Clearing out and decluttering an estate

Clearing out and decluttering an estate can be a costly exercise especially if the process is not well organised and planned out in advance.

Here’s 8 of our key tips to help you manage clearing out and decluttering an estate in a cost effective way.

Locate the key financial documents first

Estate Clearing

Estate Clearing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The aim is to make your solicitor’s job easier and ensure you don’t have to replace missing documents.  You may need to find the latest Will, recent bank statements, life insurance policy, Certificate of Title//property deeds, share certificates, tax returns  etc.– all the documents that a solicitor will need to complete the estate administration.

Keep in mind that it’s expensive to replace documents. Currently the fee for replacing a lost Certificate of Title is $189.10, plus an “indemnity contribution” (similar to insurance). This is based on the value of the land and the circumstances under which the paper Certificate of Title was lost or destroyed. Costs could range from $100 to $600, so it’s worth finding these documents as soon as possible, before the declutter and cull starts. Plus, there could be additional legal costs associated with the replacement process.

Keep an eye out for hidden cash

Money hidden inside old shoe boxes or jars still exists. I cannot begin to tell you how much cash we have found when clearing out estates over the years. Be meticulous. Check every pile of paper and inside jacket pockets and boxes.

I often find that the older the client the more money is found. We once found over $5765 in “hidden” cash which had been stored in various/random places throughout the house. Without attention to detail it could have easily been thrown out, but instead it remained with the estate.So when clearing out and decluttering an estate be on the look out.

Organise valuations

Clearing out and decluttering an estate

Clearing out and decluttering an estate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the untrained eye it’s often hard to determine if a piece of art work is an original or not. You may find yourself asking: is Mums old crystal worth something or not. Organise to have furniture, jewellery, crockery and artworks valued by an expert. Or utilise our estate clearing services and we can help manage the process for you.

Start the cull/declutter process early

Depending on the size of the estate it can easily take a number of days/weeks to declutter and clear.  So start the process early. If you need some tips on decluttering, this blog  might help.

Find cost effective ways to dispose of goods when clearing out an estate

Rubbish removal is one of the biggest expenses in clearing out an estate. Properly managed though, this fee can be reduced down substantially.

We use a 4 step process to rubbish removal, with each step designed to reduce down the actual amount of goods that ultimately need to go into paid rubbish removal. So my big tip here is to think about the process of disposing of goods well in advance. Plus, try and make use of your free council rubbish pick up, if available.

Look at what items can be sold

You can use Gumtree or eBay to sell goods that you don’t want to keep or distribute to family members.  However, just be realistic about the resale value. It does take time to take the photos, measure up items, write the description and list them along with more time manage all the enquires that you will receive.

Do a project plan

Clearing out and decluttering an estate is a big job. However, if you map out a project plan, listing key dates and tasks to be completed, along with a budget, it helps to manage the process. So set some time aside at the beginning of the clear out.

Get professional help

Decluttering an estate is an emotionally draining process, especially if family members are involved, because of the emotional attachment to items. Plus, people often don’t know where to start because they are just so overwhelmed by the sheer size of the job.

Plus, with family and work commitments, often the family doesn’t have a spare four weeks to spend decluttering and clearing an estate. Or there may not be any family at all to assist with this process. This is where a professional organiser who specialises in estate clearing can be a good strategy, both in terms of emotional support and practical experience.

If you would like to discuss how we can help with your estate clearance, please contact Natalie Morey on Ph: 9421 1070 or 0419 754 784.

 

 

6 tips to ensure a stress free relocation to Melbourne

There is no doubt about it, that relocating is stressful. However, when you are relocating from interstate or overseas then it becomes even more stressful. So with a little bit of planning you can make your relocation a little less stressful.

These 6 tips to ensure a stress free relocation to Melbourne cover the key aspects that you will need to consider with any move. I think the biggest tip I can give you is to start planning your relocation well in advance.

Do a moving checklist

Start a moving checklist early, writing down all the tasks that you will need to do. You will be surprised by the sheer amount of tasks that need to be done. When I am managing a client’s relocation, the first thing I do is start a moving checklist. It helps me plan the move, and ensures I allow myself enough time to organise all the services and book suppliers that I need for their move. Plus, it does not feel as overwhelming once everything is written down and you assign a date as to when the tasks need to be completed by.

