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My parents are in a memory care facility and I have to sell their home. I really need help and don't know where to find it. They have so many things and I am having a hard time getting rid of it all. Some I want to keep but most of it needs to be sold. I tried having an estate sale with out much success. I don't feel right just having everything hauled away. My health is not very good and I have 2 siblings who live out of state who have not helped at all. This is heartbreaking and and at times just want to call it quits. This is the third Christmas season that I have been taking care of everything and I really do love this time of year but I don't have the emotional energy to enjoy it. Does anyone know where I can get the help that I need?

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Hi there. After my father passed away last year, and we knew that my mother couldn't stay alone (we were moving her in with my husband and myself). We had my mother make a list of everything that she insisted on keeping (china, silver, photos, etc). We are lucky that we were able to set up a little apartment for her in our home. There was still A LOT left. We donated much of what we thought could be used. We put a lot by the road, and so much was picked up even before trash day. We had relatives and friends that wanted things...we gave them a date and told them to come get it or it would be gone. Don't make more work for yourself. We hired a real estate agent to go ahead and list the home. The home needed a lot of work, but we were willing to let the house go for less money, rather than put time and money into it. I lived in another city, so it just wasn't an easy venture to keep going back and forth. We were able to call the Salvation Army to come pick up a lot of the furniture..they will give you a receipt if you need it for taxes. We sold her home last November and it was such a stress relief to know it was gone with much that was in it.
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Octavia, I have not had to begin this process yet, but I know it's coming. I would begin by removing any valuable items from the house - the things you plan to keep. I would notify my sibs in writing that anything they wish to keep must be removed (BY THEM) by a certain date. After that, forever hold their peace.

I don't know where you live, but look online or in the yellow pages for a cleaning service - preferably one that can get you a dumpster, if there is a lot of stuff you cannot sell or donate. The cleaning service will help you remove and dispose of things that have no value and are not salvageable. The house will also look better when the estate sale people come. If you have a question about whether or not something has value, let the estate sale people see it.

Look for places that conduct estate sales. Interview more than one, to see if you feel you trust the representative and see what their fees are. I know you said your folks lived in a different state, but perhaps their neighbors or someone from their church could recommend an estate sale company.

The things that you cannot sell, you can call any number of organizations to come pick up items that are salvageable, but not necessarily valuable. The Salvation Army operates pretty much everywhere, and your things really will go to those in need. They usually will come with a truck to pick things up.

Good luck with this process. I know I am not looking forward to handling this for my parents.
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Octavia, tell your siblings that you're giving everything that your folks can't use and/or you don't want to charity and taking the tax write off if they don't come and get what they want. Give them a reasonable date in which to do that, if they don't show or care, then give it away. Take it off your taxes and be done with it.
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If you end up doing this by yourself, pick up the book "The Boomer Burden," by Julie Hall. It gives advice about where to start, how to organize the process, how to distribute "keepers" fairly among family members, etc. Very practical.

It would be great if you could find organizations that need things that will pick them up. I haven't been able to, but I did find places who were grateful to get things if I could take them. I hired a woman who does cleaning jobs, etc., by the hour just to help bundle up things like clothes, bedding, etc.---things without much garage or estate sale value---and take them out to the car for me. You'd be surprised how much of your energy---and back muscles---that saves. I made sure before taking things anywhere that someone would be available to take them out of my car when I got there. I also got a small, light-weight hand truck at Home Depot for about $30 --- it made moving things around inside the house, as I organized them or boxed them up, much easier.

I'll be in this process for quite a while and I'll be thinking about you. Good luck!
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Can you find an agency near you that is willing to do pick ups? We have one here that will pick up household items and then distribute them to those in need. We plan on doing this when my FIL passes. It feels better to us to give his things to someone that may need them than to throw them away. You should be able to find one near your by contacting your local elder services.
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Wow do I feel for you I am going through the same thing. I need to find a company that will do it all because I live in another state, and my parents now live with me. The have an antique shop on site, and I am making arraingements to sell the house also. I got the name of several companys to call, but believe me the fees for doing it all are awful. I also know I will need to make a few "dump runs" also. This is more stressful than haveing them live here! And taking them home with me while I try to make plans is a nightmare. Dad with AZ is a hot mess with getting into things and saying he's not leaving (although last night he thought we were in a motel) and Mom crys all the time. Next trip is just me and the the POA!
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Did you have a professional conduct the estate sale? They know how to price things and also to advertise. You might have better luck going that route.
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