Throughout the years, you’ve likely accumulated a lot of stuff, the thought of dealing with the stuff can be overwhelming. Many of my clients have used words like scary and paralyzing. It’s very common that they don’t know where to start and sometimes they don’t.
A senior learning institute has assembled a panel of experts who can talk you off. We have them today.
You’re about to receive some great advice as to how to get started, how to decide what to keep ways that can help you decide what gets or. You’re about to receive some great advice as to how to get started, how to decide what to keep ways that can help you decide what gets what when you’re done with it. And how you can turn some of these things into. At this time, I’d like our panelists to introduce themselves. We’ll start with Denise.
Hi, my name is Denise Blake. I’m a certified professional organizer and a certified senior advisor. I own clearer spaces for organizing and coaching and for the last 14 years, with people with a lifelong issue getting organized, get their stuff together.
Thank you, Denise, Carolyn. Hi, good morning, and we’re back in added that.
Carolyn Kramar of Goldilocks Solutions, Downsizing Services
Hi, my name is Carolyn Kramar. I’m one of the co-owners of Goldilocks Solutions. We’ve been in St. Louis for seven years and we provide organizing, downsizing and management services.
Yes, Jeff Randall, owner of the States Legal Services, family owned and operated. I work alone with my wife and son. We’ve been in business since two thousand and nine. And we just help people who need to downsize or if they have lost a loved one, to help them liquidate the assets that are in.
Great, thank you, Jeff and Kristen.
I’m Christian with home sweet home, and I’m the owner of. Can we start it over?
Yes, just pause for a sec. And Kristen.
I’m Krista Smith, home sweet home, and we’re a senior transition company, and we help seniors before, during and after either getting ready for a move or helping other things afterwards. And we do the whole smooth transition from start to finish.
Great. Thank you very much. Appreciate you all introducing yourself and being here today. Let’s start our discussion by talking about why we should clutter and organize and how we can simplify our lives by getting rid of those things that we no longer need or enjoy.
Denise, you’ve been helping folks organize for some time. What are some of the reasons that folks accumulate so much?
Well, that’s a great question. Thank you. You know, it’s not just for utilitarian purposes. There are many reasons people accumulate. One is just the fun of it. Some people like collecting things. Some people like to collect a wide variety of things. Another reason is that it’s part of our identity and not only part of our identity in terms of a reflection of our values and what’s important to us. But also it helps maybe put our place in society. Think about the person with the fancy car that makes the statement in society. There’s also a sense of it that aesthetics that appeals to people and when they accumulate things that often things that aren’t aesthetically pleasing to them often just to remember, we use our things as icons of moments in our lives.
And that’s that becomes very important. Sometimes people are very afraid they’re going to forget certain moments of their lives or their children’s lives. And so they’ll keep things to help them remember. And then lastly, there may be a comfort value when things are a little uncertain.
Sometimes people like to just keep things because there’s a certain amount of control that they have and there is comfort within that control that will help them get through a rough time. So there there are many reasons.
Thank you. I appreciate that. You know, sometimes we see pictures of homes that have got stuff in it from wall to wall, floor to ceiling.
Why don’t some people realize that they have so much? And why do so many people, once they have a house that’s full, keep adding to it?
Yeah, so there are a lot of reasons when somebody does cross that line from what is a functional space, maybe a little crowded into a space that is no longer functional and may be downright dangerous. So there are mental health concerns that would feed into this. One thing that is interesting is people can become blind to their surroundings. You know, and maybe you’ve even experienced this to a lesser degree in your own life where you’re looking for something.
And it’s on your desk and you don’t see it, but it’s right there.
We can become blind to our surroundings and certainly I do see a fair amount of clutter blindness in my profession for mental health reasons and clutter blindness and lack of insight is another reason that people are blind to crossing that line into a dangerous situation, that their executive function skills just are not strong enough to see that there is indeed a problem.
So, Denise, what can you say to someone who has so much accumulated that you’re worried about them and even the safety?
