A lifetime of stuff

By Brian Saeger ~

We all have attachments to things, this is universal, not all of us are attached to the same things though. You could walk into my home and not like or appreciate any of my “treasures” while I can walk into yours and not understand the history behind each and every item.

As a professional organizer and move manager, I keep this at the forefront of my mind when helping people process a lifetime’s worth of “stuff”. Every item has a story just as every person has a story. 

As move managers we help people through life’s BIG transitions like moving the elderly into assisted living, helping family through an estate when a loved one passes away, or simply helping real estate agents or homeowners prepare homes for the market. 

9 times out of 10 the ability to take all, or even most, of the items just isn’t an option. So how do you choose what gets to go and what needs to be let go of? For Be Free Organizing and Move Management we find that each person should have the opportunity to decide for themselves. We feel that the most important thing an elderly person needs during this process is autonomy, to feel as though they are being seen and heard as they move through the boxes in the long-term storage areas to the clothes hanging in the closet, or their favorite mugs for their morning coffee. 

The big question and often the most challenging part of this process is, what do we do with the items we no longer want?

There are many ways to go about the letting-go, here are a few we use.

  1. We invite our clients to ask their children, grandchildren, family, and friends if they would like anything. This typically feels good for the person letting go knowing their once loved item will remain with a loved one.
  2. You can simply donate the items and some organizations that take donations will even do pickups from your home.
  3. You can sell a few of the more expensive items online locally and donate the rest.
  4. You can have an estate sale, these usually do better in the summer, and make sure to advertise really well otherwise there won’t be many people walking through to buy and you’ll end up donating what didn’t sell. It can be a lot of work and we recommend hiring a local estate sale company to run it for you. 
  5. You can have an online auction. The way this works is that all your leftover belongings will be put in “lots” and sold in groupings to the highest bidder.  Certain companies, like Max Sold, are great at this. The pros are that nearly everything will sell and the con is that every lot starts at one dollar. 

There are many other creative ways as well like taking books to the library, having a garage sale, donating items to museums, etc. 

Brian Saeger is the Owner of Be Free Organizing & Move Management. A company dedicated to helping people through life’s BIG transitions since 2008. Please visit them at befreeorganizing.com or call or text directly to 303-817-3470.

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