My Kids Don’t Want It- Now What?
Estate Settlement: Tangible Personal Property

When downsizing, there are many precious items that need to be organized with great care

There are many challenges to dismantling an estate – from recovering important documents and hopefully avoiding probate, to deciding what to do with elegant (but worthless) tchotchkes and table linens. The size and scope of some projects can be daunting, even for the most dedicated of adult children, who likely have too much stuff in their own homes to tackle the clear-out of their parents’ household. There are so many moving parts, and often requires a team of experienced, dedicated professionals who work together to settle the estate and get the home ready for sale. An estate attorney, a realtor, and a good handyperson ought to be part of the team. 

Dealing with the contents of the property is a different matter. Three professionals: a private fiduciary, an appraiser/valuator of tangible personal property, and a company that specializes in de-cluttering and downsizing, walk us a through their process to dismantle an estate, and the considerations that must be made when helping a family going through this process. 

How to Get Started: Build Your Team

Sheri Samotin, Private Professional Fiduciary, LifeBridge Solutions

One of the most frequent comments I hear in my first conversation with a prospective client is, “I’m overwhelmed.” If the prospect is the family member indecluttering and organizing means that everything will be put into a proper place and can be easily found. charge of administering a trust or estate, they have many unfamiliar tasks to handle. Sometimes, I am my ownDocuments need to be organized professionally uasing a checklist to insure all are in place “client” if I am serving as a designated trustee or administrator. I must make the magic happen regarding clearing and distributing the personal property in accordance with the trust and/or will.

After I have reviewed the relevant documents, it’s time to lay out my strategy. Typically, the first step is to go through the home to locate any valuable items that could “grow feet” and disappear. Those items need to be secured. In addition, we search every nook and cranny for any papers that might be needed to support prior tax returns or to help us file a return. In one recent case, we

thought the decedent was a single man. In fact, when going through his papers, we learned that he had been briefly married as a young man and that the marriage was annulled. Sometimes we are looking for information related to the “family tree” to make sure everyone who is legally entitled to notice receives it. At the same time we are going through the paper, we make “shred” bags for documents that don’t need to be saved but require proper disposal.

Once the paper monster has been tamed, it is time to get an idea of the value of the personal property. 

Valuing Tangible Personal Property, Appraisal and Disposition at Auction

Noelle Valentino, Fine and decorative arts specialist; household contents appraiser, John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisals

More often than not, the bulk of the value of an estate’s tangible personal property can be found in just a handful of items. It is important to engage a specialist early in the process to identify the items of significance before they are claimed by relatives, given away, donated, or worse. A qualified tangible appraiser will produce an inventory of household contents, or a formal appraisal report, depending on the needs of the estate. The intended use of the document must be disclosed in the report: equitable distribution, charitable donation, estate tax filing, or something else. 

A Clear Path can coordinate the valuation and selling of collections as part of their organizing serviceFor IRS purposes, estates approaching the exemption limit will require a household contents appraisal. The IRS defines art broadly: jewelry, paintings, silver, rugs, decorative objects and more. Outside of tax regulation, there are often issues that arise due to family reasons and an estate appraisal may be recommended to avoid later conflict. For the purposes of distribution among beneficiaries, it is helpful to discuss a minimum value threshold with the appraiser. A fair market value of several hundred dollars is often a good starting point for an object’s inclusion in the report.

Appraisals are considered legal documents and can be relied upon by an attorney, the court, or the IRS. Selecting a personal property appraiser who is USPAP compliant, with membership in one of the three preeminent appraisal organizations, is imperative. Qualified appraisers in your area can be located on the websites of the Appraisers Association of America, International Society of Appraisers, or American Society of Appraisers.  

When considering the eventual disposition of assets from an estate, an auction house can also be helpful in identifying the items of greatest value in the home. With the intent to secure new consignments, they will provide free auction estimates. With that said, auction houses are likely to include only the items valued over $1,000 and appealing for bidders in today’s market. Note well that an auction estimate does not take the place of an appraisal. It is however, an advisable sale venue for estate property due to its the broad reach and rapid mode of sale, together ensuring fair market value has been achieved.

When the ‘good stuff’ is gone… Now what? 

Regina F. Lark, Ph.D., downsizing and organizational specialist, A Clear Path, LLC

The typical household contains thousands of pieces of tangible personal property. Every room has stuff – some rooms have more stuff than other rooms. Drawers and cupboard and closets are filled with flatware, dishes and clothes. Even if considerable downsizing had already happened, there’s no getting around this fact: we all have to deal with our clients’ stuff.  

To get the job done in an efficient and timely way, look for a professional organizing/downsizing company with access to a broad range of resources to complete the dismantling of an estate. Find out what they know, and who they know, when you ask these questions: 

  • What does your business liability cover? 
  • Do you have a project management fee? 
  • Are you able to ship items across, or out of, the country? 
  • Have you encountered a hoarding situation? If so, how do you handle the massive volume of ‘stuff?’
  • Do you have the ability to sell what the auction house doesn’t want? 

After the auction house reviews and removes what I call the “big ticket” items, the remainder of the household contents can be photographed (to attach to donation receipt), packed-up, and hauled to the nearest non-profit. If removal is all that’s required, a good downsizing company can have the estate cleared and ready for the realtor to put on the market.