Yeah, so that is that is like the ten thousand dollar question, because when you’re working with somebody, a family member who’s in that situation, let’s say it’s dangerous. The last thing you want to do is to come in with this accusatory stance and really try to see things from their viewpoint. And, one, have a discussion as difficult as I know this is. But it’s very important to have the pokerface, very important that the pokerface and to ask ask questions from a perspective of curiosity as opposed to trying to fix something. If you are trying to fix something and you will be shut out and there will be more problems. So ask from a point of curiosity and see if it is possible through talking about this and empathizing with the reasons the person is keeping these things to see if there’s a point where you can agree on something, to maybe move some things, to make things a little safer, to make that path from the front door to the back door a little wider. So if the nine one one folks had to get in, you could at least get a gurney out of there.
And that is a place to start that that harm reduction.
Great. Well, thank you for sharing that, I appreciate that, Karolyn. You’ve been helping folks the clutter and organize for some time. When is the best time to the clutter and organize?
Well, the short answer is no, but not everyone is prepared to do that, so we love when we see a young family overwhelmed with toys getting started. But typically it’s when something’s coming down the pike that I know with a lot of our clients, the sooner we can get started with them, the better. So it’s not a rushed organizing de cluttering process, but ideally we’re doing it along our entire lives.
Right, I agree, and it’s not it’s not easy to do.
I mean, realistically, when are some of the more common times that people start reaching out to you for help?
It’s usually in the case of a move is one of the I would say the biggest number of them. So people that are talking with a realtor, looking at new space and realizing that everything can’t go with them. So that’s when we first start. But it also can be a quick phone call from a social worker. That mom’s coming home from the hospital soon and we need to get in there and clear the path and make things a little bit more organized. And then I think the interesting part is when people are uncomfortable. So we have gone in to do an organizing job where I’m looking around and they’ve described they have a mess. And I find it in my own sphere of state of organizing. I find it very tolerable. But it’s everybody, everything’s relative. So we could we could get a phone call from a child and go in and that we have an unsafe amount of accumulation. And we could also get a call from an individual and we just try to take it to the max if they’re uncomfortable.
Right. And kind of going back to what Denise had said earlier, it’s almost like when you when you can’t start finding the essential documents. I know. And now, you know, it’s the time. Carolyn, what what are some of the benefits that come? We’ve kind of touched on it, but what are some of the benefits of of declaring.
Well, I think that it is and you’ll probably hear this from all of us. It’s really that peace of mind. I tell people that they’re they may think they’re not bothered by their stuff, but there is a voice running in their head at all times. So they’re thinking about their closet while they’re watching TV. So peace of mind is part of that. I think that in addition to that, it eliminates maybe some of the stress in the whole. And ultimately, it makes it more manageable at a time when you may want to you become an empty nester. And so I really think that starting that process of clearing out people are very reluctant. Sometimes they want you in, but it’s hard and it’s things speed along. You know, you shouldn’t be there on a Friday and show up on a Tuesday. And they’ve just plowed through a lot of stuff because it feels really good.
Yeah, it’s it’s certainly liberating. I have also found out who the people are able to technically find more space. They’re able to share some things and donate, oftentimes convert stuff into cash. And we’re going to talk about that a little bit later. And, you know, I think one of the bigger things is that it can really help save your kids, your family, your friends from having to deal with it when you’re done with it or you’re no longer around.
And that I think it’s really, really liberating as what we had talked about before.
It is and I have a background in the estates area, a long, long history with that and so working closely with children that have either inherited or they have to clean up the house and the real angst that they have, it’s just it’s overwhelming. But it’s also really emotional to make decisions as to what was important to mom and dad and what is. And so the more that that can be whittled down, the better, especially when it’s know kind of a crisis or it’s a very grieving time. Your kids are it’s going to go much smoother for your kids if you’ve taken care of that.
Right. So I think the idea of being proactive with our stuff is really a gift of sorts.
And one of the things I’ve seen a lot of family dynamics, and it’s really a way of reducing family bickering and keeping the peace long term and short term. My brother and I have already expressed interest in things that we want in the house and mom has already put our names on the back of them. So there’s just less interaction when it comes to those things in the future of that.
Right. My parents, every now and then we get some a box of something shipped by my mom or we visit. We’re driving away with some stuff. Sometimes it goes from our house to donation. The whole point is to get it out of her house. But other times it’s it’s treasures that I would have liked in my mom’s philosophy is why not let us enjoy it now as opposed to it sitting in her house where it may not bring the same amount of enjoyment?
