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.
I have been sick recently and have been in hospital a couple of times.
It’s made me think about how I run my life and what I need to do to change things to ensure I am taking the best care of myself.
Personal concierge service
So here’s my tips:
- Remove any people or things from your life that stress you out. Whether it’s at work or personally, people or things that cause you stress have no place in your life. Make the tough decision and remove them from your life. I promise your stress levels will lower immediately. Mine did.
- Say no. Look after your health. The reality is that we just cannot do everything all of the time. So you need to say “no” sometimes. Perhaps it’s taking on to much work, attending to many social functions or trying to be everything to everyone one. If you continually stretch yourself there becomes a breaking point.
- Don’t put off going to the doctor. Regular check-ups will help keep on top of things so they won’t get out of control.
- An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Eat healthy and exercise. Remember, you are what you eat. If you are not getting the recommended serves of fruit and vegies per day then have a daily smoothie. 3 serves of vegies at breakfast is a great start to the day. (I prep mine the night before, so there is no excuses in the morning)
- Be prepared. I always keep a couple of prepared meals in the freezer. Great for when you don’t feel like cooking, and want to avoid unhealthy take away options. The last thing you want when you already feel unwell.
- It’s okay to have a pyjama day, every so often. I have done this a couple of times recently and it feels really good. Just don’t make it a regular thing!
- Stress less. The amount of stress you have in your life has a big impact on your health. So managing your stress levels is critical. (Refer to point 1)
- Make time for yourself. Definitely struggling with this one at the moment. What, with a young family, business, husband, friends it’s hard to find the time. But, we all need some “me” time for our sanity.
- Exercise. So this is the last thing you want to do when you are tired. But it definitely makes you feel better. I struggle with spare time but I also understand that I need to exercise as it makes me feel better. So I have just downloaded the 7 Minute Workout App from iTunes. I figure if I cannot find 7 minutes in my day, then there’s a problem. So I am starting off small and working my way up from here. Will let you know how I go.
The Lifestylers Group is a personal concierge service provide assistance to clients located in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
Get to get organised
I don’t know about you, but I find it easy to run late if I’m not organised.
I worked with a client recently to help her get organised. Her biggest gripe was that she was always running late. Late to work. Late to pick up the kids. Late to visit friends. Late with dinner. And she wanted to fix this problem.
I know myself, if I’m not organised then I am guaranteed to run late. So I could totally understand where she was coming from. So here’s my tips to help you get out the door, on time, every time.
It all comes down to planning. It doesn’t have to be military precision, but the more planning you do, the more likely you will be on time. Plus, the more kids you have, the more planning you need to do. So for example, if you know you are going somewhere tomorrow morning, then work out:
- What time you need to leave to get their on time.
- Consider if you need to allow extra time to park or if you will hit peak hour or school traffic.
- Do you need to get petrol on the way?
Then allow an extra 10 minutes, as a buffer. So if you had planned on leaving at 9.15am aim to be in the car at 9.05am. Easy!
If you are taking the kids then ensure they know what is expected of them in the morning. Explain the night before, that they will need to be up at a set time in the morning.
Allow extra time
As I mentioned above, factor in a 10 minute buffer zone. I’ve got little kids and it never fails that as soon as you are ready to get in the car, they do a poo. So their nappy needs to be changed. And, if you’ve got big kids, they still need to be managed too.
How long does it take to do one’s hair?
I mean really!
Do you really need to be snap chatting or texting at 8am in the morning!
Most teenage kids only know one pace. Dawdle!
Plus some kids are just not morning risers. So you need to plan for this. Explain the night before what the deal is. What time they will need to be up in the morning. And then stay one step ahead of them by calling them 15 minutes earlier than required.
Organise your clothes the night before
Each night I work out what I am going to be wearing for the following day. It’s out, ironed and ready to go. Then, there’s no procrastinating in the morning about what to wear. If you want to be super organised, plan your wardrobe on Sunday. Iron and hang it some separate so you are organised for the entire week. Easy!
I do this for my kids as well. So, then I’m not running around trying to find their clothes in the morning. Plus it avoids arguments.
If they are at the stage where they want to dress themselves, then get them involved. Get them to choose their own clothes the night before. There’s nothing worse in the morning. You’re now running late. You’re screening at the kids to get in the car and you realise your daughter is dressed like a bumble bee!
Don’t waste time looking for lost keys
Have one spot where your keys and phone get put. Perhaps you need to hang a hook inside the front door. Or set up a “drop zone” somewhere in your house where your keys and phone are put religiously.
Is it in the top draw in the kitchen? A bowl setting on the bench. Or on the hallway table. Basically whatever works for your home!