Another option is working with a traditional estate sale company. They usually spend two weeks tagging everything in the house, around the yard, and in every kitchen drawer.  Many estate sale companies charge a percentage of the sale’s gross profits. For example, if the company charges 40% of gross profits and the sale yields $10,000 then you will owe the company $4,000. Be sure to ask about any additional services such as trash removal, post-sale clean-up, etc. If the estate is thick with clutter, does the estate sale company address that, too? 

Over the past couples of years, online estate sale auctions have become wildly popular, and MaxSold, a Canadian company with a robust platform, has generated a large footprint in the United States. The concept is simple – an organizing team catalogs every item in the house into what are known as “lots,” distinct groupings of one or more items sold at auction– creating lots of lots! The sale is live online for 7-10 days and every lot begins at $1 (yes, one dollar). The bidding is particularly fast and furious on the final day of bidding. The ultimate split is 70% to the estate and 30% to Max Sold. If a fiduciary hires a team of professionals to dismantle an estate, it will likely come close, break-even, or make money on the sale of the remaining tangible personal property, and quite often, offset the cost of their service.

Conclusion: 

Due diligence regarding the estate’s personal property is an important aspect of fiduciary duties. Sentiments tend to run high when it comes to the “stuff.” Suspend bias and remain objective with assets you are unfamiliar with, calling in experts where appropriate. Moreover, encouraging your clients to update their estate plans ahead of time, including a review of existing appraisals with personal property assets, as this can prevent later confusion. Proactive steps in identifying items of value and having a working plan for the disposition of tangible personal property can mitigate the risks and avoid family conflict, or a professional headache.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

How to remove stress from a household junk removal

A cluttered home is a home with constant risks of injuries waiting to happen. That is why you should take a day or moving and de-cluttering is stressful, but is better with a professional move manager and NAPO organizertwo every six months or so to clear out all the unwanted junk you have lying around your household. Stressful as this process can be, there are steps that you can take to make it organized and seamless. Whether you wish to hire professional junk removal specialists or to handle the task on your own, this article is your guide to success. Continue reading to learn more about how to remove stress from household junk removal.

A clear home through planning

Planning is key, no matter the project you’re taking on. When it comes to household junk removal, it is particularly important to know what you’re doing in advance. You’ll need time to go through your belongings, declutter and put in storage what you intend to keep. Having a plan on how to do this will eliminate stress and anxiety.

We suggest the following course of action:

  • Determine clutter hot spots within your home that you think should take priority.
  • Review your belongings room by room or area by area.
  • Make three piles – keep, throw away or donate, and store. When dealing with bulky items and pieces of furniture, you could use sticky notes of different colors to mark the items.
  • Organize friends and family members to help you with household junk removal or hire professionals to take care of it for you.

You’ll want to set a deadline for yourself for each of these stages and areas. The more structure you introduce into this process, the easier it will be to remove stress. Pick a timeframe that is attainable but not too ambitious. If you don’t give yourself enough time, you can end up feeling frustrated with how slowly it is going.

Where to start

If you haven’t decluttered and organized your home in a while, starting this project can feel quite intimidating. One of the ways of getting around this is by starting small. Pick a shelf, desk, or even a drawer. Then, give yourself some time and go through it until you finish it. Doing this will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to tackle some larger areas next.

Stressful jobs: junk removal, decluttering, pack and unpack for a move. All of these are helped by using a professional organizer and move managerIf you have hoarding tendencies, you may feel particularly listless about where to begin and how to choose what to get rid of. Our resources on hoarding and disorganization might be helpful here.

Safety first

Besides careful planning, another way of removing stress from a household junk removal is to take certain safety precautions. Most of these apply in both cases – whether you decide to do DIY this project or hire professional services.

One helpful tip would be to remove doors off their hinges. This will provide either you or the movers with more space, especially if you are removing some bulky items. Try using dollies and straps for any heavier pieces of furniture or appliances as well. This is the only way you can be sure you are protecting your back.

Also, try to disassemble all of your belongings that will allow it. For the most part, large furniture pieces can be torn apart into manageable pieces. There will be no other way to manage certain items, such as your pool table. Doing this can cause a lot of anxiety for some people, especially those that don’t fancy themselves the handyman around the house. The easiest way to stop stressing about it is to get someone who knows what they’re doing to handle it. 

Protective equipment

Being scared of injuring yourself comes hand in hand with any estate clearing or downsizing. You are bound to have to deal with bulky and heavy pieces of furniture and appliances. Worrying about yourself or your family members getting injured can be quite a burden. 

Ensure you are safe from injuries by wearing the right clothes and accessories:

  • Clothes that will give you good coverage but that you won’t mind ruining.
  • Protective gloves for your hands – the most exposed body part during household junk removal.
  • Sturdy boots that will protect your feel in case anything falls on them but also give you a good grip.
  • Safety glasses if you are using tools.
  • Wheelbarrow if you are doing any household junk removal in your yard. Your back will thank you.

Hiring the right organizing services and junk removals

As mentioned above, if you are wondering how to remove stress from a household junk removal, your best bet is to hire professionals to do it for you. However, even picking the people who are right for the job can cause a lot of worries. Here are a couple of things to look out for:

  • The company should be licensed and insured.
  • They should be able to manage the removal of any junk, anywhere on your property.
  • Ask if they handle recycling or donating items that are in good condition.
  • See if they will provide a free estimate in writing – this will make things much easier for you.

