first, break it down in sections.   Make sure that you dispose of all trash and take the items to be donated away (this eliminates second guessing!)  Only leave items that you are keeping or planning on moving. When you complete that section STOP!  You will feel good about what you have accomplished and schedule your next session.    

  •  Develop a system for sorting. 
    Start with large items (too large for cartons) first, by putting color stickers on these items: i.e.: Yellow = Donate, Blue = Keep, Green=Give Away, Pink=Undecided.    Then determine how and where these items are going and right that on the stickers.   Knick-knacks are smaller and stickers don’t stay put.   Set up cartons and mark them KEEP, GIVE AWAY, DONATE, UNDECIDED.    If you need make
    the phone calls for pickups right away and schedule it to happen!  Don’t procrastinate make the calls! 
  •  Take time to remember:
     Don’t rush the sorting and downsizing, it will take time and if you start early, before the pressure is on to finish by a certain deadline date, you can decide what you want to do and make sure you are comfortable with your decision.  Take time to laugh or cry, reminisce, look through old papers, and to remember and grieve.    You need this time and it will help you to let go.
  • Take pictures or video of items. 
    In order to remember and pass the memories down to your family take pictures or a video of the items.  Recording your memories and recollections of an item and its connection to the family is particularly important if the items are family heirlooms.  The younger family members may not aware of the history or special significance the piece(s) have to the family history.   Your recorded recollections will bring added value to your family. 

The earlier you start to prepare for a move, the better off you will be.   Downsizing and moving is a very stressful time in a persons life, no matter how old they are.    Doing this after years of living in the same home, and having accumulated a lot of “STUFF” is a lot of work.     This only adds to your stress levels.

In my next posting I will talk about the downsizing and how to get rid of the stuff we have all accumulated over the years.    The pros and cons of moving sales, and why your items are not selling for what you know they are worth!

To all the Mothers, Grandmothers, and wannabe Mothers – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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