Get rid of your crap before you die so you aren't a pain in the ass to your family...

Nole Lou

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Apr 5, 2002
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Other thread about estate planning reminded me of this.

I have been going through this and seeing others go through this several times in the last couple years. For the most part, your kids don't want all the crap you've stored. Also, all that stuff you think is worth something...it probably isn't any more.

Listen, when you die, your kids/grandkids are going to be upset and mourning (God willing). Unfortunately, they also might have just finished painstakingly nursing you through a months long if not years long terminal illness. AND NOW...they have to get rid of 3 decades of National Geographic you saved, 8 rooms of "antique" furntiture, and boxes upon boxes of china and glassware that have been packed away since the Carter administration.

It absolutely sucks. It's emotional, but it's also damn hard work, very expensive, and delays the ability to settle your estate. Frankly, its a shitty thing to do to your kids in what will already be a shitty time.

1. Ask your kids what they want. With the exception of some extremely important family heirlooms like a great grandfather's civil war medal or something that you might insist they keep, if they don't specifically want it, trash it. Even if it's important to you. Nobody wants autographs of the guy that played the uncle on the Patty Duke Show, even if it was a huge deal to you when you met him. They never met your grandmother, what do you want them to do with her wedding dress...are they supposed to store it for years indefinite?

There are plenty of things that have great sentimental value to you, and that's why you've kept them. It will be painful to throw them out, for sure. But if you don't, all you are doing is transferring that pain to your kids, forcing them to feel terrible about getting rid of (or having to make room for) something that "obviously meant so much to mom" shortly after you've kicked the bucket.

2. That stuff that you're sure is valuable? Unless you've had it appraised in the last few years...it's probably not. No, don't throw out a Mickey Mantle rookie card, but older people from the pre-Ebay era are convinced that tons and tons of stuff is "valuable", and most of it isn't. It probably was at one time. If you needed to find the gravy boat to complete a 1940's set of Sears dishware in 1989, that might mean scouring estate and garage sales for years, and you might well have been willing to pay $100 once you found it. Now, you can find hundreds of them shipped free from from all over the world, and they cost like $9.

Most of that old crap isn't really worth the hassle it takes to liquidate it. I went through this with my mother and the "depression glass" she lugged from house to house for 60 years. I had boxes of the stuff...and when I took it to a dealer, they bought one candlestick for $10. I went straight next door and dropped it off at Goodwill.

Here's the tip I was told...if it wasn't really valuable in it's time, it's probably not very valuable today. If you've got Swarovsky cristal or Tiffany in the attic...that's probably well worth something today...but if middle-class ass folks like my parents could afford it in 1960, it's not worth shit today for the most part.

If you really think you've got something valuable, get it appraised, and unless your kids are specifically opposed, sell it now. You're the one who used to be into classic fishing lure collecting, you know what you've got, so you sell it. Otherwise you're turning it over to your kids to learn how they are supposed to price and sell antique fishing lures. The vague "that is supposed to be worth something" applied to half your household just leads to way more crap, and way more work to get rid of it.

3. Nobody is going to want your old furniture. Unless you know for a fact you have some special turn of the (last) century piece, make piece with the fact that it's functionally worthless. Nobody wants a china cabinet any more. If you paid $1500 for a big china cabinet in 1965, it is currently worth -$100 that your kids will pay a hauler to take away. Same for fancy dining tables, buffets, big chandelliers. Most of that stuff they will not be able to actually, literally give away for free. There is a good chance that "Amvets will pick it up" is not at all true either.

Now, I'm not in this case saying you should get rid of the furniture you are using on a daily basis, and live your last 20 years out in an empty room. But when you downsize, or move into active adult housing or whatever...don't store that stuff. And give your kids permission, if not instruction, to just get rid of it in the easiest and cheapest manner possible.

TL:DR: If it's not something you currently use, and it's not something your kids specifically want, don't burden them with having to get rid of it all when you're dead.
 

SansSouci

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Sep 19, 2009
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Other thread about estate planning reminded me of this.

I have been going through this and seeing others go through this several times in the last couple years. For the most part, your kids don't want all the crap you've stored. Also, all that stuff you think is worth something...it probably isn't any more.

Listen, when you die, your kids/grandkids are going to be upset and mourning (God willing). Unfortunately, they also might have just finished painstakingly nursing you through a months long if not years long terminal illness. AND NOW...they have to get rid of 3 decades of National Geographic you saved, 8 rooms of "antique" furntiture, and boxes upon boxes of china and glassware that have been packed away since the Carter administration.

It absolutely sucks. It's emotional, but it's also damn hard work, very expensive, and delays the ability to settle your estate. Frankly, its a shitty thing to do to your kids in what will already be a shitty time.