Conclusion

Chances are there will be some larger items you will want to get rid of, especially if you are conducting a boomer downsize project. You don’t want to cut corners here, because removing bulky items on your own in a hurry can lead to injuries or damaging your property. Your best bet towards getting this stressor out of the equation is to hire professionals who will handle your senior move and downsizing.

 

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina’s 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark

regina@aclearpath.net

 

 

 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-black-leather-boots-sitting-on-brown-cardboard-boxes-4553277/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/concentrated-woman-carrying-stack-of-cardboard-boxes-for-relocation-3791617/ 

Moving Management During the Holidays

Buying a new home is a taxing enough journey on its own. Throw in a global pandemic along with general holiday stress and you’re sure to be looking at one chaotic move. There are many factors to consider when buying a home during the holidays. Organizing for the big day involves time management, financial planning, and finding properly trained relocation specialists. 

If you’re looking for advice on how to navigate such an exciting life event in these unpredictable times, you’ve come to the right place.

Moving Management

Working can be tedious and exhausting without help. Use a professional organizer to help ease the load.

When considering how you plan to actually move your belongings from one place to another, you may face more difficulty than usual finding any sort of help. Around this time of year, a lot of people are busy with prepping for the holidays and many are seemingly still, and rightfully so, hesitant to assist in any capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of relying on your often preoccupied friends and family, you most likely do not have access to the appropriate equipment needed for a big move. Renting moving equipment like a rental truck or dolly can prove to be a time-consuming headache as well. 

In order to alleviate some of that pressure, we recommend our pack and unpack service where you will be working with our trained relocation specialists to help declutter your home and carefully pack away your boxes into our provided boxes and packaging. Having a relocation specialist take some of this burden can be a big help. Using our service will let you focus on some other aspects of the move as you can be as or as little involved as you wish.

Organization and Time Management

Having proper moving management goes hand in hand with organization and time management. It’s easy for some to toss aside any plan of action and dive headfirst into a project, but you will surely find yourself floundering without a proper plan in place. There are some often overlooked organizational tips that you will find helpful during your relocation. Here are some to prioritize throughout:

  • Make a To-Do List

Taking the time to sit down and write out the goals you wish to accomplish is a great way to stay on task. Not only that but referring to the list will help you remember things much easier during this busy time.

  • Set a Time Limit

With each goal you write on your to-do list, set a general time limit for each one. This gives you the ability to plan out the rest of your day and not spend too much time on one task. 

  • Give Yourself Space Between Tasks 

If you realize something is taking a bit longer than expected, give yourself some crucial small breaks in between tasks. Doing so will tremendously help you to succeed in completing tasks thoroughly while not eating up delegated time to other ones. The time in between will be a nice way to help you unwind as well.

  • Be Productive

Everyone’s organization and planning processes are different. For some, waking up early and starting the day off strong comes easy. For others, they become more productive as the day goes on. Finding which hours you are most productive and using that to your advantage will help you get more done throughout the day.

Knowing where everything with great organization is easily accomplished with a professional organizerIf you feel as though there’s too much on your plate to sufficiently plan out your time and organize your move properly, you can roll the fees for our pack and unpacking service into escrow and we will unpack and organize for you. As a financially viable option, it allows you to completely focus on prepping your home for the holidays while we take care of the move entirely. 

Financial Planning

Arguably one of the most important aspects of a move is the financial factor. Your funds may already be a little tight due to a loss of income because of the pandemic or you simply have budget restraints for the upcoming holiday season. Either way, a move can prove to be very pricey. What you individually factor into the price of your move will depend on your specific situation. Some finances to think about ahead of time include:

  • Furnishings for your new home
  • Repair, renovations, or maintenance
  • Upcoming bills
  • Cost of the move itself (gas, hotel stays, food, babysitter or pet sitter, etc.)

Try not to panic if you’ve already created your budget and you see some things you forgot to factor in. There are a handful of different financing options that may be available to you if you’re a bit strapped for cash. If you’re moving from one home to another you could have equity in your home in which case you may qualify for a home equity loan. This option can financially support you with starting a project in your new home, getting a larger or more convenient vehicle, or whatever else may reduce your stress during the move. 

If you are not moving from home to home or you have no equity in your home, you may also want to consider a personal loan from your local bank, credit union, or online lender. Getting a credit card or increasing your credit limit is always an option, but is usually not recommended as it is easy to find yourself racking up some solid debt with a high interest rate. 

During the holidays, everyone just wants to take that time to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, dealing with a move can drastically take away from that. But working smarter and not harder will give you the time back in your life to enjoy these moments with family and friends in a time when it is needed the most. 

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

How Move Management Promotes Minimalist Home Staging

NASMM A+ accreditation represents superior level of excellence in Sr. Move ManagementThe job of a realtor is much more than just finding homes and facilitating sales. Forward-thinking realtors offer their clients all the necessary connections to make the moving experience smoother. By working with a professional move management company, you can streamline the home buying and selling process for a better customer experience.

The expression ‘less is more’ may sound ridiculous when you think about trickling cheese on nachos. However, it holds absolutely true when it comes to prepping a home for sale. More often, minimalist home staging works wonders in creating a first impression and closing deals faster.

