1) Make a Plan
Start by giving yourself a deadline and stick to it.
Get index cards or post-it notes to mark items as “NFS” (Not for Sale).
Map it out. Go one room at a time. Once you finish a room, be confident with your decisions and don’t go back.
2) Think “Fit, Feeling or Forget it.”
FIT: Consider the new space the family is moving to or the space the heir has available. Is there room for the piece? If so, where will it go?
FEELING: Consider family meaning attached to the piece. Keep in mind that what has meaning to one family member may not hold true for the other.
FORGET IT: If the item does not fit in the new space or there is no significant meaning to it, forget it. Put it in the sale and make a profit from it.
If you haven’t used it in the past 2 years, you don’t need it.
Kitchens, closets, basements and garages are the worst offenders for storing hundreds of items that don’t make the 2 year cut-off.
4) Don’t throw anything away!
This is why you are having an estate sale. There is profit in the items you no longer need, even in the items you may think are trash. Your Paint & Patina estate sale pros will discern trash versus treasure. You will be amazed!
5) Get Help
If you are overwhelmed or up against a fast approaching deadline, ask a neutral, third party to help. Having someone there with no attachment to the items (or to the stories associated with those items – this means don’t ask the close family friend!) moves the process along twice as fast. Paint & Patina offers this as a specialty service for a fee. You might consider hiring a professional organization company. Another great resource is your neighborhood stay-at-home mom. Many times they are great at organizing and enjoy occasional, part-time work.