1. Ask your kids what they want. With the exception of some extremely important family heirlooms like a great grandfather's civil war medal or something that you might insist they keep, if they don't specifically want it, trash it. Even if it's important to you. Nobody wants autographs of the guy that played the uncle on the Patty Duke Show, even if it was a huge deal to you when you met him. They never met your grandmother, what do you want them to do with her wedding dress...are they supposed to store it for years indefinite?

There are plenty of things that have great sentimental value to you, and that's why you've kept them. It will be painful to throw them out, for sure. But if you don't, all you are doing is transferring that pain to your kids, forcing them to feel terrible about getting rid of (or having to make room for) something that "obviously meant so much to mom" shortly after you've kicked the bucket.

2. That stuff that you're sure is valuable? Unless you've had it appraised in the last few years...it's probably not. No, don't throw out a Mickey Mantle rookie card, but older people from the pre-Ebay era are convinced that tons and tons of stuff is "valuable", and most of it isn't. It probably was at one time. If you needed to find the gravy boat to complete a 1940's set of Sears dishware in 1989, that might mean scouring estate and garage sales for years, and you might well have been willing to pay $100 once you found it. Now, you can find hundreds of them shipped free from from all over the world, and they cost like $9.

Most of that old crap isn't really worth the hassle it takes to liquidate it. I went through this with my mother and the "depression glass" she lugged from house to house for 60 years. I had boxes of the stuff...and when I took it to a dealer, they bought one candlestick for $10. I went straight next door and dropped it off at Goodwill.

Here's the tip I was told...if it wasn't really valuable in it's time, it's probably not very valuable today. If you've got Swarovsky cristal or Tiffany in the attic...that's probably well worth something today...but if middle-class ass folks like my parents could afford it in 1960, it's not worth shit today for the most part.

If you really think you've got something valuable, get it appraised, and unless your kids are specifically opposed, sell it now. You're the one who used to be into classic fishing lure collecting, you know what you've got, so you sell it. Otherwise you're turning it over to your kids to learn how they are supposed to price and sell antique fishing lures. The vague "that is supposed to be worth something" applied to half your household just leads to way more crap, and way more work to get rid of it.

3. Nobody is going to want your old furniture. Unless you know for a fact you have some special turn of the (last) century piece, make piece with the fact that it's functionally worthless. Nobody wants a china cabinet any more. If you paid $1500 for a big china cabinet in 1965, it is currently worth -$100 that your kids will pay a hauler to take away. Same for fancy dining tables, buffets, big chandelliers. Most of that stuff they will not be able to actually, literally give away for free. There is a good chance that "Amvets will pick it up" is not at all true either.

Now, I'm not in this case saying you should get rid of the furniture you are using on a daily basis, and live your last 20 years out in an empty room. But when you downsize, or move into active adult housing or whatever...don't store that stuff. And give your kids permission, if not instruction, to just get rid of it in the easiest and cheapest manner possible.

TL:DR: If it's not something you currently use, and it's not something your kids specifically want, don't burden them with having to get rid of it all when you're dead.

My dad has been moving his money for over a decade now to other family members to appear broke. We did the same with my grandmother.

Edit. I’ve told many people after their parents died that your relationship with family could take a hit. The last one said “never, my sister and I are best friends.” Then the police came to our work and her sister wanted all her banking statements and to block her from their father’s estate. It was difficult telling her that I told her so. Lot of tears and a family torn apart.
 
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Dec 14, 2002
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My dumbass BIL got in a fight w/ other sister about a $20 metal/wire rug beater - which would have been better off thrown in the trash because he thought it was worth "a lot" of money.....
 

h-hawk

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Silver lining of cleaning out (several months) and fixing up (several more months) of my parents' house was seeing and working with my siblings again. It means even more as my older sister recently passed away unexpectedly.
OP makes very good points.
 

Jimmy McGill

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Other thread about estate planning reminded me of this.

I have been going through this and seeing others go through this several times in the last couple years. For the most part, your kids don't want all the crap you've stored. Also, all that stuff you think is worth something...it probably isn't any more.

Listen, when you die, your kids/grandkids are going to be upset and mourning (God willing). Unfortunately, they also might have just finished painstakingly nursing you through a months long if not years long terminal illness. AND NOW...they have to get rid of 3 decades of National Geographic you saved, 8 rooms of "antique" furntiture, and boxes upon boxes of china and glassware that have been packed away since the Carter administration.

It absolutely sucks. It's emotional, but it's also damn hard work, very expensive, and delays the ability to settle your estate. Frankly, its a shitty thing to do to your kids in what will already be a shitty time.