Unfortunately, many homes are often filled with personal memories and clutter, making them unsuitable for pictures or showings that would garner the price the client wants. Potential buyers don’t like to show up for an open view and feel like they’re creeping around someone else’s home.

Make your property appealing to potential buyers by moving away excess furniture and sentimental crap and letting the home speak for itself. To achieve that, move management can come in handy and help you declutter and sell your property quickly, and here is how:

Declutter the Home

Move management will help you get rid of all the clutter, including family photos, cliché quotes, and any personalized items in the home. By stripping the property of excess stuff and pieces that reflect the previous owner’s personality, you’ll be left with a simple, minimalist space that potential buyers can picture themselves in.

Professional movers also offer services to address trash, e-waste, shredding, and toxic waste. They can even organize an auction or an estate sale for more valuable possessions.

Make a Home Look Tidier

By sticking with the bare necessities, a room can appear tidy, chic, and even more spacious. That’s an art that furniture stores have mastered, and that’s why those tiny exhibition rooms in fancy furniture stores look dazzling.

When staging a home with unnecessary furniture and knickknacks for sale, it will simply look cluttered and closed-in. Move management can help you take away excess possessions and make the property more appealing.

Help Potential Buyers Imagine Themselves in the Home

When a home is filled to the brim with furniture and personal belongings, it’s difficult for potential buyers to picture themselves living in the home. For example, if a sensual nude portrait hangs on the bathroom wall, it may seem even harder for some people to imagine living in that home.

Move management allows you to take away any unnecessary stuff and stage each room with just the basics. This allows people to mentally move in with their own stuff and visualize how they’ll look in the new home.

Improve Customer Experience

When you collaborate with a reliable moving company, you will significantly improve service delivery to your clients. By connecting your clients with a trusted move manager, you’ll simply be demonstrating how much you care about their overall happiness and satisfaction. This will in turn earn your trust and attract more business.

Professional cleaners also have the experience and expertise to organize and clean properties quickly, which saves your client time, money, and the headache of rushing to do things at the last minute.

Using an NAPO organizer to organize your closets and drawers, puts everything in the right placeOrganize Cupboards and Drawers

Don’t assume that no one will see those personalized portraits just because you stashed them in the bedroom cupboard. Some potential buyers are a nosy bunch – they will likely open cupboard doors and drawers to see the storage space. Move management will help you organize drawers and cupboards and dispose of any junk you don’t need.

Arrange for Thorough Cleaning

After moving out excess furniture and other possessions, your move manager can organize with a reliable cleaning company to carry out a thorough cleaning of the home before you set it up for sale. This will help eliminate lurking dust-bunnies and make the home spotless.

Professional cleaners have the right machinery and expertise to clean floors, walls, and the ceilings – ensuring that every potential buyer who walks into the property falls in love with it.

A Clear Path Can Help!

At A Clear Path, we offer a one-call service to make any home picture-perfect and sale-ready. Our team of experienced professionals and organizers can transform any property from undesirable to “got to have it.” Through our move management services, you can meet or even surpass your quarterly and annual sales goals by listing and selling high-end real estate as quickly as possible.

By converting your property into a blank slate, you can realize better results from your staging experience. Moreover, we roll our fees into Escrow to aid in packing, organizing, and unpacking all your client’s valuables and take care of the whole moving process. Contact us today to learn more about our move management services and how we can help you stage your property for a quick sale while keeping your clients fulfilled throughout the moving process.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

7 Reasons you should Hire a Senior Move Manager

moving and using a sr. move manage makes the easier for all involved.Moving is always a stressful endeavor no matter how old you are, and it gets even tougher with years of memories and possessions accumulated in the home. Statistics from the National Council on Aging indicate that more than half of seniors say that the hassle of moving is the primary reason why they prefer to age in their current homes.

Senior moving management can help relieve this burden by helping the elderly downsize and transition smoothly to assisted living communities or other alternative housing programs. Whether your elderly parent has passed on or is experiencing a deterioration in mobility and cognitive ability that requires additional care in an assisted living facility, a senior moving manager can help you through this challenging transition.

Why Hire a Senior Move manager

For many seniors, the onset of mobility issues could be something sudden, such as a slip and fall, or a culmination of years of illness or self-neglect. In either case, your aging parent may not take care of their belongings, and the responsibility now falls to you.

And, since there is nothing much you can do to reverse the situation, you must focus on managing the family dynamics and emotions, especially from siblings, grandchildren, and other relatives. Dealing with this process often feels like a full-time job, and trying to handle it on your own can easily weigh you down.

Fortunately, a professional move manager can save you time and mental or emotional stress by handling this additional project on your behalf. So, here are the 7 reasons you should hire a senior move manager:

1. They Make Seniors Feel in Charge of Hard Transitions

It’s critical to involve seniors in the moving process, so they don’t feel pushed out of their homes. This may mean allowing them to organize books or clothing or sorting through a box of gift ornaments — it all depends on the physical and cognitive condition of the senior.

If your aging parent is able to make some decisions, they will more likely feel comfortable with the move. More often, the need to move homes for seniors is often triggered by a change in health or loss of a spouse. In such situations, they may not necessarily be in the right frame of mind to take total control.

An impartial third party can help you bring order to the moving process, reducing stress for you and your aging parent. As a result, you can focus on the more important physical and emotional needs of the senior.