Right. And it seems as though there’s a book, I think, that’s written. Your kid doesn’t your kids don’t want your stuff. And that tends to hold true no matter how dire it is to us.
I don’t know that the next generation appreciates it. I’ve already started talking to my kids about, hey, do you see this rug? Do you see this piece of artwork? It’s the real deal. You don’t want to give it away. There’s some value. Here comes kind of let them know whether you put a gold star on the back or something or what, I don’t know. But you need to let them know where the value is. That’s that’s for sure. So where’s where do we start this daunting task?
Well, I think that the easiest place is where you start. And even to make those smaller at the most important thing is people leave a job of organizing and declaring with a sense of success. So when you go down and say, I’m going to and I’m speaking from experience here on my own in my own case, but if you go downstairs and say, I’m going to clean the whole basement. That’s overwhelming, and you might get little starts, but if you just look at a corner and say, I’m going to go through my kids old toys and you get that done, it feels good and it moves you on. And so starting with the easiest, but more importantly, I think really breaking it out even to come up with sort of a project plan or, you know, we talk with people about clutter bodies where you find somebody and you make a plan together and you check in all the time. And that’s really for some people that’s been transformative to have accountability.
That’s great. Thank you for sharing that. I want to move on to Kristen. Kristen, you’ve you know, you’ve been doing this a long time as well. And I’d like you to, I guess, tap on tap into what to what Carolyn just said and build on to that in regard to the order that you suggest of folks approach declaring, because I think that’s really important.
We really want to make this as as easy as possible and make it seem as simple as possible. So where do we start and what’s the order that you suggest that we start the process?
I think like Denise and Carolyn both said, you know, everybody’s different. So I think for some people, it’s starting with that problem space. Like Denise said, if you can’t muddle through, you can’t get through a certain area. If there’s a certain area that’s causing you extreme amount of stress, that might be an area that you tackle for that reason. But as far as this being so emotional and we are emotionally pastor thing, so I think when you’re going through this family heirlooms first and trying to make those decisions about things that are sentimental, or if you’ve got a family member that you’ve lost or a spouse or something and something’s really difficult for you to part with, that probably is not the best area to tackle first, because as you’re going through this process, you’re kind of teaching yourself, you know, how to do this. And if you’ve got a move manager or somebody working with you, they’re giving you tips on how to work through it. So at the beginning, you know, it’s tough and it gets easier and easier. So maybe starting with a space that’s like Carolyn mentioned, that as daunting, like a whole basement, maybe doing a room that you haven’t used in a long time and you’re thinking there’s so much in here that really I’m not using and I don’t need.
That might be an easier place to start because you’re not as emotionally attached. Or maybe there’s more things in that room that are going to make quicker answers and you’re not going to labor over this decision. So as you get more experienced and comfortable with this process and you can go to some of the harder to make decision areas and whatnot, and I reiterate what Carolyn said as well. You know, goes to that old saying, how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time? You know, start with something that you can continually feel rewarded with if you go into your kitchen and you think, oh, my gosh, I’m going to clean out this kitchen, you get overwhelmed. You spend Wheelz, you don’t know where to start. But if I say, you know what, I’m going to clean out my pantry today or this week, take something that is very easy for you to accomplish, because as you check off or mark off these items, you start feeling more accomplished and you start feeling that success and the benefits and then it keeps you motivated to keep going versus if you take a space, I’m going to try to do the kitchen today and you don’t get that done. You know, you kind of feel discouraged and it kind of brings you down. So definitely doing setting ambitions and tasks that are very easily to accomplish. So you continue to feel inspired and see those benefits and a very quick basis will kind of keep you going.
I had someone tell me once you start with a bathroom, start with a hall closet or something like baby steps. So I did the hall closet the other day and now I can find stuff. And it felt it felt liberating. So I promise I’m not going to fill it back up again.
And that’s a big part of it, is when you even if you think you like the clutter. And we’ve we certainly we’ve been doing this for 16 years and we’ve seen everything and people say, oh, no, I really like living like this.
But once they see the success and they go into the closet instead of digging for the black pair of shoes is the only one they wear out of 20 shoes and they can find it right away. And they’re not spending all that time and energy looking through things that they really don’t need and want. It just gives you more energy and you can kind of just focus on finding things easier and it just makes every little task a lot simpler.
