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Time To Let Go

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Dear Phyllis,

I am the executor of my aunt’s estate. She passed away last year. She was an avid collector and I have been trying to weed through her belongings. I don’t think she would be classified as a hoarder because it wasn’t paper and old pizza boxes, it was stuff. Lots and lots of stuff, collector’s plates, dolls, commemorative coins, etc. I work full time and live in the South Bay. And just feel like I won’t ever get her home cleaned out. With home prices at all time highs, I really am feeling the push to get her home cleaned out and sold.
Time to let go

Dear Time to let go,

You are correct in wanting to get the home on the market for a variety of reasons.  Certainly maintaining a vacant home can be costly and inconvenient. Cleaning a hoarder’s home is typically much easier than clearing out a collector’s. When going through a hoarder’s home, one just needs to be careful, to look through everything.  Making certain that money, stocks, etc. aren’t hiding in the endless piles of papers. But a couple of weeks with a dumpster usually does the trick.

I understand that you want to sell these collectibles for the highest possible price. But I think your most efficient course of action is to first be certain that you have found any hidden money, (or other valuables). Then to “let go” and enlist the help of a reputable estate sale person (you can give me a call for a recommendation if you need one). If you lived locally and/or didn’t have a full time job, you would have the time to contact specific vendors for resale or sell items on e-bay, Craig’s list etc. But in your circumstance this could easily take you years. And I don’t think you really want or need to devote years to clearing out your aunt’s home. Best of luck to you.

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