2. Emotionally Prepare Seniors for Assisted Living

One of the biggest hindrances to seniors transitioning to assisted living facilities is the strong desire to age at home, surrounded with familiar possessions and memories. A senior move manager can listen to the concerns of your aging parent and offer acceptable solutions based on their experience.

Senior move managers can help reduce the fear of downsizing and make a seemingly overwhelming process less daunting. Once the senior accept the decision to move to assisted living, a move manager will handle the physical aspect of moving, ensuring that the process smooth and hassle-free.

3. Prevent Family Conflict

The stress associated with moving, coupled with conflicting personalities, can raise arguments among your siblings. A senior move manager will help de-escalate the situation by addressing the concerns of different family members to ensure that the move is smooth and free of family conflicts.

With their experience, move managers can provide an objective perspective and guide your family through the process of deciding which items to keep, donate, or sell.

NASMM A+ accreditation for demonstrating superior level of excellence in Sr. Move Management4. Experience and Certification

Professional senior move managers are required to carry general liability insurance, acquire training in ethics and safety, and provide a written contract to protect the family, their senior loved one, and the move manager. There is also a code of ethics and standard of practice that all move managers must follow.

Moreover, many move managers are professionals with backgrounds in nursing, psychology, and social work. Their combination of professional backgrounds, life experiences, and desire to connect with seniors uniquely prepares them for this unique role.

5. Help Seniors Downsize with Dignity

Many seniors have lived in one home for their entire adult life, and probably filled it with reminders of people and places they adore. A senior move manager has the training and experience to help seniors move with their possessions without taking along the memories.

More often, younger generations fail to understand the emotional difficulties of downsizing, a disconnect that can leave adult children frustrated by their aging parents’ reluctance to let go. Senior move managers experience such situations every time, and they can better empathize with seniors struggling with downsizing. They’re able to suggest creative solutions you may not have thought of.

6. Save Time and Money

If your family members live in different geographical regions, a move manager can save you considerable time and resources. Instead of all family members making multiple flights to organize possessions, move, and organize estate sales, the mover will manage many of these tasks.

With advancements in technology, most downsizing and selling tasks can be done virtually. Dependable move managers today use technology to manage inventory, sell possessions online, and locate proper storage for your senior’s remaining stuff.

Most managers also have valuable networks of real estate agents, appraisers, cleaning services, and staging experts to take care of every detail for your family.

7. Support a Senior’s Move Regardless of the Distance

Sometimes, a senior move manager will pack and ship hundreds of items to your preferred location. Other times, they’ll take care of the transportation and accompany your loved one across the country.

No matter how involved your move manager is, the process of downsizing and moving usually creates a personal relationship. Many established senior move managers continue speaking with their clients long after the move is completed to ensure they are comfortable in their new environment.

A Clear Path Can Help!

Are you planning to move your aging parent to an assisted living facility? A Clear Path can help you navigate the hurdles and make the transition smooth and comfortable for both of you. We take full responsibility for sorting, organizing, cleaning, disposing of, moving, and selling all the property in your parent’s home.

It’s a one-call process. Once you make a call to A Clear Path, our experienced team takes charge and can manage every step along the way. If you need to dispose of the old home, A Clear Plan offers services to address trash, e-waste, shredding, and even toxic waste. For more valuable items, we can organize an auction or an estate sale.

Thanks to our complete line of services, we can help alleviate the stress associated with this sensitive transition. In addition to the tactical help, we can also become an impartial third party to help you address family conflicts over every belonging. Contact us today for more information about senior move management and how we can help you keep your aging parent happy throughout the moving process.

Downsizing & Move documentss

The Holidays, Quarantine, and Emotional Labor

As the year comes to close, organining your clutter will help bring a bright new year.It’s mind boggling to realize that the holidays, the end of the year, and the END OF 2020 are fast approaching. Our normal preparations and plans are likely taking a back seat to the goal of just getting through another day, and honestly, the process is often tiring and emotionally consuming.

I’ve spent a good amount of time in quarantine doing research on my upcoming book Emotional Labor: Why Women’s Work is Never Done, and What to do About It. With the holidays bearing down on us, I know that women’s work will become even more exaggerated as the weeks fly by, with a greater focus on family, and meeting the emotional expectations of the ones we love.

Emotional labor accounts for why a woman’s work is never done. Kin work is such a large part of the invisible labor women do that Micaela Di Leonardo, who first coined the term kin work in 1987 in The Female World of Cards and Holidays: Women, Families, and the Work of Kinship’ notes that “Women are involved in three types of work: housework and child care, work in the labor market, and the work of kinship.”

How can we possibly create a celebratory mood when we’re forced to put on hold so many of our traditions? How do we keep things simple if we have to be solitary?

At this stage in the pandemic, transitioning the home into a festival of lights may either feel like something fun to do or a total nightmare. Things are still a bit disorganized and you haven’t quite gotten to working through the stuff and clutter in the garage or the top of closets, or … “Where are all those Christmas decorations I bought on sale last year?!”

I offer a few strategies to help ease you into the holidays so that your planning and prepping is enough to get your through the holidays. Your desire to celebrate while staying emotionally managed these final weeks of 2020 (yes!) may be satisfied.

you can have a professional organizer help with de-cluttering your holiday decorations.

