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Advice and support when clearing out my mum's house?

(11 Posts)
Tensmumym Thu 27-Nov-14 12:58:08

My sister and I have just started the daunting process of clearing out my mum's place with a view to renting it out or selling it to help pay for care home fees. Is it worth having a car boot sale to try to get a bit of money or is it best to clear as quickly as possible by giving most things away as we probably wouldn't raise much anyway? We've got the usual things ladies in their 80s like - nice decanters, vases, stainless steel bottle holder plus kids' stuff we could sell. Thanks.

Innocuoususername Thu 27-Nov-14 15:14:30

Well I think in this situation "time is money" is relevant, and it depends which one you have more of! If you need every penny for care fees, then it might be tempting to do a boot sale, though you'd have to sell a lot of vases to make more than £100 or so.

On the other hand, if you clear it as quickly as possible you can rent or sell it quickly and your mum can start benefitting from the money. Don't forget as well that an empty house still needs maintaining and the longer you leave it the more likely it is to start costing money.

Is there a middle way where you can clear it quickly and store the best bits to sell in due course?

When in a similar position with my grandmothers house we removed the nicest bits and things with sentimental value, then paid a house clearance company to deal with the rest. I think that was about £500ish but worth it in the long run as the house could go on the market and was sold quickly.

Sorry if this sounds a bit blunt and logical for what is a very emotional experience, but I have seen relatives fanny around trying to get some value out of a loved ones possessions, when there wasn't really much and it was more about them having a hard time dealing with what was happening. It wasn't emotionally healthy for anyone in the long run to string it out over many months.

Tensmumym Thu 27-Nov-14 19:15:02

Thanks very much Vert. I think what you're saying is eminently sensible. It is scary how long it is taking to decide what to do with so many little things but time is money. Just a question of biting the bullet and getting on with it.

Innocuoususername Thu 27-Nov-14 19:48:10

Yes I think it can be very tempting to start going through everything piece by piece, thinking could we sell it, would x like it, could it go to charity etc etc, because the things are your mum's belongings and can represent a lot of happy memories. You want them to go to somebody who will use them and enjoy them as much as your mum has. But things are not people, and doing it piece by piece takes a long time.

I think we ended up being quite brutal in the end, but it was at a similar time of year and we wanted it sold so we didn't have to maintain it over winter.

Good luck, it is not a nice thing to have to do.

OrangeOwl Thu 27-Nov-14 20:11:50

We've just done this. We got very little for some of the things you think you would get more for, like decorative plates, etc. Some car boot but we are talking less than a £1 for most things. It's good to see the things go to new homes though. The rest to charity shops and dare I say it the recycling centre. We became better at clearing as we went on. You have to become brutal, you can't keep everything/sort everything. We did keep some special things, one of which was Mum's everyday mugs; every time I have a cup of tea I think of her. Yes good luck with it, it's not easy but has to be done.

Tensmumym Thu 27-Nov-14 20:13:39

Thanks very much Orange. The fact that mum has a 3 bed house and both my sister and I live in smaller places doesn't help.

CMOTDibbler Thu 27-Nov-14 20:21:57

TBH, I'd go through and sort the things that you want to keep personally, then call one of the charitys that will come and collect things they can sell on/recycle and then skip the rest. I went through this with my great aunts house this year, and it felt bad to do that, but it was over and done with quickly.

Tensmumym Thu 27-Nov-14 20:44:01

Thanks CMOT.

OrangeOwl Fri 28-Nov-14 05:03:08

Tens yes our houses did get a bit packed to start with. Gradually though things find homes and there is a certain satisfaction knowing we sorted all Mum's things. Look after yourselves.

OrangeOwl Fri 28-Nov-14 05:05:52

and yes I agree with CMOT whatever you decide to do, get it done as quickly as possible.

Tensmumym Fri 28-Nov-14 12:15:48

Thanks Orange. Next step is to wean myself off Mumsnet and continue sorting through things.

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