1. Ask your kids what they want. With the exception of some extremely important family heirlooms like a great grandfather's civil war medal or something that you might insist they keep, if they don't specifically want it, trash it. Even if it's important to you. Nobody wants autographs of the guy that played the uncle on the Patty Duke Show, even if it was a huge deal to you when you met him. They never met your grandmother, what do you want them to do with her wedding dress...are they supposed to store it for years indefinite?

There are plenty of things that have great sentimental value to you, and that's why you've kept them. It will be painful to throw them out, for sure. But if you don't, all you are doing is transferring that pain to your kids, forcing them to feel terrible about getting rid of (or having to make room for) something that "obviously meant so much to mom" shortly after you've kicked the bucket.

2. That stuff that you're sure is valuable? Unless you've had it appraised in the last few years...it's probably not. No, don't throw out a Mickey Mantle rookie card, but older people from the pre-Ebay era are convinced that tons and tons of stuff is "valuable", and most of it isn't. It probably was at one time. If you needed to find the gravy boat to complete a 1940's set of Sears dishware in 1989, that might mean scouring estate and garage sales for years, and you might well have been willing to pay $100 once you found it. Now, you can find hundreds of them shipped free from from all over the world, and they cost like $9.

Most of that old crap isn't really worth the hassle it takes to liquidate it. I went through this with my mother and the "depression glass" she lugged from house to house for 60 years. I had boxes of the stuff...and when I took it to a dealer, they bought one candlestick for $10. I went straight next door and dropped it off at Goodwill.

Here's the tip I was told...if it wasn't really valuable in it's time, it's probably not very valuable today. If you've got Swarovsky cristal or Tiffany in the attic...that's probably well worth something today...but if middle-class ass folks like my parents could afford it in 1960, it's not worth shit today for the most part.

If you really think you've got something valuable, get it appraised, and unless your kids are specifically opposed, sell it now. You're the one who used to be into classic fishing lure collecting, you know what you've got, so you sell it. Otherwise you're turning it over to your kids to learn how they are supposed to price and sell antique fishing lures. The vague "that is supposed to be worth something" applied to half your household just leads to way more crap, and way more work to get rid of it.

3. Nobody is going to want your old furniture. Unless you know for a fact you have some special turn of the (last) century piece, make piece with the fact that it's functionally worthless. Nobody wants a china cabinet any more. If you paid $1500 for a big china cabinet in 1965, it is currently worth -$100 that your kids will pay a hauler to take away. Same for fancy dining tables, buffets, big chandelliers. Most of that stuff they will not be able to actually, literally give away for free. There is a good chance that "Amvets will pick it up" is not at all true either.

Now, I'm not in this case saying you should get rid of the furniture you are using on a daily basis, and live your last 20 years out in an empty room. But when you downsize, or move into active adult housing or whatever...don't store that stuff. And give your kids permission, if not instruction, to just get rid of it in the easiest and cheapest manner possible.

TL:DR: If it's not something you currently use, and it's not something your kids specifically want, don't burden them with having to get rid of it all when you're dead.


Thank you OP for starting this thread. I'm only 42, but I continuously get rid of stuff b/c I don't want to burden others 60 years from now ;) I had a conversation with my parents a few years ago where I told them the same thing. Neither myself or siblings need or want for anything. If you are not using it, lose it. We don't need to waste our time throwing crap in a dumpster.

By the way...OP...keep posting like this. HROT needs some quality advice.
 

Nole Lou

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My dumbass BIL got in a fight w/ other sister about a $20 metal/wire rug beater - which would have been better off thrown in the trash because he thought it was worth "a lot" of money.....

Yep. When my mother in law died, my wife took a cheap "collector's" plate. It was one of those Franklin Mint bullshit things, I think my MIL ordered it out of National Enquirer or something. You know one of those "Only 50,000 will be minted! Could increase in value!" that they used to advertise on daytime TV to housewives and unemployed people.

She took it because it had a cardinal on it, and she used to look outside the kitchen window at cardinals.

Like a day after we got back to Atlanta, she had desperate calls from both her brother and her father basically accusing her of robbing the estate of a valuable artifact. "Those are special collector's plates!"

Of course, they go for like $4 on ebay. It should be obvious to anyone what it was, but the situation makes people crazy. I'm sure my MIL spent years telling them that it was going to be valuable, as an excuse for her shopping addiction, and it was a big blow up at a time my wife was already upset.

The crazy thing is that last week, after YEARS of cleaning out the house after her father passed away, my BIL finally had everything ready for an estate sale. My wife's cousin called my wife, and asked her to ask her brother for a shitty, corny 1970's picture on the wall, because she had childhood memories of it and would like to have it for the memory.