  • Get the decorations out – and in full view of everyone in the family and ask: what are our “must have” decorations this year. Let everyone pick one or two things that really “speak” to each individual. Keep it simple.
  • Think twice about the holiday décor that no one selects. This could be a great time to de-clutter!
  • Since everyone is home, everyone gets to help decorate. Choose the date and time when you turn off the electronics for an hour to make the house festive!
  • Take the pressure off the whole cooking thing! As a family, decide a “must have” dish and order out the rest!
  • Instead of gifts, let the family choose a non-profit, or a shelter, or organization that serves the greater good.
  • Virtual family outings – tours of museums and galleries – here’s an outstanding link showing 75 of the BEST of the BEST tours!
  • Family fun with extended Family: Host a Murder Mystery and create an actual virtual “who done it?”
  • Plan for next year! Gather ‘round the Zoom room and get excited about Holidays 2021!! Delegate responsibilities, trust everyone will follow-through, and then delegate who’s going to follow-up with everyone who is follow-through!
  • Delegate tasks to family members to create a family activity. Have one person work on writing addresses on envelopes for cards, another to help with meal preparations, someone else may do the online shopping, etc. This creates shared responsibility and achievement for the whole family.
  • Sharp Health Group in San Diego offers emotionally healthful strategies for making it to the end of the year
  • Enjoy living in the season rather than being focused on creating memorable moments for everyone else. Focus on what matters to you and loved ones and prioritize those first.
  • Gifts: Many of my clients tell me that some of the clutter in their home is from gifts they’ve never needed, used, or desired. They keep them due to GUILT Which keeps the gift trapped in their home! I listen to the holiday gift-buying commercials. Before 12/25, television and radio ads encourage you to buy things that people will LOVE!! After 12/25, the ads change, reminding consumers that since they didn’t get the gift they really wanted, they can exchange it for something they’ll really love! No one, it seems, can win at this game of gift giving/receiving. Here at A Clear Path we’re all about the gifting that doesn’t cause clutter! Being of service, cooking a great meal, helping someone organize… now those are gifts everyone can use!

If you haven’t figured it out already, probably the most important thing you can do for yourself is to learn and understand the art and practice of delegation. A few of the strategies for getting through this time includes the delegation of the emotional and physical work of making the season work for you. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute call to learn better the nuances of delegating.

And speaking of delegating – remember – the Clear Path Ninja Organizers are here for you – and we love decorating your home for the holidays – and organizing everything when the holidays are over!

Peace and love to you all…

de-clutterng include emotional de-clutteringRegina

 

Realtors Sell Homes Quickly, using a Sr. Move Manager

selling a home is best completed with team work and a sr. move manger is essential for any complicated sale

Many realtors and real estate agents follow the same old patterns of buying magazine and newspaper ads, updating Zillow, hosting a weekend open house, and placing a sign in front of the property for sale. Although it still pays to use these tactics to sell homes, closing a deal is where most real estate agents fail.

So, if you’ve got a property that you wish to sell or rent out ASAP, you need to do things a little differently. Many potential home buyers are not biting because most of these properties are more often cluttered and unorganized, making it impractical to capture eye-catching pictures or videos that would garner the price the client wants.

Move Management Can Help You Close Deals Quickly

Both moving and realtor industries are closely intertwined – their common goal is to help people transition seamlessly to a new home. Both industries also get the majority of their clients through referrals. As a forward-thinking real estate agent, you need to work with a reputable Sr. move management company to help you quickly stage your property for sale.

Moreover, time is always limited for any real estate agent. You’re constantly faced with urgent situations such as showing a client a potential home, scheduling an inspection, or working with an appraiser. By having an experienced Sr. move management company when staging your property for sale, you’ll be always ready to respond to your clients or brokerage.

Here are a few ways a move management company can help you sell your property quickly:

Transform Your Property for Quick Listing

Moving service providers typically support real estate agents in the home staging process to help exceed clients’ expectations and get top dollars for their properties. If your client’s using s sr. move manager to help sell a house is useful to the transformation accomplished through proper staging.home is overstuffed and overflowing with household possessions, a moving company will help you declutter and ready it for staging.

Many of the homes you list often require decluttering to pave way for the staging process. Additionally, if your clients need hand-holding through the moving process and getting rid of the stuff they no longer require, move management services will come in handy.

Some of the steps taken during the move management process include:

  • Helping your clients liberate themselves from their “possessions”.
  • Assessing your organizing styles and preferences
  • Managing the physical moving
  • Offering compassionate guidance through the tough decisions of moving homes
  • Offering meticulous expertise in sorting through papers and organizing critical documents
  • Coordinate junk and donation pick-ups

Move management companies are a critical part of the team you typically use for your listing. More often, clients will want to work with someone who can help them throughout the home selling journey. By helping your clients through the process of moving to a new home, they’ll highly rate you and spread the word about your services, earning you more properties to stage.

Improving Customer Experience

By collaborating with a reliable mover, you will significantly improve service delivery to your clients. Demonstrating to your clients that you care about their overall happiness and satisfaction by connecting them with a trusted moving company, you will ultimately earn more trust and business.

Although some clients may suggest organizing and cleaning their properties on their own to save a few bucks, it’s almost certain that they won’t produce the same level of results as professional movers. If you’re looking to close deals faster, it’s important to walk the fine line of advising your clients to engage the services of a professional mover for top-notch results.

