We recently completed a project that we’re eager to share with you. A client whose parents had passed away contacted us through their real estate agent. They needed help in organizing their parents’ home (deceased for 3 years) for sale. The home had been left empty for 3 years and nothing had been done inside the home to clear out any possessions whatsoever, including food. The parents had lived in the same GTA home for over 50 years.
Our client was not at all interested, nor did he have the time or means, to clear out the home to prepare it and make it presentable for sale. Since it had been abandoned for such a long time and with food sources in the home, mice had decided it was a great place for them to set up shop. The home was a good size, over 2,000 square feet with a crawl space that was jammed full of boxes and contents. Time to call in the big guns.
The initial consult
I met with the real estate agent and our client at the home for our initial consultation and needs assessment. Initially, when speaking to the agent over the phone he advised there wasn’t much in the home and that he felt everything there would be thrown out. I was skeptical but kept an open mind.
The consult is the most important part of our process. It allows us to see the full scope of the project, assess the client’s needs and behavioral characteristics and allows us to accurately judge the number of hours a job will take and see how many team members will be required. We were on site for one and a half hours.
Not quite as it seemed
During the consult we learned, and saw first hand, that the home had not been lived in for many years. The parents were quite elderly and had not done much, if anything, in the way of downsizing or reducing clutter due to their physical limitations.
We determined that we were dealing with a full home plus garage and all rooms were full of furnishings, memorabilia, and appliances, even food in the kitchen. The contents were just as if a family were living in the home. The basement crawlspace was jammed. Did I mention the garage? Oh, boy! A lot of work would be required to get the house ready for sale but we were up to the challenge
Our client originally thought and even advised us during the consult, that almost everything was trash. As we assessed the home we quickly determined there was a great deal of value in the contents that the client could monetize with the right platform for selling. We felt at least $5,000 could be recouped if not more. As such we began pulling and sorting items into categories or lots that could then be auctioned off.
The plan was to go in and make a quick determination on whether an item was to be kept by our client, trashed, donated or sold. The real estate agents were interested in getting the home listed quickly to take advantage of the GTA market (and to get their commission) but we at ClutterBGone saw an opportunity to make the client some money back on his decluttering investment. We hate to see items just go into landfills, especially when there are people in need of items and where our clients can monetize items.
An unpleasant surprise
We saw signs of mice (droppings and nests in various places) that had been living in the house for some time. Initially, it did not appear that it was a huge infestation however as we uncovered and moved belongings it was evident that we needed protective masks and gloves and needed to call in the professionals to decontaminate the furniture and flooring. Mice droppings can be very dangerous to breathe in so it’s important to take precautions.
We frequently work with a contamination expert who came in quickly for us and made it safe for us to work and safe for others coming into the home. The decontamination process took over 2 days! We even saw mice droppings inside the freezer!
We delegated a team of 3 ClutterBGone professionals into action. Every item was touched and sorted. Obvious trash went right into the 20-yard waste bin we had dropped. Some items the client had advised us to put aside for him and other large furniture items would be kept in the home for staging purposes.
Some items were slated for donation and the majority of items were slated for the on-line auction that we were coordinating on behalf of our client.
I myself was amazed at the results and I’m eager to share them with you but you’re going to have to wait until next week to find out ……….
We love working on estate projects and if you’re in need of help with one we’re just one click or phone call away. Let us rescue you!