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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Dreaded job of clearing out a generation of memories

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Author Topic: Dreaded job of clearing out a generation of memories
just don
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We always said it will be quite a day or hundreds of them, when comes time to clear out all our parents 'stuff'.

1700 foot house and 700 foot garage stuffed to the gills.

The age old question of what to keep. And what not to??

AND how do you keep all these treasurers.

Some of the interesting stuff found so far is my dads dads gold watch,,,well worn,,,right thru the case coatings.

Some silver dollars in the 20's. Some pennies from the 1890's various years but pocket condition.

They kept ALL the old stuff from generations before. Think there is stuff marked from 4 or 5 generations back.

Sewing stuff from doing quilts all year, every year

Jewelry old but not expensive. Old plates and glassware of every descript.

Grandkids took 'some' last weekend for Christmas,,,but not nearly enough

So much of everything its hard to find a home for all.

Might end up making a stack of it for a garage sale but that doesnt sell all either.

What to do???

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just don

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hiker53
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Estate sale? Pick a few treasured items to keep and then contact someone who is in charge of estate sales.

Just a thought.

Hiker53

--------------------
Hiker53

"God is light. In Him there is no
darkness." 1John 1:5

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Keebler
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Talk to authors' / research groups around, any historical societies, etc.

Some of this could hold all kinds of research nuggets for some authors - especially newspapers & magazines.

History instructors at high schools, colleges, etc.

Actors' groups, too, if there are items that could be used as period stage settings.

As for the "sewing stuff" contact the sewing instructors at area fabric stores. They might want certain period items, too.

Good luck with the management / balance of emotions / appreciation of your parents' tastes, styles, etc. with the practical matters at hand. There will be times when it's just stuff and you have to make some kind of decision.

If things can go to others who will appreciate them, I'm sure your parents would have been delighted to see things repurposed (and planet earth will thank you, too, if things don't have to wind up in the landfills).

And, I'm sure your folks would be equally delighted to see you be able to recognize the stuff that just needs to be tossed. It is pretty amazing, though, how others might find treasure in the mix.
-

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randibear
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if there is clothing, nursing homes. women's shelters need blankets, quilts. kitchen stuff.

goodwill for the odd bits and pieces.

if you know somebody who does ebay they can sell for you.

furniture can go to consignment shops. and, yes, estate sellers but they often charge really cheap prices. I've seen beautiful pieces marked at steal prices. shame...

I'd contact friends of the family too.

course you could have a sister like mine who pulled up with a truck, took everything, and then started pulling the carpet off the floor and even took light fixtures. lor....

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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MADDOG
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Don, Be careful!! sometimes something that looks like junk can be a million buck treasure.

MADDOG

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kam
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OK. A bit confused here. but what else is new.

Did your mom travel to that other place??

Or are you just trying to clean up and declutter?

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hopingandpraying
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My deepest sympathy to you on the loss of both of your parents. I share your pain, because I lost my beloved Dad over a year ago (my Mom passed away many years ago).

Take comfort in knowing they're with God in a much better place than this, and that you will see them again. It's the long separation that's the hardest to bear!

It's very painful going through things, as they evoke many memories. The hardest now is going back to our parents' house (my sister still lives there) and not seeing them there. It is, after all, our childhood home.

Just take one day at a time - that's all you can do. Grieving is all part of the healing process.

Great suggestions from everyone and I'd like to add the Salvation Army is a wonderful charity to donate to. Their ministry definitely helps others.

[ 01-10-2015, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: hopingandpraying ]

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Ann-OH
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I think I would tackle the garage first, to have space to move
trash and the stuff for donation as you go through the house.

In each room, make "save," "sell," "donate" and "trash" corners.

Then go through the "trash" corner first and be sure you don't want to put something back in one of the other corners.

Get rid of the trash first, (lots of it can be recycled, I am sure)
and donate the "donate" stuff (after going through again carefully) before you go through the "save" and "sell" (might be some more to donate in those.)

You could look for consignment places for some stuff, or maybe if you can wait until spring, you could use an auction for some of the "sell" stuff. Might be a good time then to get a table at a flea market for small stuff.

Old books and magazines can be treasures, too. See if libraries at schools and
colleges in your area might be interested in them.

Not an easy job, so best wishes -
Ann - OH

--------------------
www.ldbullseye.com

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Catgirl
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There are some antique shops that will sell your stuff--they take half whatever they get, and give you the other half.

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--Keep an open mind about everything. Also, remember to visit ACTIVISM (we can change things together).

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linky123
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We had a garage/estate sale and got rid of a lot.

You can get a dealer to come in and help, but they will take at least 40%.

We opted to do it all ourselves, but it's a lot of work, both physically and emotionally exhausting.

Couldn't bring myself to get rid of sentimental and historical (WWII) stuff, so it's still sitting in boxes in our garage.

We gave a lot of leftover stuff to a local women's shelter, and Salvation Army.

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'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' Matthew 11:28

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just don
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Yes, went from both parents doing reasonably well to both passing away in the span of 16 months.

Mom died 3 days after having to move into the local nursing home.

She always said, "Every day I Dont live there is a good day,,,every day I HAVE to is a bad day"

Not quite a month ago saw her every day after work,,,the next morning got a call at work she was gone.

Just got back in bed from a bathroom trip and became unresponsive at 5 AM

Its now a "whats next" kind of moment here,,,where do I go,,,what do I do?

--------------------
just don

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Carol in PA
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Don, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Carol

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dbpei
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So sorry for your loss, Don. It is monumental task to clean out our loved ones' homes filled with all those treasures from years past. Both physically and emotionally.

