We have had a lot of complete home clean outs but this one was by far the most unique to date. The client is planning to retire in the next year or two from a job she has had for many years and has been preparing for her retirement “gig”, producing customized apparel for pet owners. She had already started to accumulate a massive amount of inventory that once her basement was filled the boxes overflowed to the main level, as well as every bedroom upstairs.
We realized after spending the first few hours trying to sort everything into various categories by gender, size, brand, style, etc. that part of the decluttering and clean out process was not going to get done by the client’s deadline to list her home that only gave us 3 weeks to do everything, not just dealing with the inventory.
We had to coordinate with our moving partner to remove all of the inventory from the house and take it to a storage unit nearby for our team to then get everything sorted and organized in that space. This gave us enough of the clearing we needed in the house to then tackle everything else.
It needed to be used for storing things from the house until it is sold, but at least we got the necessary clearing.
So while one team was at storage for about a week another team was at the house going from room to room and either packing up what would not be needed until the actual move once the house was sold or tossed, donated or organized in the various spaces if the client knew she was still going to need access to any particular items.
Watching tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff go out the door can be very traumatic for most people, but this client? She maintained an incredible sense of humor about it all and made our job so much easier.
Biggest tips and takeaways?
Plan ahead…plan ahead…plan ahead!!! We cannot emphasize this enough. While we were able to get everything done in the timeframe we were given, the stress that can accompany a project like this can literally send some people over the edge and that is never a good situation to be in. If you know you will be moving in 3-6 months you should still begin the decluttering process sooner rather than later.
Be realistic about your time and energy vs. any amount of money you may stand to gain if you have things you are thinking about selling. Yes, it was unfortunate this client ended up giving away so much but at least she understood the role she played in creating all of the clutter and had to make peace with the fact that she wasn’t going to be able to sell everything she was giving away.
Maintain a sense of humor as much as possible. The reality is the process is hard but don’t make it even harder by agonizing over every single item. In this particular case the client gave away a literal ton (as in 2000 pounds at least) of fabric to a few different nonprofits we are connected with and at one point we were “kicking” bags down the stairs and jumping into the giant pile that needed to get out the door so we took a video and in the background you can hear the client laughing.
Check out some of our other Transformations.