Select the best removalist to help you relocate

Good removalists book out early, so book yours well in advance. Keep in mind that they always booked out early around Christmas time and public holidays too. Having helped people to relocate since 2005 we have got to know which removalists are good and which ones you would want to keep away from. So don’t be in the situation where you forget to book your removalist and then you find yourself trying to find one at the last minute. Luckily, we have got to know who is good and we often get preferred treatment from our removalists now because we have worked with them for a number of years. If you are looking for a removalist, for a big move it might be worth visiting: https://www.afra.com.au/find-a-removalist/  The Australian Furniture Removers Association is the official body of removals experts that helps regulate the removals industry and they have a list of members you can choose from.

I also do some research and check out the companies online reviews. I check to see how many reviews they have, and how recent they are. This often gives you a good guide as to their customer service levels. My only other tip is to be extremely careful about using “backloading  removalists”.  These companies are removalists that travel from state to state, doing “Backloading trips”. We have a really good backloader that we work with, however there is some shonky operators out there. You may have even seen some of them featured of the TV program, A Current Affair. So my big tip is to do your research and keep in mind that the cheapest removalist is often not the best removalists.

Picking the best time to relocate to Melbourne

For some reason, everyone wants to move in December (to be in just before Christmas) or in January just before school starts. However, the good removalists book out well in advance and there is so much more competition for rental properties around that time of the year.

The best time to relocate is in winter because it’s not as popular. There are more rental properties available to choose from and this really takes the pressure off you. There’s nothing worse than having to sign up for a 12 month lease, knowing that you don’t love your new home. So planning to move house in winter has lots of benefits for you.

6 tips on a stress free Relocation to Melbourne

6 tips on a stress free Relocation to Melbourne

Tips on finding the right rental property

It can be tricky when you are moving from interstate or overseas and don’t know the area that you are moving to. This is when it might be a great time to invest in the services of a relocation agent. An expert that knows the local area, understands how the rental market works and has got contacts with local realestate agents. With your rental brief taken, they will do all the research, speak with agents and shortlist properties for you to inspect. If you are interested in finding out more about how a relocation agent can help you find a rental property, then click here.

If you are not going to use the services of a relocation agent, then you will need to do your own research. Start by searching for local blogs that give you an overview on various areas. Local realestate websites such as www.realestate.com.au, www.domain.com.au and www.realestateview.com.au also have a wealth of information on suburbs. It might also be good to check with your new colleagues to find out where they are living.  Getting the inside knowledge on suburbs from locals is invaluable when you are relocating.

Overwhelmed? Then book some relocation assistance

Imagine this. Your relocation is all organised for you. A reliable removalist booked. A team of lovely ladies will arrive the day before uplift and pack and label all your boxes ready for the removalist. Your vacate clean is booked for the day after you move out and any leftover rubbish will be removed. Then, the same team of experienced ladies will unpack and set up your new home, ready for you to just walk in. If you like the idea of relocating this way, then contact The Lifestylers Group, and we can manage your entire move for you.

Allow enough time to settle into Melbourne

It takes time to settle into any new area and to make new friends. So don’t be too hard on yourself. So allow time for this. Commit to regularly getting out and exploring your new suburb. Write a to do list of all the things you would like to do or visit in your new town and make the most of your weekends. Take the opportunity to join a new sporting group (why not book those golf lessons that you have always been waiting to do).  Or perhaps instead of eating lunch at your desk, ask one of your new colleagues out for lunch each week.

Using a relocation agent to help find a rental property makes sense

So, what is a relocation agent and what do they do? And more importantly, how can a relocation agent help me find a rental property and move house? These are often questions that we get asked. Using a relocation agent to help find a rental property makes sense, once you understand the service they can offer. Anything that makes finding a rental property less painful has got to be good.

Many executives relocating will have heard of the term, or there HR department will have worked with a relocation agent to help them relocate new staff. However, if you are not an executive you may not have heard of the term, relocation agent, let alone know how a relocation agent can help you to move house.

