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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dumpster Dumping

Yes, you read the post title correctly. We were not taking stuff from a dumpster, but filling one —  a very BIG dumpster. This one at 8 ft x 20 ft x 5.25 ft x was the next size down from the largest dumpster size of 40 cu. yards.

We were dumping in NJ for the better part of last week. Last December, I posted that my mother passed away in my home state of New Jersey. A long and very rough winter kept Pat, myself, and my brother from going there to clear out her home. 

Last week, we gathered at my childhood home to clear out STUFF gathered during both my parents lifetimes. My dad, who predeceased my mom by over 30 years, was a self-employed electrical contractor. In addition to the house contents, there was a two-car garage loaded with many of his tools, equipment, and paperwork.
Like many of their generation, my parents were hesitant to part with things that they felt could be needed someday.

For those who might be thinking "estate sale." We explored that option as we met with several estate sale companies in early April; all had advised us not to discard anything
before they came (even though we knew better in the case of broken items). After reviewing the house contents (the garage was excluded), several told us they didn't see that they "would "make enough profit." Others would have done a sale regardless; a couple wanted to bring in other items to "seed the sale."








After evaluating all their feedback and fees (zero up front, but $1250-$1800 or 25%-40% of gross sales, whichever was greater), we decided that an estate sale would not work out. Still, it was an education as we learned that my parents art deco/waterfall pattern bedroom and mahogany dining room furniture were not sought after vintage pieces.


Yes, it was a major task for the 3 of us to clear out the accumulations of so many years. Sorting through items in the house and garage, while time-consuming, provided my brother and I with the chance to find items once important to our parents, some we had never seen while growing up. And, we found ourselves reminiscing about our family and finding out that we each had special memories  trips down memory lane, priceless.

Of course, NOT everything could be saved. Some items were kept by my brother or myself, some were donated to area thrift stores or given to friends of my late mother. A lot was were set aside for future sale, including nearly all the furniture. The house and garage will cleared out and eventually sold. We will be making a future NJ road trip(s).

We've been on the road quite a bit a LOT in April and May both in NJ and also VA to re-list our home, The Frog & PenguINN with Coldwell Banker. This week we're back at the F&P as we prepare to pack a small U-Haul trailer-load of stuff and return to NH. As many of you may know, (and maybe some learning now) we relocated last November and are renting an apt in a former textile mill (more details on that later). Yes, downsizing is an ongoing challeng as we purge stuff both before and after moving it!

And, blogger friends, this explains why we haven't had much time for blog posting and visiting in recent weeks. But, we have read and enjoyed your comments on a few recent posts. Thanks to all.

11 comments:

Sandra said...

i like all of her furniture weather is is IN right now or not and i am sure someone will buy it and love it. we did not hire a dumpster when mother died, but used 3 pick up trucks to run to the dump.. i told bob last week if he goes first i will have to get one of these dumpsters and hire someone to fill it, everything in the garage would go.. and in the ceiling.

Far Side of Fifty said...

The Art Deco Furniture is stunning! As is that Duncan Phyfe Table and Chairs! I could have never put that old trunk in the dumpster...people around here pay big bucks for any kind of trunk..I spied a hockey stick too...you should have had a sale right there yourselves forget the auctioneers or estate sale people they will rip you off for sure. I sell quite a few antiques etc on our local Facebook Sales site. I hate to see anything thrown away...obvious junk yes but you would be surprised what people will buy:)

William Kendall said...

I can see that being a huge amount of work.

Lois Evensen said...

The furniture is beautiful!

I can understand what you're doing. I did the same for my parents' home.

Michelle said...

I think that furniture is really beautiful. I know that is a lot of work and emotionally draining as well.

Emma Springfield said...

Going through your parents things was surely both depressing and cleansing. I am afraid I would have spent too much time reminiscing. All the sorting and discarding and saving you are doing both at your mother's house and at the F&P are making me tired just ot think about them. Whew!

Out on the prairie said...

Hard to say what you need, at our age we have it all.Missing hearing from you, hope all continues well.

Montanagirl said...

I've missed you stopping by my blog as well! I wondered where you were!! Cleaning all those things out had to be hard for you.

Anvilcloud said...

Not fun, eh? That furniture looks good to me. Good luck on the Inn too.

gigihawaii said...

I had to downsize last year when we decided to turn our master bedroom and bathroom into a rental unit. I kept the things I could use on a daily basis and donated the rest to Goodwill.

Daisy said...

I know what that is like. I had to handle my parents' estate too. It is a lot of work. It was an emotional time for me as well, and I did most of the work by myself. We did have an estate sale, but afterwards wished we hadn't because it really wasn't worth it. Good luck in getting everything taken care of and getting your house sold too.

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