My BIL told my wife "Well, it's fine for you to take something, but that picture is marked at $150, but I can't just give it to her, otherwise we'll have all the cousins walking through here taking everything."

I was like...WTF...that would be a blessing. The FIRST thing you should have done was let every cousin and relative you have walk through and take whatever they want, because you're going to sell like 5% of this crap, and will have to pay to have the rest hauled. Every thing someone takes away for free is a gift.

Of course, he sold like 5% of it and made a few hundred dollars, and has a huge household of stuff he now has to get rid of. He literally thought he was going to be splitting like $30k in proceeds with the estate sale company.
 

Nole Lou

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After cleaning out my parents crap, I've vowed that I won't do the same to my kids. I have way too much junk right now and it stresses me out.

Yep. It's hell.

We moved a few years ago, but after my mother and mother in law had died, and we had to deal with that.

We threw out all kinds of crap, and some of it hurt. Stuff my mother had saved for me, like my baptism outfit. Or toys that my kids loved when they were little and I associated with them, but they themselves had no memory or affection for.

Each kid has a box in the attic of stuff that they definitely said they wanted. My wife and I both have a small box of mementos in the attic...the kids can look through, but with instructions to freely and guilt-free throw them in the garbage.

When my wife or I would come across something we felt like we wanted to keep, the mantra was "We throw it out now, or our kids throw it out when we die. Those are the only two outcomes for this item. Whatever goes in the attic is going to sit there until we're dead."
 

3boysmom

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My mom has a house full of crap and she doesn't even pretend to think it has any value. She just doesn't have the energy to get rid of it any more. I dread the day we have to pick through it. I can't think of a single thing I would want though.
Right now I have boxes of stuff in the spare room that my youngest brought home from his school in Kansas and didn't take with him to his school in New Mexico. And a few more boxes of things in the garage that the middle son brought with him when he moved home from his last apartment and didn't take with him when he moved out to the townhome he is currently living in. It gives me anxiety to have this crap cluttering things up. So as soon as I am sure that they don't want any of it I will donate it. I'd rather buy them new stuff if we find out they needed something than to have that stuff laying around for years.
 

St. Louis Hawk

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Thanks OP!

Having gone through this with my Dad a bit, he wasn't a pack rat, and the cool thing he did before he passed was give permission in advance to pitch shit - basically, this is my shop and tools, and such, take what you want, give the rest to charity, and if charity doesn't want it, you can throw it away. Won't hurt my feelings.

Made it a lot easier at the end.
 

ihhawk

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My grandma died Sunday. My aunt was her care taker for 3 years. I am close to both. Talk to them several times a week. My aunt looked at my grandmas will. 5 kids get a percent and then the 9 grandkids get a small %. We are talking like $1000 maybe. My aunt wants to buy the house. The 4 other kids told her that she can just have their share. 8 of the grandkids said give it all to the aunt who took care of grandma.

my stupid fuking cousin told my aunt hell no he wants his money. He wants the house appraised and if she gives him his % share he will sign off.

I’m going to kick his ass Thursday and I called and told him I will beat his share out of him.
 

billanole

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A buddy of mine said that he will throw out every book or piece of paper the week before he dies…
Moving books and documents sucks. Biggly.
 
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peacehawk

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I told my spouse (no pics) that she better hope I go first, as I won’t be going thru all her crap. It will all go straight to the dumpster. Lots of crap she wouldn’t throw away after her parents died plus a lot of worthless things she has accumulated. My brother had all of his late wife’s stuff out of his house within a week after her passing.
 

LesClaypool

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RE: the OP… tl;dr

OP is INCREDIBLY VERBOSE!

His thesis statement happens to be true, but seriously OP, try to learn how to summarize things better. Even dating back to Warchant, you consistently write the (unnecessarily) longest posts I’ve ever seen. Please tighten up.
 
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tarheelbybirth

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The father of a very good friend passed away. Among other things stashed in the house, there were over 200 guitars of all styles and vintages. Those he was - mostly - able to sell...but he also filled a huge dumpster multiple times with all kinds of crap. Took over a month to clean out the house.
 

praguehawk

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Other thread about estate planning reminded me of this.

I have been going through this and seeing others go through this several times in the last couple years. For the most part, your kids don't want all the crap you've stored. Also, all that stuff you think is worth something...it probably isn't any more.

Listen, when you die, your kids/grandkids are going to be upset and mourning (God willing). Unfortunately, they also might have just finished painstakingly nursing you through a months long if not years long terminal illness. AND NOW...they have to get rid of 3 decades of National Geographic you saved, 8 rooms of "antique" furntiture, and boxes upon boxes of china and glassware that have been packed away since the Carter administration.