Or, like many people, you may not have even considered using a relocation agent. Especially, if you live locally in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Perth and are only moving locally because you associate using such a service with people moving from overseas.

However, these are all myths. Did you know?

  1. You don’t have to be an executive to use a relocation agent to help you find a new rental property and move house.
  2. You don’t have to be relocating to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Perth from Dubai, or anywhere overseas for that matter. We have lots of local clients that use the services of our relocation agents, simply because they don’t have the time to find a rental property.
  3. Big companies aren’t the only ones to use relocation agents.
  4. Relocation agents don’t cost a fortunate either. TIP: If you are relocating for work and you have not been given a relocation allowance or budget, then you can often claim the cost of your relocation agent with your annual tax return.

We get lots of calls from local clients. They may have come across us in despair after searching the net for some assistance to help them move house. Often, they are struggling to find the time to attend the set open for inspections or they just simply don’t have the time to spend searching for a property in the first place. Or they might be from interstate and cannot attend the open for inspections. Having been informed by the real-estate agent that they cannot submit an application until they or their representative has inspected it, they start the search for assistance and stumble across the term “relocation agent”.

We work with lots of different types of people to help them find a rental property – Doctors, fashion designers, engineers, professors, and dentists. All of our clients face similar challenges though. They don’t have the time to find a rental property, or cannot be in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Perth to look at properties. Or they might not know what area they want to live in or have been applying for properties and have been unsuccessful. So that is when a relocation agent can be of great benefit.

The first thing we get our clients to do is complete a detailed “needs analysis”. This helps us understand more about the client and exactly what sort of property they are looking for. We then personally speak with all clients once we have received their needs analysis to get a further insight into our client’s lives and requirements.

We then start the search, looking for the right rental property. We might also speak with local agents to see what new properties may be about to hit the market.

We then shortlist a range of properties that we believe match their relocation brief. They then review this list of properties and select the properties that they want to inspect. We then book all the appointments and can even pick clients up from their hotel or workplace and take them to inspect properties. Or we can inspect properties on their behalf and report back to them after the inspection. We also help with the rental application and do all the follow up with the agent and can help organise their utility connections as well.

Using a relocation agent to help find a rental property makes sense

Instead of making a tone of calls to various agents, you simply make one phone call to The Lifestylers Group and we do all the work.

Our relocation agents are experienced.  They know each suburb like the back of there hand. All of our relocation agents have all relocated themselves, so they totally understand the challenges and stress of relocating. Plus, all of our relocation agents love property and most importantly love showing people around there city.

So if you are moving to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Perth and need some help, then give us a call. Our relocation service guarantees to take the hassle out of finding a rental property and moving house.

Relocation Agent

Relocation Agent

 

 

Declutter your books

When did you make the time to declutter your books? If you’re like me, I’m tipping it hasn’t been recently.

Declutter my house

Declutter your books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declutter your books in 5 easy steps.

When your books start to build up and create clutter on your bookshelves, bedside table or book shelves its time to declutter. So here’s 5 steps to help make the process of decluttering your books easier.

Set time aside to declutter your books.

You need to set designated time aside if you want to declutter any space. If you don’t have an hour, then just allocate 10 or 15 minutes and don’t stop till the time is up. Just remember though, once you have culled and decluttered your book shelve, bundle the books up ready to be dropped off (also set a date by which they must be dropped off). If you only have 10 or 15 minutes for a declutter session, then also make sure you set yourself a goal as to when you want to have the entire book shelve decluttered.

One shelf at a time.

Like any declutter project you need to start small. So in this instance when you are decluttering your book shelf, start decluttering one shelve at a time. Work from the top down. And if they are spilling out onto the floor, then that is the best place to start your declutter.

Will you really read it again?

I know myself, I had a heap of books that I was never going to read again. So I decided it was time to clear the clutter and let go. With any decluttering that you do, maximum impact is made when you can let go of more items. Plus, it is so much easier to organise and style a book shelve that is not jam packed with books. So keep that in mind with you when you start your declutter.

Why are you keeping those books anyway?

