cleaning outThere isn’t a really good way to begin this post other than just stating the obvious. Our parents are aging and whether we are a Baby Boomer or Generation X kid, we are very likely going to have to face some hard decisions in the near future. Most often we are helping our parents move into senior communities or assisted living. In worse case scenarios, our parents have passed away. In either case, we are left with a home that needs to be emptied and sold.

It’s OK that it’s Hard

First and foremost, this may be one of the most challenging tasks of your life. Not only do you have to sort through decades of memories, you will need to make decisions that might be constantly second-guessed by other family members, neighbors, and friends. First, find a confidant you can vent to that isn’t involved and who you trust to give you sound advice. Second, make a plan with your family or whoever is helping. Finally, know this is tough and do your best to identify decisions which need to be made immediately and the ones that can wait.

boxesSo Much Stuff!

One of the first challenges is all the “stuff/treasures” in the home. It’s amazing how many things are acquired in just a few years; think of how much can accumulate in three or four decades. I always recommend the family coming together and deciding what should be done. If finances are important for senior living or health care, some items can be consigned or sold. If you want help hire an estate sale company or auctioneer. Costs of these services vary, so get multiple bids, read the contracts carefully, search online for reviews, and always check references.

Check the Shoes

Many of our parents had to live through some very hard times, some even the great depression. This is why they never let you throw away the last of the stale cereal. You might be amazed to learn that many depression children hide money, valuables, and jewelry. So, before you take all those shoes down to the thrift store, check the toes. I once helped a family clean out closets and we found over $1,000.00 stuffed in shoes. It seems that most people will hide their treasures where they can see them, so hidden money and jewelry is most often in the bedroom. Make sure you check suit pockets, books, and other small places. You never know what you might find.

Get Some Help

It may become more apparent after going through the house that the furniture, paint, wallpaper, and decorations make the house look dated. The challenge is understanding where to invest money or effort to bring it up-to-date. We’re experts in selling homes in the Denver Metro and we would be happy to talk with you and look at the home to see what can be done. You are not the first person that has gone through this and we understand how difficult it can be. Simply give us a call at 303-991-9878 or contact us. We’ll help you through this in a positive and caring manner.

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