You know, even if you’re cooking and you you’ve got 20 measuring cups or 15 or when I sounds like I’m exaggerating, but believe me, I’m not you know, they only use to. How much easier is it when you just simple things like that that you’re not emotionally attached to and you get rid of them and you can find your stuff a lot easier and it just makes life easier, simpler. And I think people start realizing that as they do this downsizing process and they realize, even though they thought they really wanted all that stuff, it really helps them simplify and makes things a lot simpler. And they start seeing this benefits right away.
Right. I’ve worked with some folks who have, I guess, lack some of the energy and motivation and the strength to do some of the things that they know they should have done a long time ago. So, I mean, I guess it’s kind of obvious. But explain to us why you think it’s so important that we start this while we have the energy and we’re Sandvine.
I think we all kind of talked about it’s not something if you haven’t started it yet, especially if you’re a procrastinator, start right away. You don’t have to wait until it’s a crisis or, you know, they’re doing a move like some of the reasons why Carolyn said that we all get these calls. If you can start earlier, you’ve got more time to slowly go through things and you’re not going to make a mistake and get rid of something that because you’re trying to do it hastily, all of a sudden get to move in. Your house is sold and you’re trying to rush through these things. No one has that much energy. And that’s why companies like ours exist to help or to get family or friends to help out. But the earlier you start, the less overwhelming and you’ve got more time to make those decisions. And we all have things in our home that we don’t really need now. But if we wait until it’s a crisis or we’re doing a house sale, you just kind of get rushed and then you are spending all day versus maybe just doing a little bit each day or each week or Carolyn mentioned making yourself accountable. One of the things we suggest and I am even being in this business, I’m a procrastinator and I put things off. If I go on my calendar and I say, you know what? This week I’m going to work on my kitchen and Monday I put on my calendar.
I’m going to spend just an hour and I’m going to work on that pantry. It’s a lot easier because if I just say, OK, this week, I’m going to do three days and then something else comes up. And one of my kids called and said, hey, let’s go to lunch. It’s so easy for me to just say, OK, you know, I can do that tomorrow, but if I put it on my calendar, it kind of makes me accountable. And I say, no, no, I’ve got I’ve got this on my calendar. I need to spend an hour and then maybe we can go grab dinner and you can use some of those little events to treat yourself the kind of reward yourself, you know, hey, I got all the work done on Monday that I had planned that on my calendar. And so now I have time to go out to lunch with my friend on Tuesday and kind of reward yourself again to keep you motivated. But the more you have time to spread these things that you’re not making rash decisions and making decisions, maybe you’ll regret because you felt hurried. So as Carolyn said, now start now before you have to be rushed because it’s a crisis decision and someone else is making those decisions for you.
And you can kind of take your time and and really be thoughtful about your decisions without laboring over it.
Right. And I I’m working with somebody right now. Your dad passed away and granddad passed away. And then all of a sudden your mom passed away very unexpectedly. She had a house full of stuff. Now, there was no way of knowing that she was that she was going to die as young as she did. But I’m seeing the kids coming in with multiple trips from out of state dealing with stuff and moving things back and forth. And now they’ve taken what they want. Now we’re having a hard time getting rid of the last of it. So I just I mean, it trickles downhill. And I think just part of being a considerate parent. And what I want to try to do is kind of whittle through and make sure that we keep what’s important. We designate who it goes to on the rest of the stuff. We get rid of him and and not take us with us, whatever we go left, whatever we decide to go from here. And that’s my question to you, Kristen, is why not just let’s say I’m downsizing and I’m moving to senior living or moving to another to a smaller one, not just box it all up and move it and then deal with it later?
Well, I think, again, it goes down to procrastinating. You’re putting it off till later. And if you can deal with it right up front, you’re not having to do this again. Sometimes we do move clients into like a villa or a cottage, and it is considered like senior living or downsizing. But if they still have that garage or that basement, there’s a tendency to do just that, Ted, because they do have the space and sometimes they don’t. But if they do, you know, people say, you know what, I’m just going to box it up and put it in my garage, in my basement, and I can go through that later. And then what’s happening is they’re just doing this all over again. And so you really didn’t benefit by that first downsize and still weighing on you and you still have that stress of knowing you still have all these things. If you’re going to a space where you don’t have that extra space, well, now you’re cluttering up your house. You’ve got boxes that you trip over. It makes it very unsafe. So here you you’ve had the foresight to do a move to downsize, to simplify your life. But you’re not really taking full benefit because you’re bringing all that over and you’re still creating the same situation that you were maybe in a bigger space, but now you’ve gotten smaller and and it’s just it becomes very dangerous.
