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
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.
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.
When did you make the time to declutter your books? If you’re like me, I’m tipping it hasn’t been recently.
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:
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/
Don’t make these 4 mistakes when decluttering. If you keep motivated and inspired you will achieve great results. Make sure you have a plan and keep focused on the job at hand. Their is nothing more rewarding than standing back and admiring your work, once the job is done. I often find myself going back to a cupboard that I have organised, opening the doors and having a quick peek in to see my decluttering effort.
1. You don’t think there is a problem
Time to declutter and organise your wardrobe
You have become so use to living in a mess that it has become normal. It doesn’t worry you anymore that the dining room table is full of papers and stuff. You cannot see the office floor because of all the paperwork lying around but that is fine because you have just become accustom to it. You get frustrated when you go to get dressed for work because you cannot find anything, but that’s just normal now because it happens every morning.
2. You procrastinate
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the job at hand and just not do anything because you don’t know where to start. If you are struggling then perhaps book the services of a declutter expert to help you. It’s amazing how motivated you become once you know someone is coming to your house to go through your wardrobe!!
3. You don’t have a plan
To do list
You need a vision if you are going to get anywhere. Often clients stand at the door to the room and because they don’t know where to start, they simply close the door again.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed so having a plan or a vision is essential. I always ask clients how they visualize the room once it has been decluttered. It helps them to get inspired and motivated about the declutter process plus they have a goal to work towards.
I also recommend decluttering one shelve at a time. Start small, work through that area then start on the next one. Use these 4 categories as a guide to help you group declutter and group items.
- Cull (throw)
4. You lose motivation
Declutter and get organised
It’s easy to lose motivation especially if you cannot see much of an impact in the room you have been working in.
Decluttering can be a big job especially if you have a room full of stuff. If you are decluttering an office it can be much harder than decluttering a wardrobe because you physically have to inspect each piece of paper in case it relates to tax. Where as you can make a big impact in a wardrobe in a small amount of time by simply throwing out a couple of big, bulky items. Therefore, it’s important to remind yourself that your mess that may have been building up over a number of months or years, is not going to disappear in a matter of minutes. It might take a couple of hours or even a couple of days to see a difference.
It might also be a good idea to get a declutter expert to help you. They make you accountable and they can give you work to do in-between visits. We often give our clients “homework “to do before we come back and see them again. It helps our clients stay motivated because they have a deadline to work towards.
The Lifestylers Group can work with you to declutter and organise any part of your house: the kitchen, pantry, home office, bedrooms or garage.
If you’ve spent any time in a disorganised man cave or a messy garage (aka Dad’s domain) you will know how helpful a little organisation can be. Here’s 6 ways to help declutter your garage.
Image credit: Bunnings.com.au
1. Clear the clutter in your garage
Start the garage declutter process by grouping items into the following categories:
2. Group similar items together
Now that you have decluttered the garage it’s time to group and store the various items together. If you have a lot of different size nuts, bolts, nails etc., then put them into either small plastic containers with lids or clear boxes with different compartments. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes and you will find a container that is perfect for all of your stuff. I guarantee it will make finding the right size screw so much easier next time.
Containers to keep your garage organised
Image Credit: https://www.masters.com.au/product/100797002/really-useful-box-0-3l-box-16-drawer-set-clear
Containers with compartments – great for the garage
Image Credit: https://www.bunnings.com.au/tactix-20-compartment-organiser-storage-box_p2581003
3. Label it
Now that all your bits and pieces are grouped together, take the garage organisation one step further and label up the shelves and containers so you know where everything belongs.
4. Set up zones in your garage
Set up different areas (zones) in your garage to store things. For example put all your garden tools and equipment together in one area/shelve.
Peg boards like this are the perfect way to keep tools organised and off the workbench. Alternatively, you could place them underneath the bench. By making specific areas to put different items in it creates a more organised garage which in turn makes it so much easier to find things.
An organised garage
Image credit: http://wonderfulengineering.com/40-awesome-ideas-to-organise-your-garage/
Image credit: http://wonderfulengineering.com/40-awesome-ideas-to-organise-your-garage/
5. Shelve it
You can buy different sorts of portable shelves that are easy to install and will provide extra storage space. They are also portable so you can take them to your next garage and you can make them into different configurations such as a low work bench or high shelves.
Image credit: https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/storage-cleaning/storage/garage/shelving
6. Create space by hanging items
If you need to store things like bikes, fishing rods, long pieces of timber or pipe you can use a range of hooks secured from the ceiling. It gets everything off the ground and keeps your work benches and floors clutter free. Or store large tools with a unit like this.
Racks for the garage
Image Credit: https://www.bunnings.com.au/storease-large-tool-hanger_p2580042
Or try this wall mounted bracket to hang your fishing rods from.
Organised fishing rods in the garage
Image Credit: https://www.bunnings.com.au/storease-15kg-wall-bracket-fishing-gear-hook_p2582761
I hope that I have given you some inspiration with my 6 ways to help organise your garage. Set aside a weekend, be prepared to get down and dirty and do some serious decluttering and get your garage organised.