Get up 15 minutes earlier than planned
I find this really useful, especially if you have to get kids organised to. Get up, get yourself organised and perhaps even have your breakfast first. You want to avoid shoving cold toast in your mouth as you run out the door…running late again!
The Lifestylers Group is a professional organising and decluttering service, based in Melbourne and assisting clients in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
We spend enough time in there so why not make our bedroom clutter free, organised and stylish. Here’s 10 ways to add glamour to your bedroom and they won’t cost a fortune either. Plus, with the change in seasons, it’s the perfect time to declutter and organise your bedroom, add some pops of colour and freshen up the space.
1. Add a gorgeous headboard
Check out these gorgeous padded bedheads. Elegant and distinctive they come in a range of great colours and totally change a drab bed into a fab one in know time at all. Check out:
http://www.heatherlydesign.com.au/ for some stylish options.
2. Beautiful bed linen
You simply cannot go past the feeling of beautiful soft linen. You know that feeling when you stay at a luxury hotel and you climb into bed and go “ahha””. 1000 thread count all the way for me! If you plan your shopping well, buy your new linen when it’s on sale so it won’t cost a fortune either.
Luxury Bedroom Linen
3. Add texture with a beautiful throw
A quick and easy way to change the look and feel of your bedroom is with a throw. They come in so many different colours and textures; a throw rug immediately adds depth to any bed. Plus it provides extra warmth on those cold winter nights.
4. Cushions, cushions and more cushions
10 ways to add glamor to a bedroom
My husband will tell you that I a mad for cushions. They just finish off a bed. Yes, you do need to take them off the bed of a night so you can sleep, but so what. They look great and finish off the perfect bed.
5. Add flowers
Fresh flowers add a lovely touch to any bedroom. It’s a cost effective way to add some style and brighten up any bedroom.
Image credit http://www.thepeakoftreschic.com
6. Mirror mirror on the wall
Beautiful Bedroom Mirrors
Mirrors help to create the illusion of space in any room. They also add depth and an element of light in your bedroom. As a tip, be sure to check what sort of hook you will need to hang your wall mirror with.
Image credit: www.houzz.com.au
7. Burn a candle
These days their are so many amazing scented candles and diffusers that create beautiful aromas. Perfect for helping you to relax and ease into the perfect night’s sleep.
Image credit: http://lyfestyled.com.au
8. Rug up
Add depth to your bedroom by including a floor rug. They come in so many amazing colours and styles, you are sure to find something to fit your style and décor.
Image credit: http://www.zgallerie.com/
9. Pretty as a picture
Hanging pretty wall art, or pictures adds personality to any room. You can get some beautiful frames and images that will suit any room. Go for gold or silver, or keep it neutral or white, or make a statement with black.
Image credit: www.pinterest.com.au
10. Clear the clutter
Clear the clutter and surround yourself with meaningful objects. Create a peaceful and relaxing place perfect for rest and rejuvenation. Have you got too much stuff sitting on your bedside table? Is your chest of draws full of things that you never use? Are clothes just dumped on the floor?
Their is nothing better than waking up in the morning to a clutter free bedroom. Commit to do a quick clean up every morning when you are making your bed and that way, clutter will never build up.
These 10 tips for planning the perfect kid’s party cover off on the key things you need to address when organising a kids birthday party. So good luck with planning your little munchkins party.
- Set your budget
Organising the perfect kids party
Image credit: blog.hwtm.com
Remember, it’s a birthday party not an 18th or a 21st birthday party.
Some people love big extravagant party’s and some don’t. It really comes down to you, your family and your budget. The key is to not put yourself under too much pressure. It’s also worthwhile to keep in mind that if you do an amazing party this year, you may feel the pressure to repeat it again next year. I have found that the first born seems to get the amazing party and then the second child misses out. I know that we had a really big party for our first daughters first birthday then had a lower key party for my second child (and I felt a bit guilty about it).
2. Set the date and time
Kids Birthday Party Ideas
Image credit: http://karaspartyideas.com/
Set the party date early as everyone seems to live such busy lives these days that it’s good to give as much notice as possible. Plus, depending on the age of your child you may need to consider any sporting commitments the kids may have.
3. Select the venue
Kids birthday party
Image credit: pinterest / http://www.burlapandblue.com/
Now you need to decide if you are having your party at home or at a venue. Both have their pros and cons. If you want a smaller party, then having it at home is perfect. Plus, it often motivates you to do a bit of spring cleaning and decluttering in preparation for the big day.
It’s amazing how the garden improves and the windows get washed when you have a party, so you can benefit from all this extra cleaning after the party has been and gone.