It absolutely sucks. It's emotional, but it's also damn hard work, very expensive, and delays the ability to settle your estate. Frankly, its a shitty thing to do to your kids in what will already be a shitty time.

1. Ask your kids what they want. With the exception of some extremely important family heirlooms like a great grandfather's civil war medal or something that you might insist they keep, if they don't specifically want it, trash it. Even if it's important to you. Nobody wants autographs of the guy that played the uncle on the Patty Duke Show, even if it was a huge deal to you when you met him. They never met your grandmother, what do you want them to do with her wedding dress...are they supposed to store it for years indefinite?

There are plenty of things that have great sentimental value to you, and that's why you've kept them. It will be painful to throw them out, for sure. But if you don't, all you are doing is transferring that pain to your kids, forcing them to feel terrible about getting rid of (or having to make room for) something that "obviously meant so much to mom" shortly after you've kicked the bucket.

2. That stuff that you're sure is valuable? Unless you've had it appraised in the last few years...it's probably not. No, don't throw out a Mickey Mantle rookie card, but older people from the pre-Ebay era are convinced that tons and tons of stuff is "valuable", and most of it isn't. It probably was at one time. If you needed to find the gravy boat to complete a 1940's set of Sears dishware in 1989, that might mean scouring estate and garage sales for years, and you might well have been willing to pay $100 once you found it. Now, you can find hundreds of them shipped free from from all over the world, and they cost like $9.

Most of that old crap isn't really worth the hassle it takes to liquidate it. I went through this with my mother and the "depression glass" she lugged from house to house for 60 years. I had boxes of the stuff...and when I took it to a dealer, they bought one candlestick for $10. I went straight next door and dropped it off at Goodwill.

Here's the tip I was told...if it wasn't really valuable in it's time, it's probably not very valuable today. If you've got Swarovsky cristal or Tiffany in the attic...that's probably well worth something today...but if middle-class ass folks like my parents could afford it in 1960, it's not worth shit today for the most part.

If you really think you've got something valuable, get it appraised, and unless your kids are specifically opposed, sell it now. You're the one who used to be into classic fishing lure collecting, you know what you've got, so you sell it. Otherwise you're turning it over to your kids to learn how they are supposed to price and sell antique fishing lures. The vague "that is supposed to be worth something" applied to half your household just leads to way more crap, and way more work to get rid of it.

3. Nobody is going to want your old furniture. Unless you know for a fact you have some special turn of the (last) century piece, make piece with the fact that it's functionally worthless. Nobody wants a china cabinet any more. If you paid $1500 for a big china cabinet in 1965, it is currently worth -$100 that your kids will pay a hauler to take away. Same for fancy dining tables, buffets, big chandelliers. Most of that stuff they will not be able to actually, literally give away for free. There is a good chance that "Amvets will pick it up" is not at all true either.

Now, I'm not in this case saying you should get rid of the furniture you are using on a daily basis, and live your last 20 years out in an empty room. But when you downsize, or move into active adult housing or whatever...don't store that stuff. And give your kids permission, if not instruction, to just get rid of it in the easiest and cheapest manner possible.

TL:DR: If it's not something you currently use, and it's not something your kids specifically want, don't burden them with having to get rid of it all when you're dead.
My parents have worked on this. There is a book called Swedish Death Cleaning that helped.
 

bagdropper

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Oct 17, 2002
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My brother, sister and I spent 9 full months, every weekend and a shitload of after works, going through my dad's stuff. My dad was a depression era hoarder who had to have 20 of everything it seemed. He more or less had a complete hardware store of tools and hardware, outdoor power equipment...you name it, he had it - and a lot of it was never once used. It was like a Craftsman warehouse and True Value Hardware Store full of everything a repairman could ever need in a lifetime.

TWO large 2 door garages completely full, plus a 3 bedroom house overflowing with stuff.

Now, granted. My brother as executor decided hey, there is a lot of money here, we're going to go through it all, pick out what we want (my mother, as the sole beneficiary even though they had separated 25 years prior, was OK with that) - then we'll hold our own estate sale. The money was going to my mother, so it was a worthy cause.

He was proven correct in doing it this way. We had several offers from people for roughly $500 to $1000 to "take care of everything"...we cleared around $20k doing it all ourselves AFTER taking our picks of anything we wanted. But, it was a massive undertaking. NINE months of work just to get the sale ready to be held let alone completed, and what was left over took another 6 months to get rid of.

The whole estate, start to finish, took 2 years. The estate sale itself...it was like a monster that as we dug deeper and deeper into it just never seemed to have an actual end.