Plus, you’re also think about it, the cost of moving all that stuff over, because eventually you’re just going to get rid of it anyway. So when I have family say that, I’m sure Denise and Carolyn make the same recommendation, that’s when we kind of say, you know, let us come in and kind of help you do that on the four. Instead of you still feeling the stress of having to do it when you get over there, if we can kind of help them really go through those things and think through that process of what they really aren’t going to use or take, one of the things I do and clients are feeling overwhelmed and that’s why they end up taking those things, because they’re overwhelmed. They can’t make the decisions, as I’ll say to them. Let’s think about just taking what you absolutely need every day and what you use every day. The really important things and prioritize. And then honestly, if they’ve got the opportunity, like maybe say you’re helping them sell the house and they still have maybe a month before you’re going to put it on the market, other things are being done to the house or maybe they’ve got a closing date. I’ll tell them then you can go back and look and make sure you’ve gotten everything that you really want, and the honest truth is that they prioritized well and really have only taken the things that they really need every day. And that out of sight, out of mind. A lot of those things they really don’t need and want. And when you get over to the new space and you don’t have it, you realize you really didn’t need it. You prioritize correctly, made the right choices because really spending the money to bring all that over there, it’s still a mental and emotional drain. And you’re not really getting the benefits of getting over there and feeling very free and and released of those things that you really don’t need and want. And so you’re not taking full advantage of the reason why you’re moving in the first place, I guess.
Right. I mean, I’ve seen boxes sit in the middle of living room areas for months for folks to get up because these were older clients and they have the energy to deal with it and they just decided to let it go and no place to put it in their new condo. So you can definitely get in the way. I want to talk a little bit more about the process itself. And let’s just say that, you know, we’ve done the de cluttering or we didn’t have time to do clutter. We’ve made a move. Someone passed away. It ends up that we’ve got a bunch of stuff left over that we need to talk with. And I find one of the best options to do that is through an estate sale. And that’s where the Grandal comes in. So, Jeff, you know, talk to us a little bit about estate sales, but specifically, how does an estate sale differ from a garage sale?
Yeah, well, they are two completely different experiences, to be honest with you. Typically, a garage sale is when the owner of a home decides that they’re kind of tired of looking at stuff, sort of laying here and there. And a lot of the stuff that they’re kind of picking is things that are tired of looking at are usually not the most desirable or exciting things for people to come and buy at a sale. So you typically will see them lined up on a tables in a garage and the owner is conducting that sale pricing. They typically have no idea how to price it. They just want it out of there. And who knows, they might put two dollars on something that really should be two hundred dollars, but they just they just kind of want to go to that process. It’s almost also can be a little bit of a fun social thing. I’ve heard families, you know, the mom and the daughters getting together, let’s have a garage sale. And so they combine their things and it’s kind of a social event and that that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But switching to an estate sale or the difference of states to basically the estate sale includes everything, typically everything that’s left in the house from the nuts and bolts on the workbench to the cleaning products to a linens, to the furniture, home décor, clothing, jewelry, anything and everything has the potential of selling at an estate sale. And people ask me all the time, well, what should I keep, what should I get rid of, what we’ll sell or not sell? And really, the simple answer is everything has a potential of selling. And to be honest with you, the more the variety that you have, the better chance you’re going to get all these different types of shoppers and buyers coming to your sale, those who are interested in collectibles, to those who are interested in buying everything or cleaning products and not having to pay five dollars for 10 bucks for a block.
So it’s different in the sense that it includes the entire house. Most estate sales are are run by a professional company where they come in, they organize the house so people can what we call shop the house, see what’s there, what’s available. They advertise the sale for them. If you have a company that’s been around and has a really strong reputation, they’re going to drive people to your estate so that you’re not going to be able to get. It’s just because a lot of estate sales fortunately have a very loyal following shoppers that they see every week. So that’s a plus pricing is important. I’d mention perhaps they sell something for two dollars. That should be two hundred dollars. That’s very, very possible. And although probably ninety nine percent of all the homes that you go in, it doesn’t matter what zip code they’re in, a lot of things tend to repeat. You see a lot of the same things. But then there are a few sales where there are some items that really need that special attention and that on. And so that’s what we’re able to do. Our estate, a company is to make it a lot more professional crowd control. You know, you’re going to have hundreds of people through the house and you don’t want the house to be destroyed or damaged in any way. And so that’s part of the dynamic that I think your company can bring to it.