However, if you want a bigger party where you can just walk in and it’s all set up, you might need to find an external venue such as a play centre, sporting facility or function room. Just remember that most venues will charge a room hire to use their room, which adds to the cost of the party. You will most likely have to pay for venue staff and possibly use their food or choice of caterers. So, if you want to bring in your own food or use your choice of caterer be sure to ask these questions before you book.
The other thing to remember is that their will be a set time at which point you must be out of the venue by. You will also need to check how early you can get access to the venue to set up. If you are having an elaborate theme and setup, you will need to ensure you negotiate an early access time to the venue.
4. Planning the menu
Image credit: pinterest / jacqy918.tumblr.com
For a first birthday, let’s be honest it’s mostly about the parents, however if you have older kids then you will definitely need some party food too. If you are doing it yourself, select food that can be prepared the day before and only needs to be heated up on the day. Food like:
- mini quiches
- sausage rolls
- chicken balls and
- risotto balls
Can all be made ahead of time taking the pressure off you on the day. Then, you just need to reheat them on the day.
The last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen all day when you have got guests. To make it a bit easier you might even decide to purchase some of the food off a caterer which means you only need to make some of the food and not all of it.
You will also need to consider if there is any special dietary requirements that you need to cater for. You need to be really careful about nuts and allergies these days.
5. The birthday cake
Kids Birthday Cake
Image credit: Pinterest / projectnursery.com
Will you make or buy the birthday cake? If you are buying it, most places need a couple of weeks’ notice. Also, keep in mind that the more detailed cake design you have, the more notice they will need.
If you are making the cake, do you need to do a trial run a couple of weeks before the big day? I wish I had with my son’s birthday. He had a Peter Rabbit themed party and I had seen a cake that I wanted to recreate. I made the cake which turned out perfectly, however I couldn’t get the right coloured blue food die to match the picture I had. I then had to go and buy a different coloured blue at the last minute because when I mixed it up, it wasn’t the right colour. This is something that I would not have known until I started mixing the colour.
Write a list of all the things you might need for the cake:
- Do you need to buy a special cake tin?
- Have you got all the ingredients for the cake?
- What sort of icing are you going to have?
- Have you got the right coloured candles and plate to put the cake on?
- Do you need any cake decorating equipment?
- Do you need to buy sugar flowers, ribbon etc.?
You will definitely need to consider all of these things if you are going to make the cake.
6. Design your invitations
Kids Birthday Card
Image credit: https://www.paperdivas.com.au
How do you want to invite your guests? Are you keeping it simple and will you just call or email your guests? Or do you want to design and mail out invitations to match the theme of the party?
Consider if you need to also have printed: matching
- Envelopes (Don’t forget your stamps either)
- Thank you cards
- Stickers for drinks, food signage and goodie bags.
If you are having them printed, you will need to allow time for printing and mailing. Check also if they supply matching envelopes or if you need to purchase envelopes seperately.
If you want printed invitations, check out these websites. They are easy to use and you can quickly create great invitations that can be printed off, or they can print them for you.
Now is the time to also check and make sure you have everyone’s addresses. If you want to get really organised you could type the addresses up in Excel, then do a mail merge and print off the address labels. This is really useful if you plan on sending out thank notes or using the addresses again to send Christmas cards to.
With your guest list you will want to keep a record of who you’ve invited to the party, as well as who has RSVPed and any special meal requests they might have. Keep in mind that big is not always best.
7. Choose your theme
Now the fun begins. Time to decided on your colour scheme and theme for the party.
Pinterest / birthdaygirlblog.com
10 tips for planning the perfect kid’s party
Image credit: http://myperfectevent.com.au
I am a big one for manners. Now is the perfect time to remind your child about the importance of thanking their guest for any presents they may bring. Plus, making sure that no kids are left out from the activities and looking after their little guests is important too.
9. Clean out the toys
With a birthday party comes lots of new toys. So I use this time to do a big clean out of old and broken toys or toys that the kids have grown out of. Otherwise, you just end up with the biggest pile of toys that you then need to keep tidy and organised.
As a former event manager I LOVE a run sheet. I cannot help myself. I do a run sheet that lists when everything is happening and who is doing it. It helps me to keep organised, not miss anything and on schedule. It should list all of the tasks that need to be done prior to the party as well as on the day.
Here’s a sample of tasks that you would include on your run sheet:
||Who is responsible for this
||Do my budget
||Set the date
||Select the venue
||Decide on a party theme
||Design and proof the invitations
||Purchase stamps and envelopes
||Print out address labels
||Mail off invitations
||Order birthday cake
||Plan the menu
||Purchase the birthday gift and card
||Organise the child’s birthday outfit
||Finalise the guest numbers
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.