My mother soon after moved to an assisted living facility. She had seen what we kids went through - and held a sale of all her hoarding that took only a couple weeks to pull together. She HATED to sell off all her stuff, but she also knew it was the right thing to do. She passed 2 years later, and all we had left to take care of was what amounted to be a one bedroom apartment of stuff. Her estate was a short breeze by comparison to my dad's hurricane.
 

Gimmered

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My son was hired to move an extremely nice older couple who had sold their home. It was a hoarder situation. He has handled those pretty well, the problem was they were moving into their son and daughter-in-law's basement. This was a pretty tough deal, the son was a wreck from the get-go. The son opened a bottle of whiskey as soon as the first truck load pulled up, and never stopped drinking. He was really outspoken about the deal. Awkward.
 
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My dad passed about two years ago. I was happy to just get some old photos of him from years past, including some of him as an infant. My stepmother’s family handled the estate matters and for that I’m forever grateful.
 

Jimmy McGill

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My grandma died Sunday. My aunt was her care taker for 3 years. I am close to both. Talk to them several times a week. My aunt looked at my grandmas will. 5 kids get a percent and then the 9 grandkids get a small %. We are talking like $1000 maybe. My aunt wants to buy the house. The 4 other kids told her that she can just have their share. 8 of the grandkids said give it all to the aunt who took care of grandma.

my stupid fuking cousin told my aunt hell no he wants his money. He wants the house appraised and if she gives him his % share he will sign off.

I’m going to kick his ass Thursday and I called and told him I will beat his share out of him.


How many times in a month is HROT require me to request a murder.

Said cousin would not be missed by anyone.
 

cjnoles9399

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Oct 9, 2002
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Great timing on the thread. Just finished driving nearly 2 hrs each way to the N GA mountains for 2 straight days to help my mother in law move and throw away a lot of her and her husband’s stuff. She’s still able but had to move to assisted living with her husband who is 88 with Alzheimer’s and can’t hardly walk. She refused to take the offer from one of her son’s to get a dumpster on site a month ago when she went under contract so everything had to be bagged and put out in the drive for the garbage-by me

Despite being 20 years younger than her husband and knowing the day would come when all the shit had to be cleaned out she still waited until 5 days before closing on her house before getting it together.
 

Smalltownhawkfan 1

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My parents lived in the same house for over 49 years. We moved there when I was 10 and I’m going to tell you they had some stuff that was worth nothing saved in that house. An old stereo from the early 70’s that hadn’t worked in 45 years was moved into the house. The best part was dad had done a reverse mortgage and we just left everything in the house and walked away. Man they had a lot of crap.
 
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artradley

HR Legend
Apr 26, 2013
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While it's not easy to clean out a parents packed house, the best thing to get is a dumpster.

This.

My dad had a bunch of tools and crap in his basement - heavily used, dirty, and a ton of it. We advertised $100 takes the whole lot; but you MUST take everything . So a guy came and basically paid us $100 to clean out the basement. He probably got $300 worth of stuff out of it so he was happy.

I have a nephew with a young wife who are always struggling financially. They were ecstatic to take a lot of the furniture that was in good condition.

My sister and I both took a few sentimental things. Then we put a dumpster in the driveway, had a few friends over, and hauled stuff out. Bought them some beer and pizza afterwards. We could have agonized over the process, but in the end it’s all just “stuff.”



Of course, next I have to deal with my mom, who is a hoarder. I will be tempted to torch her place.
 

cjnoles9399

HR Heisman
Oct 9, 2002
8,550
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I’ll add that for God’s sake if you keep a home office, purge on a regular basis consistent with record keeping practices. Your check registers, invoices and bank statements from 2006 are of no use.
 

alaskanseminole

HR Legend
Oct 20, 2002
11,402
13,004
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OP's spot on. We're in the middle of this exact situation right now with my in-laws. Our added bonus is my wife's Sister and her worthless kids are just that, WORTHLESS!

Sister - I'm busy, I don't have a car, I'm not vaccinated, blah blah blah, I can't help.
Also Sister - I can come tomorrow to pick up some FREE stuff

Granddaughter - I'm busy, I live an hour away, I can't be around people who are dying.
Also Granddaughter - I can come tomorrow to pick up some FREE stuff

Ya, that 👆 pretty much happened last week. Last night they told my MIL they had "plans" this morning and couldn't come help pack, load, etc.

Sooooo, basically my wife and I will be doing everything (and have been) including moving (ya, because our health is good enough for all that). I told my wife when her parents finally pass we shouldn't even bother telling her sister or her kids. When/if they ever call I'd love to be the one to say, "Your mother's been dead 3 months. If you'd bothered to keep in touch, you'd have known."