Again, pricing, advertising it, and then after the sale, help them get rid of what’s up.
They may want to go back in the house and keep some of the stuff that didn’t sell. They may want to go ahead and just donate everything. You know, it’s their choice what they want to do. But typically, most people are in a situation that they want everything that’s left. And there will be stuff. You’re going to have a great states don’t sell a ton and probably make some good money, but you will have stuff. Wow. So those are the two differences in garage sale at an estate sale. Estate sale is much more professionally run, conducted, and you will make a lot more money even after you have to pay someone a fee, because if they know how to price things, get people there and sell it, it will be a great experience for you.
Got your things, I think the most important to take. Away as well as don’t throw anything out until you talk with your state cell person because there is value in everything. I joke about the half filled bottle of Windex, but it’s true, it sells. Now, there’s a little bit of heartbreak in regard to what typically does not sell, and those tend to be the more formal items. So just touch on that a little bit, because I know we we spend when we get married, we spend people buy us China and dining room sets and all those things that tend to not do well in estate sales. Isn’t that right?
Well, you do have certain items or categories that are a little bit more of a challenge to sell these days. You mentioned dining room furniture. You can see behind me this giant cabinet behind me. Most of the younger folks don’t collect things or don’t want a lot of furniture in there in their dining rooms. And so furniture can be a challenge to sell and collectibles. Again, the younger generation there, they’re not collecting a lot of figurines or the collector plates or things that maybe our parents or grandparents used to collect and buy. So there are differences and what will sell and what also, I will tell you, if I if I’m able to conduct the sale for someone to have metal toys from their childhood back in the 50s and 60s, I’ll have hundreds of people standing in the door before we open, because that is an item that people believe are clear glass what we call clear glass, crystal of some kind and not all. But some of those items tend to not sell very well and usually. Well, now, from sale to sale, the sale, typically what’s going to be left afterwards, and it tends to be the same, like I said, the cleric last some of the China some of the big, big pieces of furniture, pianos. You can’t even really give those away, and part of the reason is because who wants to carry a flight of stairs or even pay to have that done? But anyway, there are some things that are hard to sell. But here’s the way to look at that, whether they sell or not. The opportunity to pass things along to others, whether you’re selling your parents items that you inherited or you’re just wanting to clutter downsized, you know, people don’t want to just fill up dumpsters and throw things away and they want to honor their parents.
They want to be responsible with the items that they’ve had.
And they hope that people will buy them and give them another life and enjoy them. And that’s a big part of the estate sale. Experience, too, is not just to get rid of everything and clear out the house and make some money, which is very important for many people. But it’s also that honoring and respecting. What your parents enjoyed perhaps during their lifetime, our grandparents, so that’s a very important part of the estate sale process as well.
Absolutely. Why don’t you just talk to us about the setup itself, the nuts and bolts of the estate sale in regard to how you determine the value of things when you do your set up, how you market, and then, I guess, pricing strategies during the two days that you do your sales.
And then also how it is that estate sale companies like yours actually, you know, make money through the process.
Sure. Well, really, what I like to tell clients or potential clients is when they ask, well, what do I need to do?
Do I need to unpack or clean this or do that? And basically what I tell them and I would imagine any of the other companies approach it the same way. And that is once you have whatever it is that you want, typically out of sight or out or off site, you’re not because we’re going to come in and because you’re you’re hiring a professional company to come in and do the right to organize it, set it up, determine what what you have, what you need to do, research.
If you’re a certified personal property appraiser, which I happen to be, that helps.
You will know how to approach the process of evaluation, of of valuation, what is it worth? And and that’s important.
And so the estate sale company will set it up, they’ll advertise it, they’ll marketed. And basically it’s a turnkey operation.
