Monday, May 16, 2011

Helping Older Parents Pack Up Their House

Tips For Adult Children On How To Help Mom And Dad Downsize Their Home

What adult child doesn't strategize on how they will go to their parent's home and dump all the junk accumulated in the basement, garage, attic, shed etc. Not to mention the treasures hidden away in the closet, drawers and extra bedroom? I mean who wouldn't want to inherit 74 million rubber bands, 10 tons of plastic grocery bags, a hundred pounds of plastic bag ties? Now that is a cache that anyone one of us would scheme to get our hands on.

Sorting Out Junk From Heirlooms

And if the adult children and grandchildren don't fuss over who is inheriting the rubber bands or twist ties, I'm sure outside companies who clean out houses would compete for the bid to cart out such heirlooms?

When Are Household Items Ready To Become Compose?

And what about all the olive green and orange plastic housewares bought at the neighborhood Cheap store? Isn't that worth a mint? Or what's the deal on the stained, moth eaten, soggy soiled linens which have been growing moss for the last 60 years...aren't they collectible? Sure they a farmer looking for compose!

Helping Older Adults Understand What Is Collectible ?

The first step in helping older folks downsize or liquidate an estate is to help them understand what has value and what does not. How do you accomplish this goal?

On the Job Training
I say you need to do some on the job training. That's right leave the parent home ....with the parent(s) and go on a field trip. Follow me on this one. First visit the bathroom , then grab the walker, the sweater, the jacket, the Kleenex and the bottle of extra water and head out the door to a nearby well established Antique Mall or large group shop.

Visit An Antique
Mall As A Field Trip

I actually took a family member out for a little car ride to the Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT where I have a shop called "Kitsch n Stuff". My theory was that if I walked around the store (very slowly) with my family member, I could begin to give her an idea about what she has that might be collectible and what the market values are on such objects.

Are Their Price Guides For Grocery Bags?

Another starting point is to visit a library and take out price guides on antiques and collectibles to become more familiar with the range and values of collectible items. Right now my husband and his mom are reviewing a book on old tools. While you can't become an expert over night, I guarantee you that there are no price guides on plastic bags from Waldbaums, Stop And Shop, Publix, Wegmans, Winn-Dixie etc.

For some real help on estate liquidation, visit Estate Mavens on I Antique This is a group forum that I initiated to help others cope with managing estates.

Photos taken at Seymour Antiques Company, Seymour, CT.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists

1 comment:

  1. Don't overlook the emotional aspect of downsizing. Many items can trigger memories: some happy, some sad. I like to ask a few questions before I start to get an idea of someone's emotional state and their expectations in regards to liquidating their estate! Great posting....