@Nole Lou , we're not digging through National Geographic, it's Danielle Steele novels. Good grief! How many did that lady write? LOL
 
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alaskanseminole

HR Legend
Oct 20, 2002
11,402
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I’ll add that for God’s sake if you keep a home office, purge on a regular basis consistent with record keeping practices. Your check registers, invoices and bank statements from 2006 are of no use.
^This!

My MIL's office looks like this.

xOp09_adoUudAyXz4IvPFkXkuQ8TYIKnpwsXaayoOT7iHVhAtz8OdUME_JkoT2KXZXlVJJ0VjEawdNH_YagCTO0cC8LKekhgdfG4kc3GCmSwAqXU9Cw27s4E4tTaYvPxzF4
 
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SeaPA

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Dec 17, 2002
6,529
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My brother, sister and I spent 9 full months, every weekend and a shitload of after works, going through my dad's stuff. My dad was a depression era hoarder who had to have 20 of everything it seemed. He more or less had a complete hardware store of tools and hardware, outdoor power equipment...you name it, he had it - and a lot of it was never once used. It was like a Craftsman warehouse and True Value Hardware Store full of everything a repairman could ever need in a lifetime.

TWO large 2 door garages completely full, plus a 3 bedroom house overflowing with stuff.

Now, granted. My brother as executor decided hey, there is a lot of money here, we're going to go through it all, pick out what we want (my mother, as the sole beneficiary even though they had separated 25 years prior, was OK with that) - then we'll hold our own estate sale. The money was going to my mother, so it was a worthy cause.

He was proven correct in doing it this way. We had several offers from people for roughly $500 to $1000 to "take care of everything"...we cleared around $20k doing it all ourselves AFTER taking our picks of anything we wanted. But, it was a massive undertaking. NINE months of work just to get the sale ready to be held let alone completed, and what was left over took another 6 months to get rid of.

The whole estate, start to finish, took 2 years. The estate sale itself...it was like a monster that as we dug deeper and deeper into it just never seemed to have an actual end.


My mother soon after moved to an assisted living facility. She had seen what we kids went through - and held a sale of all her hoarding that took only a couple weeks to pull together. She HATED to sell off all her stuff, but she also knew it was the right thing to do. She passed 2 years later, and all we had left to take care of was what amounted to be a one bedroom apartment of stuff. Her estate was a short breeze by comparison to my dad's hurricane.

No so sure your brother was proven correct. If 3 of you were working every weekend for 9 months, plus spending a lot of evenings after work, you surely put in a ton of hours on the project. Three of you working 8 hours per week for 9 months (from your description, it sounds like you all worked more than that) would be damn near 900 hours of work - so you made around $22 per hour for your effort. Not bad, but a much different outlook than simply looking at the gross revenue from the estate sale.
 

Nole Lou

HR All-American
Apr 5, 2002
4,715
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This.

My dad had a bunch of tools and crap in his basement - heavily used, dirty, and a ton of it. We advertised $100 takes the whole lot; but you MUST take everything . So a guy came and basically paid us $100 to clean out the basement. He probably got $300 worth of stuff out of it so he was happy.

I have a nephew with a young wife who are always struggling financially. They were ecstatic to take a lot of the furniture that was in good condition.

My sister and I both took a few sentimental things. Then we put a dumpster in the driveway, had a few friends over, and hauled stuff out. Bought them some beer and pizza afterwards. We could have agonized over the process, but in the end it’s all just “stuff.”



Of course, next I have to deal with my mom, who is a hoarder. I will be tempted to torch her place.

When we moved, we had 20 years/3 kids of stuff. I sold a few things that I thought I could sell in the month or so leading up to it. What people don't realize is how hard it is to even give away stuff.

Granted, my stuff wasn't great. We never really upgraded furniture or dishware or anything to nice stuff, because we always had kids around to ruin it. So it was just basic functional stuff that was inexpensive even new.

But I wasn't counting on making any money from it, I figured there was always someone to take free stuff. But I would continuously make arrangements with people from craigslist to take stuff, who would then not show up. I realized that people hit craigslist every morning for free stuff, contact and get "dibs" on everything, then see what they've got lined up after a couple hours, and just pick up the best stuff and ghost the rest. So much wasted time.

And I got ghosted by several charities that claim to pick up furniture...never showed up.

I was totally saved right at the end of my cleanout day by a young couple with a baby that came over to pick up a kids bookshelf. I was like "if you want anything else you find in this place, you're welcome to it." Their eyes lit up like I gave them the keys to Buckingham Palace...they were just starting out and had NOTHING.

They took almost everything else in the house, they made like 4 trips in their pickup over a couple hours. They loaded up like 15 year old spatulas from Dollar Tree...almost everything. They kept thanking me profusely, and I couldn't express to them that they were doing ME the favor. They felt like they hit the lottery, and I still think of them as angels that were sent to me.