A unique gift for Dad – A garage declutter
Instead of giving another boring tie or DVD give a gift that is a little more practical. Dad’s love gifts that they can use over and over again. And, if it means every time they walk into the garage it looks schmick and organised and they can find their stuff, they will love it. A garage declutter is a perfect Father’s Day, Birthday or Christmas gift.
There is a lot to do when you declutter and prepare your home for sale. So I have broken the tasks you need to declutter and organise down into 4 manageable parts (1) the outside, (2), the inside declutter (3) furniture placement, and (4) on the day.
A little bit of planning, organising and decluttering your home for sale can have a big impact on the bottom line. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression when people come to view your home so you want it to be the right one. Plus, as you know house hunters will often do a “drive by” of properties before they attend open for inspections, so first impressions counts.
Declutter and prepare your home for sale – Start with the outside
Preparing your house for sale
Image credit: http://www.realestate.com.au/
Prepare a maintenance and declutter list and write down everything that needs to be done in the front garden. Do you need to address any of the following:?
- Gardening – either a tidy up or removing and replanting
- Lawn mowing
- Roll up any hoses and place tools out of site
- Painting including the front fence, house and front door
- Fix up or replace the mail box
- Fix the front fence/gate
- Wash down the outside of the house
- Wash the windows
- Wipe down or paint any outdoor furniture
- Place some pot plants around the garden/patio/front entrance (my tip is to plant full-size, bright annuals that will provide immediate colour)
- Replace the front door knocker, knob or other hardware if it looks worn out
- Clean up any clutter, debris, toys and gardening gear from the side of the house (remember people will poke around everywhere so there is no hiding anything).
- Purchase a new door mat.
How’s the view
- Take the time to think about the best attributes of your garden by standing inside your home and seeing what buyers will see when they are standing inside your house. What do you see from the window above the kitchen sink or the biggest window in your living room?
- Do you need to think about creating an outside focal point to draw buyers’ attention to the landscaping? For example, by planting bright flowers in the garden will help draw the eye of outside. Or, if the view is not that great, do you need to consider putting up a screen, hedging or plants?
- Are bushes overgrown and blocking out light from coming into the home?
Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so you want it to be the right one. Writing down your maintenance and declutter requirements helps you to get organised and stay organised when you are decluttering and preparing your home for sale.
Also, you will then identify that some tasks will need to be done before others, so a little bit of pre planning will save you time and ensure everything will happen when it’s meant to. For example, you will want to paint before you wash the windows.
It’s also worth considering that in the spring time, you might need to book a more regular gardening service or make sure the lawns are mowed more often.
If you find that the process to declutter and prepare your home for sale is too hard or overwhelming then contact The Lifestylers Group. We can help declutter and get your home ready for sale. Click here to contact us.
I’m a big fan of storage solutions that not only help to keep your belongings organised, but have a dual purpose and look good too. I recently did a home office organising job and we used a gorgeous white leather ottoman in the office to store files. It looked great, was functional and ensured that there was no loose papers and files lying around the newly decluttered and organised office.
So I thought I would put together 6 stylish storage ottomans which can be used for storing things like spare blankets and cushions in.
Ikea Storage Ottoman
This storage ottoman works just as well in the living room, hallway or bedroom. It has storage space under the seat. Plus, the cover is easy to keep clean as it is removable and can be machine washed. It’s both a stylish and practical bench that gives a warm, cosy feeling.
When style matters – Linen fabric storage ottoman
Linen Ottoman Storage
Modern and practical, this Life Linen Fabric Storage Ottoman is the perfect designer furniture piece for any bedroom, study room or home living decor. Not only great as a foot stool, it also offers generous storage space to store any unused items and declutter the room.
After a deep chocolate brown look?
Chocolate Ottoman Storage
Then look no further. Offering more than meets the eye, the Jeremy Storage Ottoman from Resort Living provides stylish seating for your space while creating hidden storage for household items. The lift-up lid provides generous storage space for household linens and cushions.
When style matters
Plush Ottoman Storage
Refresh your home with a beautiful ottoman from the Plush range. They add instant colour, style and storage with the Roller Storage Ottoman. This one is available in a wide range of decorator fabrics too, so it will match any decor.
Is vintage more your look?
Vintage Ottoman Storage
Add some vintage charm to your décor with this faux leather and brass Owen Storage Trunk. It looks great, is upholstered in linen fabric, providing exceptional softness and durability. It’s a stylish form of storage that can hold anything from linens to shoes to books. This size is perfect for the living room, bedroom or reading nook.
Space for more than just your feet
Ikea storage ottoman
As well as that extra put-your-feet-up comfort, they make great seats for guests, too. Plus, you can put things like magazines and toys in them. But best of all, with this one they have a range of coordinated covers which makes it easy for you to give your furniture a new look. The covers are easy to keep them clean as they can be removable and machine washed.