I realised that I was keeping a heap of my old university books. Why? I think it was because of all the memories that they brought back. But the reality was, I was never going to use my Macro Economics book again (I hated the subject then and my opinion has not changed), so why was a keeping it, so they had to go. Declutter and be gone!

Declutter your books and donate.

Feel good about decluttering your books by donating them to someone who can use them. I recently did a declutter for a client and we donated books that were in very good condition to her local library. The library then sold the books and used the money to buy more books.

Other places to donate books to include:

http://www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au/donate/

https://www.footpathlibrary.org/contact-us/ they have branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The Lifestylers Group provides decluttering assistance in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. For assistance with any declutter project (the kitchen, bedroom, office, wardrobes, garage) contact us.

Image credit: http://bliss-athome.com/about/

 

Packing for a house move

Are you packing for a house move? It’s a big job that often takes longer than what you think. So I have listed down some of the key things you should consider when packing for a house move.

Packing for a house move

Packing for a house move

 

 

Start the house packing early. Clients always under estimate how much time it will take to pack for a house move. So my biggest tip is to start the house packing early.

Declutter first. Don’t pack and pay to move items that are not going to fit into your new house.

Do a floor plan of your new house. It is often a good idea to map out a floor plan of the new house and mark out where all your furniture is going. This will help you decide what you want to take and sell/donate.

Think about your rubbish. When you are packing for a house move, you might be doing a big clear out at the same time and have lots of rubbish. So you may want to consider using your free council rubbish pick up, to help save some money.

Book your removalist early. Don’t be so focused on packing for your house move that you forget to book your removalist until late. Good removalists book out early. Also, keep in mind that they are always busy around Christmas too, so book them well in advance.

Don’t put yourself under pressure. If you are running out of time or would rather spend your free time doing something more enjoyable, rather than house packing then perhaps you should organise some house packing assistance. There are trained house packers that can come in and pack or unpack your house in a day. At The Lifestylers Group, we have been providing a house packing service for over 11 years, so we have packed up a few homes now.

Use white packing paper. Some clients will wrap their belongings in newspaper. This leaves marks, not to mention your hands are filthy by the end of your packing or unpacking. Most storage companies will sell the white butchers paper that you need for packing up your belongings. Also, use lots of paper to pad and protect your precious belongings.

Use packing boxes. Again, using the correct size boxes will save you time. Porta robes are great for packing up wardrobes. It takes no time to pack up a wardrobe and best of all, your clothes don’t get creased. Plus, it takes no time to unpack either.

Label your boxes. Clearly label the outside of each box with the room that it belongs to. Then it makes it easy for the removalist to put the correct boxes in the correct rooms.

Don’t get overwhelmed at packing up your house. Start in one room first and work your way through the rest of the rooms. As I said, packing up your house is a big job so you will need to allow time. Plus, it is quite overwhelming if you focus on the fact that you are packing up your whole house. So by focussing on one room at a time it makes packing up your house a more manageable thought.

Don’t drag your boxes. If you have got floor boards, this is very important when you are packing up your house. The last thing you want is scratches on your floor boards (especially if you are renting).

Don’t over pack your boxes. Just because you are not moving them, doesn’t; mean you should not consider this.

Feeling overwhelmed? Consider the benefits of using a house packing service. A house packing service saves you not only time but also stress. Packing up for a house move is a massive job. If it is a big home there might be 20 plus hours of packing for your house move. Who has that sort of spare time?  It may be money well spent.

Choosing a good packing service. When looking for house packers there are a few important things that you want to look out for. Firstly are they experienced? Have they provided a packing service for a number of years? Secondly, do they have full insurance cover for their packing service, in case something happens? In 11 years of providing a packing service, we have not had an insurance claim (and fingers crossed this continues). But it is still an important question to ask.

With any house packers that you book, you also want to know that they are reliable and have worked with the packing company for some time. Are there house packers staff or do they use subcontractors? All of our house packers are staff members. Plus, most of our packing staff have been with us for a number of years.

Good luck with your house packing.

The Lifestylers Group house packing service is located in Melbourne, however we can also help clients in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth with all their house packing and unpacking requirements. Clients like it when they can book our packing service in Melbourne and know that a similar job will be done at the arrival destination.