We are getting ready to clear my parents' home. It is cluttery and has bugs. Any suggestions?

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Dad has been in NH for 3 months and has decided to stay. Mother is also there. They are both in their 90's. The house is old, cluttery and has bugs. We plan to get a dumpster and potentially a storage unit for a few family heirlooms. and have the house treated for bugs prior to putting it on the market. Sale will be difficult as no one is moving that direction these days, it seems. House is in midwest and it will be cold. We know a few people in their little town.

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It sounds like you already have a terrific plan. If you have trouble going through all of the possessions, there are professionals who can help you select what to keep and what to throw. As far as the house goes, often some paint and a professional carpet cleaning helps a lot (after debugging). Many times these small, older homes that elders have lived in for years make great "fixer uppers" for young families who are just starting out. Find a good realtor and see what he or she suggests.
Good luck,
Carol
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Ok, I'm in the business of getting properties ready to sell and then selling them. You may want to fumigate 1st. Then there is no chance of transferring unwanted guests to your house. Also everything should be pest free so you do no give them to others.

After that, declutter. Everything small except for a few attractive items you might use in "staging". You can do it bit by bit or in one quick dump.

Then, clean like it's never been cleaned before.

Next on the list is repair and update. Go take a look at homes in the area that have recently sold. What is the difference between them and those that haven't. Focus in on what you can do for not too much money, Create the illusion of a well kept updated home, not one that is sad or has been "fluffed." for sale.
Finally, Create scenerios within the home to help buyers eyes focus on what are the homes best features. People buy with their emotions. the idea that this was a happy family home sometimes helps. Not the sad idea that the poor old folks had to leave.
Hopes this helps. It's never easy.
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My folks lived in Central Illinois and we moved them out of their home of 35 years. My brother flew in and I think (?) it took us about a week to go through everything. We didn't do it in winter though. :( We had a company come in and take their remaining furniture for auction. My folks were moving in to an independent living place, so they took some of their stuff with them.

My dad refused to lift a finger and so my mom, brother and I did it all. And my folks weren't too 'cluttery', other than my mom's 'box boutique'. She had saved every cardboard box and candy box and liner she'd ever received, 'just in case' she ever needed it for mailing. She could have opened her own Fedex office, LOL. The dumpster is a great idea. Anything you can sell on your own? I'd put it in your local Penny Saver or on Craig's List. Do that first to get that stuff out of there. Good luck...it takes time and patience, but can be done.
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AnnieO -- Before any of you go in there to work, you might want to check for health hazards. I've seen de-clutter expert Peter Walsh on Oprah's show and sometimes they uncover dead animals and their waste, black mold and other toxic substances under the mess. Take care.
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Three suggestions: boots, mask, gloves.
Approach it with fervor, this is not a task to be savored.
Set aside for yourself a few items. No doubt you will come across a frame or teapot to Christmas ornament that will have meaning, save a couple of items for mom and dad.
Get the dumpster and be liberal in disposing.
Set up a 1'or 2 day garage sale for anything worthwhile, call Salvation Army for what does not sell.
I would skip the storage unit, unless it is for something of high sentimental or financial value which you want in the future. I know people who save not very expensive furniture in storage and over the years the fees add up.
That's just me, I hate clutter. I clean out my closets every year, I have minimal kitchen appliances, no knick knacks. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, so I cannot afford clutter.

Good luck
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When I "decluttered" Moms house (nic-nac hoarder), we used it as a fun memory game. If she could tell me a story about an object (Oh, TJ gave me that, or That reminds me of your father) She got to keep it. If she didn't remember, or bought it in a yard sale (most of it) than it was gone. Of course, I moved in with her and did it a little at a time. I know this won't help in your case, but it was a good memory for me and Mom playing the game that I wanted to share.
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blannie - your "box boutique" really gave me a memory chuckle.

My mom saved almost all boxes from Avon to collector plates (which kinda made sense) to vacuum cleaners and microwaves (which didn't).

Thanks for the memories, da da da da da dum...
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CarolLynn, my mom STILL tries to save every box that comes her way. I now know to whisk them out of her IL apartment before they go under her bed for 'future use' even though she hasn't mailed a box in years. Old habits die hard!! :)
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Well so far my luck is holding! I called an auctioneer who was so excited! he has a basic flat fee for packiing and moving the things he can sell and his company can do the complete clean out once he gets the things he can sell. We have been packing up the basics,and dropped off alot at the salvation army. I can do the cleaning with some friends once he empties the rest out. I know it will cost a bit, but its a huge worry off my back! Good luck to you!
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We just sold my parents home after only 4 days on the market.. talk about stress! Luckily the settlement is not until Jan Ihave some good friends to help but the house is 2 hours away! with an antique shop on site. I am calling some local dealers to see what they want, then hope to rent a dumpster!
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