And I STILL had to pay a guy a couple hundred bucks to haul a couple couches and a china cabinet to Goodwill.
 

bagdropper

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 17, 2002
27,864
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No so sure your brother was proven correct. If 3 of you were working every weekend for 9 months, plus spending a lot of evenings after work, you surely put in a ton of hours on the project. Three of you working 8 hours per week for 9 months (from your description, it sounds like you all worked more than that) would be damn near 900 hours of work - so you made around $22 per hour for your effort. Not bad, but a much different outlook than simply looking at the gross revenue from the estate sale.

It went to my mom, who deserved it and needed it. $3500/month for her assisted living facility monthly charge, and while she did have insurance to cover a lot of that, it didn't cover all of it - so that cash we got was very handy for her.

We all felt that while it was a heavy time commitment, she was well worth it. And keep in mind, all 3 of us got a few thousand $ each of worth out of the things she let us pick out for ourselves.

Hell, most my tools for both my places came out of my dad's collection. I'll probably never have to buy another drill or saw, screwdriver, socket or wrench set, snowblower, lawn mower, etc...ever again in my life. THOUSANDS of $ worth of stuff.
 

beanerhawk

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Gold Member
Dec 12, 2001
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I told my spouse (no pics) that she better hope I go first, as I won’t be going thru all her crap. It will all go straight to the dumpster. Lots of crap she wouldn’t throw away after her parents died plus a lot of worthless things she has accumulated. My brother had all of his late wife’s stuff out of his house within a week after her passing.
She's dead, why would she give a fick what you do with her stuff at that point? 😂
 
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Pinehawk

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2003
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Great thread. My father is a farmer and has stuff spread throughout about four barns/pole buildings.
When that day comes, I don't even know where I'll start.
One time I saw a bucket of bolts, and asked if we needed them anymore.
He was like, 'those are the bolts for the head gasket of the old John Deere MI'.
ok....I'm not going to have any idea as to the importance of some of this stuff.
 

SeaPA

HR Heisman
Dec 17, 2002
6,529
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Glad it worked well for you Bagdropper, I was just pointing out that the $ didn't come free.

In my case, I was somewhat fortunate as to the "lots of stuff" thing. My mom passed away in 2013, at the age of 82. She & my dad had quite a bit of stuff in a good-sized house that they'd lived in for 30 years. My dad initially wasn't sure if he wanted to sell that house or keep it (it was way bigger than he needed for himself); I suggested he move into my lakehouse for a bit to see if he needed to keep the emotional attachment to the old house or if he'd be ok getting rid of it. After a few months, he decided to sell it; he lived the rest of his life (he died this past December) at the lake. The lake place is a lot smaller, so he got rid of most of the "stuff" back when he sold the old house, & only had a few items at the lake.
 

Nole Lou

HR All-American
Apr 5, 2002
4,715
10,154
113
It went to my mom, who deserved it and needed it. $3500/month for her assisted living facility monthly charge, and while she did have insurance to cover a lot of that, it didn't cover all of it - so that cash we got was very handy for her.

We all felt that while it was a heavy time commitment, she was well worth it. And keep in mind, all 3 of us got a few thousand $ each of worth out of the things she let us pick out for ourselves.

Hell, most my tools for both my places came out of my dad's collection. I'll probably never have to buy another drill or saw, screwdriver, socket or wrench set, snowblower, lawn mower, etc...ever again in my life. THOUSANDS of $ worth of stuff.

Yeah, I mean...a part time, flexible job that nets you $22/hr, in addition to a lot of free stuff and some memories...that can be justified on it's own merits anyway, before you even take into consideration any obligation to do it.

And on the other hand...it puts into perspective that even at that take, which is probably in the top decile of results from these things, if you'd been like "I don't need/can't accomodate a multi-year part time job, give me $2k for everything", I think that would be justified as well. Especially when kids live hours away.

It's really great that you and your brother agreed and could work together as a team on it. That makes all the difference in the world.

It becomes horrible when the kid who lives 500 miles away insists on their maximum cut, and the kid who stayed close (and probably handled all the end-of-life nursing), now has that thrust upon them. Good reason to take care of as much of it as you can when you can.

That's what we're dealing with...my brother in law is there with her parents house in NY. We're in Atlanta. Since we can't help, we're ok if he called some junk haulers and emptied the place the day after they died. But he's committed to curating and trying to sell everything he can. He thinks there's a fortune there, and there isn't. We've said he can keep our half as payment for all his effort. We don't want the responsibility, so we don't want to take the proceeds.

Watch him find a Honus Wagner card though...