One of my clients reached out with a dilemma that faces many people because of the pandemic. Her older parents relocated to FL and decided to stay there year round. She has the challenge of emptying their NY house and there is disagreement among the siblings as to how this should be accomplished. The siblings just want to use a junk removal company, but she sees value and sentiment in their belongings. Here are my guidelines to get started.
1. Tagging by Color: Purchase painters tape in different colors. Use one color to tag items shipping to FL, one color for donation/ junk removal, one color of items to sell, one color for each sibling to keep. This will help on larger items especially and help to identify what goes where. It can get very confusing.
2. Buy LOTS of contractor bags- black for trash and clear for donation. This will help avoid confusion.
3. Start with easy items that are not sentimental. For example: Clothing, Books, Furniture, Kitchen. Designate one room for photos and sentimental items and tackle that at the very end.
4. Before you leave, decide what is useful to you now or in the near future. Do you have older kids who will have apartments? Can they use items like lamps, kitchen appliances, wine glasses, flatware… etc.?
5. Most junk companies like Junkluggers, recycle and donate a great portion of the things that they remove from the house. So you can feel somewhat assured that the items will still be recycled and used. I think it is very smart to use a junk removal company. You will realize quickly how helpful these companies are when emptying an entire house. And the heavy lifting that they offer with their removal team is key. But I would not use a removal company until you have gone through everything.
6. Sentimental items: When you get to sentimental items, I would use a large folding table and maybe the dining room table with a covered cloth and layout all of the sentimental items. Each person picks one item at a time in rotation.
7. Lastly, you can always call your favorite organizer to help….Katy’s Organized Home!
When you empty a house, you don’t have to feel empty. Good Luck!