If you search for an auctioneer in your area, you may be able to find someone who will actually pay you for allowing them to empty out the house and garage as long as they get to keep all the treasures.

Sometimes, they will give you money and other times they will take everything but won't charge you. It sounds like there might be some value in some of the things there.

I just did this with my mom's apartment and it worked out really well. My sisters and I took whatever was special to us and all the rest, we left for the auctioneer. He did a great job of taking everything out - including stuff in the cupboards. He even broom swept the place when he was done. I hope you can find someone like this.

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kam
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Wow. Don. Take care of you.
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Ann-OH
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I am so sorry your parents are gone. Maybe just a month after losing your mom is too soon to go through all this.

I do hope you can feel better soon and cherish all the good memories.

I hope you have someone to help you cope with everything.
Take some time and some deep breaths…..
Hugs,
Ann

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www.ldbullseye.com

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linky123
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So sorry for your loss, Don. It's really hard.

I found that I had to 'sit' on my Mom's stuff for a while. Just too hard to part with so many things that reminded me of her.

Then, I told my husband, 'you can get rid of this or that when I'm not around.'

This made it a little easier.

--------------------
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' Matthew 11:28

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LisaK
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don't throw out any paper things. they can be worth a lot.

I sell vintage items.

I had a whole box of Victorian bicycle catalogs one time. a couple sold for $150 each! and they all sold for at least $30 a piece.

old calenders can go for $$ too. vintage cake mascara $90 if unused in package. gloves, aprons, nighties, church veils .... you name it, it sells. all watches sell- even broken if they are antique.

for every thing there is a collector.

sell to someone or find someone like me in your area that can sell it for you for commission. it's probably worth it.

sorry you have to go through this, but from my esperience with selling things for people I will tell you.: hold onto some . everyone regrets it down the road if they just get rid of everything right away. about a year later I would say is when they realize their mistake in ridding themselves of their parents' "clutter".

my biggest example I like to tell: I found a broken watch once and the guy sold it to me for 25 cents. I didn't know the maker , never saw one before like it. turns out everyone wanted from around the world. totally broken it sold for $700. the guy fixed it up and had it for sale double that.

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Be thankful in all things- even difficult times and sickness and trials - because there is something GOOD to be seen

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linky123
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Lisa, what's the best way to find someone like you who is dependable, honest etc?

--------------------
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' Matthew 11:28

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LisaK
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probably word of mouth is best. you will have to do a lot of talking to people.

call local auction places, but be careful as some are out to rip you off. trust your instincts.

if you have time and patience you could list things on ebay. I would be glad to give you advice on pricing. you can PM me.

if you sell stuff yourself you get all the money (less fees from auction or ebay, etc.)

also, Craig's list in your area might be a good place. just don't tell people your address or meet them at your place to deliver! people have been murdered this way!

one time I had a bunch of old machines selling for someone. valuable wooden old medical machines. people fought over them and some guy in Florida won the auction. the guy in SWITZERLAND was mad he lost and thuoght I was lying! and he flew all the way to my state in USA to try and prove he was rightful owner! crazy person!!!! ( I live in northeast USA)

good thing the address of the items was not my house. they were in the empty storage place. no telling what people do these days.

but, I have been doing this long enough to know most of the time people are nice and friendly in the vintage business.

I am only tellling you this so you can be cautious.

like I said, if you want, you can PM me.

--------------------
Be thankful in all things- even difficult times and sickness and trials - because there is something GOOD to be seen

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dbpei
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I learned of a trustworthy person from contacting the housing authority in the town where my mom had lived in a senior housing apartment. You might want to try your local council on aging as well. Again, so sorry you are dealing with this. It is such a hard thing to go through. Take good care.
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kam
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Thinking of you JD
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Keebler
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-
www.ETSY.com

is a place to list many "vintage" items in good shape
-

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Lymetoo
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I'm very sorry for your loss, Don. It's really hard to lose both parents.. esp that quickly.

Don, I might be able to help you list on Etsy. Let me know. An auctioneer is a good idea once everyone in the family is able to take what treasured items they want.

I do know that those silver dollars are worth at least $25 each, minimum. I have some of those.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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farraday
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So sorry for your loss and for the job you've taken on. I tell my spouse to clear out the mountains of stuff he's accumulated. It's unfair to leave it for poor kids to sort out.
Idea: for things you must get rid of but want to hold its memory...take a good picture to place in a memory book. You can then write a little about it and give copies of the book to younger generation. Be sure to include photos of the house and of you clearing it out.

I plan to donate my huge fabric stash to a women's prison. They have sewing classes there and need supplies, books, patterns.

I agree that Craigslist can be risky unless you meet at a public place....library?? You can drop off books there, too.

Take your time, pace yourself. Remember: Stuff is just Stuff. People are what matter. If I had to list what's in our garage today...I would only remember about 8 or 10 items. It's packed to the roof...with stuff we don't need or even remember we have. Life is too short to spend it on stuff. We shop for it, find a way to store it, clean it, fix it, etc. I use my art and sewing things. I play my beautiful piano. We cook for ourselves and family so have a well equipped kitchen. We love our books and music. We enjoy our TV setup and our furniture. We have enough clothes. So why carry an enormous load....a 2 lb. turtle with a 2 ton shell! Fwiw, I get preachy about this because I'm married to a hoarder. He is working on divestiture. ..slowly but surely.
Good luck, Don. Hope you find many sturdy helpers!

--------------------
DOCTOR: "I don't think you are sick."
PATIENT: "We are all entitled to our opinions. I don't think you are a doctor."

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Robin123
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Suggestion from an Iowa friend: contact Mike and Frank at American Pickers in Leclaire, IO.
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