Meet Quarterly and Annual Sales Goals

Working with a reliable mover will help you meet or even surpass your quarterly and annual sales goals by listing and selling more high-end real estate as quickly as possible. Reputable moving companies understand the importance of keeping your clients happy throughout the selling journey and will provide the best moving experience possible.

Flexible Contracts and Payment processes

Today, many reputable moving companies understand the importance of building trust by creating transparent payment processes. In fact, you can sign a contract with a mover and settle the payment in escrow as soon as the service is satisfactorily rendered and the sale is concluded.

Bottom Line

Virtual staging and other marketing techniques are easy and cost-effective ways to get a home market-ready. However, for real estate agents, it’s not a free pass to complete a sale. By transforming your property into a blank slate, you can achieve the best results from your staging experience. At A Clear Path, we have several years of experience working with realtors and real estate agents to declutter their properties for quick staging. We typically roll our fees into Escrow to pack, organize, and unpack all your client’s valuables and manage the entire moving process. Contact us today for more information about move management and how we can help you sell your property quickly while keeping your clients happy throughout the moving process.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

Estate Clearing Secrets

timing and use of timelines are part of the relocation experience when using a Sr. move manager

Whether you are looking to declutter your own home or simply clearing your house in preparation for sale, the process is often tiring and emotionally consuming. It is even more challenging when you are clearing a deceased estate for settlement or sale with your loved ones items still left inside.

Besides these challenges, estate clearing is usually time-sensitive. Each project is different and has specific timelines and goals surrounding it. But with the right tips, you can manage the whole process without feeling emotionally drained.

Here are five estate clearing secrets

1. Formulate a plan

For an effective estate clearing, plan and start early. First, you should know when you will start and the time to finish each task. This will reduce the burden as settlement or sale days approach. Try to estimate the time needed to clear the whole house. Depending on the amount of possessions and size of the house, allocate at least a half a day for clearing each room. The process could take up to a week or even two weeks.

2. Find and keep aside all key documents

Before moving things in different rooms, it is crucial to find and secure key documents such as wills, bank statements, certificates of titles/property deeds, insurance policies, stocks certificates, tax returns, and receipts. Executors and solicitors of the estate may also use them in winding up any legal and financial matters related to the estate.

While searching for these documents, make sure to pay attention to details. Sometimes, people may store valuable items in unlikely places. It is, therefore, important to take time and search all the closets, including drawers, coat pockets, and high shelves.

3. Set aside wanted from unwanted

After finding the right documents, the next stage is to identify items that you want to keep and those that you would discard. The best way to simplify the process is to have family members identify the items they would like to have from the estate. This way, the remaining possessions can be removed more efficiently. On top of this, try to remove the wanted items first. It is also less burdensome to clear one room at a time. Clearing one completely before moving to the next will enable you to work methodically and stay on track.

With the items that you don’t want, categorize them into three subcategories: items to be given away, items to be sold, and items to be recycled. Selling some of the items will not only simplify the clearance process, but it will also bring in revenue, which you can use to offset some of the clearance costs.

4. Selling and donation process

Once you have sorted the items into different piles, you can then go ahead with the removal. It is better to have auctioneers or second-hand dealers come first. To speed up the process, engage a reputable firm to give you quotes for valuable items. After that you can donate what remains.

The good thing with items that go to charity is that companies usually come and collect the items from your property. Even if they can’t come, some local charities have small stores where you can take your donations. For the items that need to be disposed of, you can engage your local council to see if you can take advantage of their services before engaging a rubbish removal firm.

Alternatively, you can organize a garage sale. The only challenge with this approach is that it requires some planning.

5. Get professional helpbased on the circumastance a sr. move manager will develop a proper plan for estate clearing

If the estate has a substantial amount of valuable items, it is usually worthwhile to engage a credible estate clearing service. Apart from being physically and emotionally straining, some tasks are just time-consuming and monotonous. Other tasks such as moving furniture, cleaning, and hauling items require physical exertions. This is where professional estate clearing services could come in handy.

The main benefit of working with a property clearing firm is that it can offer its clients a customizable and comprehensive package that manages all the activities relating to this complex task. Trustworthy firms usually have a network of service providers who could offer useful support during the process. Moreover, they understand the logistical and emotional nightmares that come with estate clearance.

They will discuss with you about your priorities in the estate clearing process, determine if there is a need for maintenance, help you with selling valuable possessions, and may recommend a sales or rental agent.

Use A Clear Path as your estate clearing partner

If you are dealing with the daunting task of clearing an estate, you need a professional partner who is patient and understanding. With many years of experience helping our clients with estate clearing tasks, we understand the emotion and challenges that come with the process. Let our well-trained crew relieve you of these stresses.

 

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

6 key issues using a Senior Move Manager

If you’re moving out of your old home late in life, you’ll be overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. Some of the considerations you need to make include packing, packing and unpacking for boomers with a Sr. move managerdecluttering, scheduling movers, and selling the home. A senior move manager can help you with all aspects of moving you from professional packing, downsizing, to arranging furniture in a new space, so it feels like home. If you’re moving to a nursing home, the manager will also play a significant role. Here are some of the key issues of using a senior move manager.

1- Planning

The most important step in the moving process is planning. Senior move managers will liaise with your family members to agree on a timetable for the move. Senior moving services work depending on your pace and will walk you through all the steps of the move. One of the main aspects of planning is liquidating and downsizing.

