Just recently my husband and business partner, Andre, and I went to see a couple who were down in Florida from Arkansas to empty and sell the contents of a condominium they had inherited from a grandmother they never knew. What they discovered was that Grandma was a hoarder. They said that they had budgeted spring-break week to declutter the two-bedroom residence, arrange for sale of all the items, and get the property listed and sold with a realtor. Knowing at first glance that these folks had plenty of work to keep them busy for the next couple of vacations, I thought I better double check whether I was hearing what this prospect was saying correctly. So, I queried, “When is the next time you will be back in town?” The response: “Never. It is not in our plans to come back!”
On the way home from that appointment, I got a call from a lady in Georgia who sounded as if she was on the run. She told me that her husband was in the nearby town of Palm Harbor, Florida and that I should call him immediately because “he just wants to get rid of everything in his mom’s apartment in one fell swoop’. I requested that her husband call me since I was driving and could not write down his number. Before I could finish my sentence she had hung up the phone because she had no time to waste.
How about the young lady who called from Miami on a Thursday and wanted her mom’s house emptied by Monday? She had the realtor leave keys under a mat for us to pick up, empty the house, monetize everything, and send her a check when it was all over. She made it clear that if she didn’t need to leave home to get the deed done, it would be ideal.
Estate sale companies all over the map are witness to the anxiety of heirs with an extreme desire to separate themselves as swiftly as possible from the treasures of their relatives when the possessions that become theirs are unwanted. At the same time that it is unnecessary to drag out the process of tossing garbage, plucking heirlooms, and selling the contents of a home, there are no magic wands!
Setting a deadline to get your newly acquired home ready for its next occupant will compel you and others to get things done. At the same time, remember there are twenty-four hours in a day and some of that time is meant for catching some ‘zzzz’s’. Give yourself some space and reasonable time for the task at hand because it is as important to be smart about what you are doing as it is to be fast.
Retaining the services of a decluttering or organizing expert can expedite your process if the home is jam-packed full. Tossing the garbage and putting like-kind things together in a home helps to unearth the treasures that can either be preserved as a legacy or be sold for cash. After untangling the mess, if any, an estate sale company, such as those you find at estatesales.org, can enable you to work quickly and efficiently to sell what is in the house. Professionals work faster than you might on your own, but in order to avoid disappointment temper your demands on yourself and them and take a deep breath.
In addition to operating FREE FROM CLUTTER ESTATE SALES (www.freefromclutter.com) in Tampa, Florida, with her husband, Andre Kupfermunz, Michelle Passoff is the author of LIGHTEN UP! Free Yourself From Clutter (HarperPerennial). When she is not running an estate sale, Michelle is a clutter consultant and national and international public speaker. She can be reached at 813-453-1944 and email@example.com.
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