The client can just walk away. And most people that’s a situation anyway. Some of our clients, I never see them there. They’re out of state. So they need that kind of service. Typically, estate sale last two days and it’s either Friday or Saturday, Saturday, Sunday. But now you’re seeing some sales will be almost just about any time of the week. But typically you’re going to see them Friday, Saturday, Sunday, those three day type of period, two days, typically the fee for estate sale. Many companies, again, not all will have a minimum fee and some will have a percentage of sales. Some will have a combination of a minimum. But if it hits a certain amount, it becomes a percentage of flat percentage. So there is a combination, but I will just say it’s important to not just go with a company based on commission. Look at what they can bring to the sales. Are they experience? Are they trustworthy? Would you would you want them to handle your checkbook? Because basically, especially for people who aren’t even around town, you’re handing them the case and you have to trust them as they go in and deal with the stuff he has within the house. So that’s typically how it works. Not all companies obviously charge the same, but it’s usually a combination of a minimum and then a percentage.
Right. You know, when you were talking about how you determine who you should use and sounds very familiar with the conversations that I have about picking a real estate agent. And it’s it’s not my commission that counts as how much you’re going to net.
And that’s really what you have to take all that into consideration. And with you, the expertise that you have to value things and put the proper price tag on it rings true with what I do as well.
So that that resonates with me.
I think that pretty much wrap things up.
But I want to open this up to everybody and see if there was just something that a little bit of nugget of information, a little bit of gold that you want to share with anybody else. Share with the audience while we still have you here. And then I’ll close things up so anybody wants to say something. You’re all at this point unmuted and you can speak up. If not, I’ll just close this.
Well, I’ll echo what everyone else said, start small.
I often tell people if it’s hard to start, just give yourself a 10 minute timer and just whatever you can in 10 minutes. And then if the wind.
All right, I think I just want to add to it, as we have talked about, too, is to start early and you’ll end much happier. Don’t wait until a crisis or anything is on you. You can have an estate sale and that be moving or anything, just getting rid of some of your things. And that, I think starting early and doing it. Now, whether that means just putting a bag on your door handle and when you see things you don’t want, sticking it in there and then it in your bag and dropping it off at Goodwill, anything you can do now is going to make all of this process a lot easier down the road.
That’s great. Well, I appreciate all of all of you. Carolyn, you want to say something?
I’m just going to bring in Jeff had said, which is it’s important to have the experts in line with that is you’ve got to ask how long they’ve been doing it because there’s a lot of people doing estate sales that will save us.
What’s most important is to partner with someone that’s going to do a lot of people and really know how to proceed. So time in the business. And then also we really we really don’t want to weigh in on what’s your house worth, what things are more value. It’s it’s really wonderful to have people that know come into the picture. And so I just always encourage people, you know, certainly look around. But I think the big question is, how long have you done this? What your credentials are, how successful are you?
Great. And I’ll wrap it up by also saying to that, you know, oftentimes when mom and dad or wherever the property is, is out of state, you’ve got children elsewhere and you want to get that special item or items to them. That’s part of the process as well. And I know that’s something that the panelists do, is that we’ll ship product nationwide to get it to where it needs to go. So that’s a really, really great service that can be done that that our panelists can do. So that’s something that also keep in mind as well. And I hope everybody who was listening to this found this useful. Our next seminar in this line of Senior Learning Institute seminars is on selling the house for top dollar. So we hope that you come back and check that out online as well.
I want to thank the following sponsors who are sponsoring the Senior Learning Institute series for two thousand and twenty one to list them briefly. It’s Friendship Village Senior Living Communities Brad Colebrooke for One on one mobility in St. Louis, Shawnee. Step from the step law firm Becky Billu for lasting impressions home remodeling. Jay Kweskin from Quest Care Care Management. Sally and Allen Surface and their team at Assistant Home Care Medicine and her team and right at home Jewish meal from Edward Jones, Eileen Lambert and her team at Oasis Senior Advisors of Chesterfield, Mr. Randy SREP, who was a Medicare specialist, Rick Hingston and his team at Eureka Contracting and Roofing, and Mr. Dennis Cooper, reverse mortgage specialist at the Federal Savings Bank in the St. Louis area. My name again is Ted Gottlieb. I’m a certified senior advisor and founder of the Senior Learning Institute. Thank you very much for joining us. And we’ll see you next time.
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