Oh, I’ll Get to it One Day

What if “One Day” Never Comes?

By Julie Hall

It’s fascinating what we professionals notice in our clients’ estates. For example, we do see a distinct similarity in almost all of the estates we go into, especially if the estate belonged to an elderly loved one from the Depression Era. The attics are usually full and the interesting thing is that 85% of them are full of things that really should have been disposed of 30+ years ago.

By the time we get into these attics to clear them out, the books are rotted and have been gnawed on, anything cardboard has pretty much disintegrated, clothing either smells like mildew or falls apart in your hands, or you find items that have long since been obsolete and no one has any use for them. If items of value were stored in the attic (which is a big no-no), chances are pretty good they have been damaged and the value greatly diminished. This is not always the case, but is generally what we find.

My assistant has a saying when we are working in the daunting attics, up to our elbows in stuff: “They were young when they put this stuff up there. By the time they finally figure out it has to be dealt with, they are 85 years old and can’t get up here anymore.”

So true. Time stops for no man and it does move rather quickly. We all have the best intentions of cleaning out the shed, garage, closets, cupboards … but if you continue to procrastinate and something happens where you or your loved one become incapacitated, it truly leaves a burden for the ones you leave behind. A bigger burden than you realize.

If you have had your sights on a project around the house which includes clearing out some “stuff”, make sure you know what it is worth before you sell it or give it away. It is better to clear out the clutter now so you can feel better about it and not worry. Believe me, your loved ones will really appreciate it one day.

JUST DO IT!