Much to be thankful for … today I am thankful for another garage sale to be over.

We moved my mother-in-law to assisted living in November of 2014.  We have been working on cleaning out her house since then.

My husband and his brother were not in agreement on how to go about clearing out the belongings.  Should we have garage sales, an estate sale, give things away, let the house sit … Decisions, decisions.

Along with those decisions, I was giving the job of paying her bills, and managing her money. So I was aware of when we needed to sell the house.

She moved in the beginning of November of 2014.  My kids were home for Thanksgiving for their trip through the house looking for the belongs they wanted of Grandma and Grandpa’s.  A lot left that weekend, but oh the stuff! We found many of the hiding places where things were stuffed.

My husband’s brother piled his belongs in a couple corners … he said there wasn’t room at his house.  He had lived in his parents for a number of adult years and much of his belongings were still there.

I felt like we were taking truck load by truck load home. Our house was filling up.

His brother was not ready to give up his parent’s home (his childhood home). His parent’s had lived there since they married in 1953.

I talked my husband into have a garage sale at the house.  We needed to start somewhere.  We started to set up, and I got yelled at by my brother-in-law … that this was not my decision to have a sale or not.  The brother said that I wasn’t part of the family.  (We were married, 33 years as of last Aug 2015).  We put it off for a while and then just went ahead and did one. We did ok, but oh the stuff! More seemed to be coming out of the woodwork.

Over the course of last year, we did 4 sales and still had so much stuff. We did 1 at our house and 3 at hers. Mind you, her house is an hour away, so it was a lot of weekends going back and forth. A lot of time, a lot of gas, a lot of energy. My health had been compromised. My stress level was so intense, that I landed in the hospital with blood pressure issues … dropping to extreme low ranges.

As 2016 came around, I was unable to do much with the house until tax season was over. (I work in a CPA firm). Mid-March, I decided to look into estate sales. I didn’t feel like I could do another year of little garage sales.

Found a small business that came out and took a look around the house and two garages to see if we had enough value to be worth their time. Thankfully they agreed to do a sale for us at a 50/50 split instead of 65/35 split.  It still was worth it.  We just had to have all things out that we wanted. They went through things with the sentiment that the guys had.

We also decided to put the house up for sale at the same time. People at the sale could get a look around. Having both at the same time proved to be positive.  Within 2 weeks we had our first offer on the house.  Within 2 more weeks, we had accepted an offer. The estate sale brought in a reasonable amount of cash but still had things left.

Our subdivision has a neighborhood “Grand Slam” sale the first weekend of May every year.  We decided to bring remains to our house to sell in yet another sale.  This sale took place last Friday and Saturday.  Last week was tiring getting prepared for it.  Our garage had been overloaded since the prior year’s sale – with adding so many more boxes over the year with things we thought we wanted or thought we could sell online. Two nights back down an hour away to pick up more stuff and a bed.

Friday came … beautiful spring weather. Sunny, blue sky.  People kept right on coming.  Sold a lot that day. Closed up shop … ordered pizza for supper.

Saturday came … predictions of rain, but only rained for five minutes between 11 and 12. Sold a lot more that day.  The garage still looked full. The bed was the last thing to sell.

Knowing we were tired of this, we decided not to put any of it back into the garage. Packed up the truck with the remains ready to drop off at the thrift store. The truck looked so full, but after thinking of all the truck loads that we had brought home, it really was minimal.

There are still some things at the house to box up, but we are nearing the end. I am looking forward to getting my house in order.   It has been quite some time since I have had one room without any clutter coming from my mother-in-law’s home. I want just one room to be able to relax without seeing all that needs to be done.

Along with all that we have had to go through, I want to declutter my stuff so my kids don’t have to do what we have done.

If I don’t “forget”, I am hoping to post a picture each day or a couple times a week of my declutter for the day.  Today it is still all of the stuff in the truck.

Things we need to do to help with our mess: 1. Get a storage unit to store my mother-in-law’s furniture that she doesn’t need, but goes with her table and her bedroom furniture. 2. Attempt to spend 15 – 30 minutes daily to get rid of something, 3. ???

What things would you suggest us do to help us declutter and to stay on task?

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