The decision to hold an estate sale can present a number of challenges and concerns, even though the sale itself promises to yield just as many benefits. Sellers may encounter emotional hurdles, physical challenges, and confusing questions about how to group possessions or what to keep for themselves.
If you need to prepare for an estate sale due to downsizing, financial reasons, or the death of a loved one, it pays to understand what kinds of situations you may need to address and overcome. Here are some key factors that may influence your estate sale preparations.
Saying goodbye to a lifetime’s accumulated possessions can carry a powerful emotional punch. Simply seeing certain items again for the first time in years may trigger some powerful emotions. Fortunately, you can take certain steps to reduce the sheer weight of any emotional issues tied to your estate sale preparations.
Sorting through an entire household’s worth of items all at once can make the preparation phase seem overwhelming, especially for hoarders or senior citizens who have accumulated items over several decades without ever getting rid of anything. Consider planning a gradual, multi-phase downsizing process spread out over a longer period.
Some friends and family members may have an intense interest in receiving certain keepsakes instead of letting those keepsakes get put up for sale. Collect and list these treasures so that you can hold a conference with everyone involved, working out which items should go to whom.
Clearing out items for an estate sale can be a physically exhausting process. While the estate sale company will do the actual job of packing and removing your items, you may still find it difficult or potentially hazardous to move some things around.
Learning how to lift and carry objects safely can make all the difference in your health and comfort during the estate sale preparation process. Bending over to lift a heavy box, for instance, can lead to lower back strain or even herniated discs. Always bend from the knees and keep your spine straight as you lift. Warm up your muscles beforehand, if possible, to reduce the risk of injury.
Think about your strategy for moving the heavy item and setting it down before you lift it. A clean, dry, uncluttered pathway can help you avoid trip hazards, especially if the item blocks your view of your feet. Set the item down just as you picked it up, with a straight spine and bent knees.
Keep in mind that your preparations may kick up a fair amount of dust, mold spores, and other unpleasant allergens. If you have sensitivities to such substances, wear a mask, safety goggles, and protective clothing while shifting old boxes and other long-untouched items around.
The organizational aspects of estate sale preparation can prove just as intimidating as the physical or emotional challenges. First and foremost, resist the urge simply to throw everything away. While you might find this approach a quick way to get the process over with, you will almost certainly discard valuable items that you wouldn’t even have recognized as significant.
Always let your estate sale company arrange for a professional appraisal of any and all items that make up the estate. These experts can not only help you get top dollar for obvious valuables such as jewelry and artwork; they can also point out hidden treasures that may hold tremendous value to collectors of specific kinds of objects (such as vintage comic books).
It’s safe to assume that certain business-related items deserve their own place apart from the rest of the estate. For instance, you should assume that any paperwork or other documentation may convey important information. Set it aside and go through it at a later date to isolate critical items such as birth certificates or keepsakes such as journals or photos.
Peachtree Battle Estate Sales & Liquidations can help you streamline your entire estate sale experience, from initial preparations to the final off-site sale and receipt of proceeds. Contact us today to learn more.