A senior moving company will help you liquidate unnecessary assets. A senior move manager will help you sort the possessions you should keep and those you should discard. Move managers work with family members and seniors to determine which the fondest keepsakes are and what should be left to the new owner. Ultimately, a senior moving director will facilitate realistic decisions on the current items that should move and fit into your new home. Planning can be time-consuming. If you don’t know where to start your plan to move, consult a senior move manager.

2- Financial Exploitation

Hiring ordinary movers to handle your relocation may be a costly affair. Movers usually consider the tasks involved, such as sorting, packing, loading, and offloading, when setting their rates. Working with NASMM movers is different.

According to NASMM, senior movers have the experience of assisting in lifestyle transitions. These professionals also possess the emotional expertise to support you through the difficulties of moving at a late stage in their life. In this regard, NASMM movers don’t exploit their clients by charging exorbitant prices for their services.

3- Anticipate Challenges

There are some challenges you may overlook when moving. For example, you may have too much stuff that cannot fit in the new house, or the person you intend to leave your possessions when moving to a nursing home may not have enough room in their home. Hiring a senior move manager ensures that all these challenges are catered for.

Senior move managers are experienced in moving. This means they’ve seen it all. Therefore, the professional will not take anything to chance and will make sure they account for everything.

4- Prepare Adults For Assisted Living

Seniors are hesitant about moving to assisted living because they want to age at home where there are familiar possessions and memories. Sometimes adult children cannot convince their parents to move to assisted living homes. Many elderly parents think that when they go to a nursing home, they’re being sent away because they’re a burden. They’re afraid of isolation and loneliness.

A senior move manager will help the elderly understand the benefits of living in assisted living conditions. The move manager will mediate between the elderly and their adult children and try to address their concerns. The move manager will also recommend a nursing home that will best fit a senior based on their concerns.

5- Unpacking and Resettling

If a senior isn’t moving to a nursing home, the senior moving company will help them settle comfortably in their new home. Whether you want your new home to be like your old home or get rid of old memories, the manager will fulfill your wishes. This includes consulting you on aspects such as where furniture should be placed and what items should be stored in the garage or attic.

re organizing after a boomer move with a Sr. move managerA senior move manager is involved in unpacking your items. The manager will ensure all possessions are moved to the appropriate rooms and quickly unpack items you need immediately, such as crucial documents and medications. The manager will also arrange all items to optimize storage.

6- Support After The Move

A senior move manager’s role doesn’t end when you’ve settled in at your new home or the nursing home. Your manager will ensure all the possessions you left behind are donated or distributed to relatives. Your senior move manager will also be responsible for sprucing up your home before it’s sold.

The senior move manager will be involved with cleaning your old home, yard work, renovations, and repairs. The manager may also assign a real estate agent to undertake the sale of your home. The manger could also manage the estate sale and ensure the proceeds of the sale reach you or are distributed according to your wishes.

In Conclusion

Moving is quite a stressful experience, especially if you’re doing it late in life. With all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years, you may have a difficult time downsizing. If you’re moving to a nursing home, you may want your possessions taken to your next of kin. If you’re moving to a new home, you may be worried about settling into your new home. A senior move manager can help alleviate your stress and facilitate a smooth transition to your new life.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

Tips to Upgrade a Small Home Workspace for Ultimate Productivity and Happiness

a professional organizer can help create a clean home environment

Image via Unsplash

If you’ve been working at the living room couch, kitchen table, or breakfast bar for the past few months, it’s time to upgrade your remote workspace for an improved work-from-home experience. You can convert nearly any small space into a productive home office, and the following tips will help you to do it!

Create a Productive Home Workspace

Even if you’re short on living space, you can create a stylish, yet productive home office that enhances the remote work experience.

  • Get creative with your space! Build a home office under the stairs, against a spare wall, or in a bedroom nook or closet.

  • Stay productive during working hours with these seven remote work tips from Upwork. In addition to creating a designated home workspace, it’s important to stick to a daily routine and start your day as early as you can.

  • Work with the pros at A Clear Path (ACP) to design, organize, and furnish your home workspace for optimal happiness and productivity.

  • Invest in a few pieces of space-saving office furniture. Compact desks are available to fit even the smallest of spaces, so you can finally stop working at the couch or kitchen table.

Beat Isolation and Loneliness as a Remote Worker

Are you missing your favorite coworkers and watercooler conversations amid COVID-19? You can combat isolation and loneliness with these great tips for remote workers.

  • Banish feelings of loneliness and isolation during the workday by adopting an animal companion, working with co-workers virtually via Zoom or Skype, and calling your loved ones over the lunch hour.

  • Join one of the 36 best Slack communities for remote workers.

  • Host a virtual happy hour with your coworkers, friends, or family members.

  • Is working from home triggering your depression? Try adding a light therapy box to your desk.

Additional Resources

Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Struggling to stay productive while working from home? These additional resources can help to motivate and energize you whenever you’re feeling sluggish and unfocused throughout the workday.

Whether you’ve been struggling to stay productive while working from home amid the pandemic — or you’ve been experiencing feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression — your office space could be partly to blame. By upgrading your home workspace, finding new ways to communicate with your co-workers, and incorporating some productivity-boosting exercises, meditations, and songs into your day, you’ll become the best remote worker you can possibly be!

 

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina’s 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark

regina@aclearpath.net