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Whirlwind. Exhaustion. Accompishments.

June 7th, 2015 at 05:14 pm



It's hard to believe it hasn't even been a month since I moved my mother into an assisted living community. (It will be a month this Friday.)

Here's what I've done (in between working full-time):

1. Nearly single handedly emptied out my mother's condo. My sister came 2 or 3 times and then seemed to have lost interest. I had my handyman/carpenter come twice with his truck to move furniture. My friend Ron came once but didn't really help, to be honest.

I can't tell you how many trips I made with either a car full or my dad's pick-up full of donations for Good Will. My own home is upside down with my mother's artwork all over, not to mention her clothes and things too valuable to donate.

Can't tell you how much I simply trashed, dragging stuff to the dumpster at the condo.

I mean, I can't even begin to tell you how exhausting just this part of the process has been. I am DOG TIRED. And I lost 5 lbs, after not being able to shed a single pound since I passed age 50. Amazing, but that's what a double flight of interior stairs will do to you. That's a big part of what's made this so tiring, the stairs.

Most of the rooms are mostly emptied out except for what will remain for staging purposes, except for the 2 studio rooms.

2. Sold my mother's 96 Subaru for $750.

3. Terminated the cable TV and returned their stupid little box, cancelled the phone and Internet service, cancelled a few credit cards.

4. Interviewed 3 realtors and then picked one. With the help of a friend of mine who used to run a brokerage, we established the list price and a strategy to sell it quickly (hopefully). I negotiated a 5% commission with my agent and then will pay an additional 1% bonus commission to any agent who gets the condo under contract in 2 months time. If I still have this condo by back-to-school time, I'll have lost my window of opportunity and will likely have it thru the winter til next spring, and I'll be paying the taxes and common charges every month, which I REALLY don't want to get stuck doing. So it needs to sell quickly.

I already wrote the listing description (i used to do a lot of that as a freelance real estate writer) and the agent is using it.

My agent's agency will get a sneak preview of the condo later this week so they have an opportunity to make more money on it before it goes on MLS the following week.

5. I met with a carpet place and it's scheduled to get new wall to wall carpet this Wednesday. What's there is shot, looks terrible and makes the whole place look dirty.

6. The only other improvement I'm planning on doing is replacing the fogged up glass in the sliding glass doors in finished walk-out basement. I'm meeting the glass company guy there tomorrow for an estimate, but expect it will be $300 or $400.

7. Also tomorrow Make a Home Foundation is coming with 2 guys and a truck to take all my furniture donations, which includes dozens of book shelves, cabinets, desks, file cabinets etc. I HOPE they will take it all and not turn their nose up at anything.

8. In between all this, lots of visits with my mother to try to make her feel comfortable. Today, for instance, I spent a few hours in the a.m. scrambling to clean out the upper studio as my sister failed to clean out this one room as I'd asked her to. My concern is they won't be able to do replace the wall to wall carpeting in there if there's too much stuff to move. Then I drove over to my mother's to take her to a matinee and when i got home around 5:30 p.m., I sank into a lounge chair, exhausted.

Still to do: Find an attorney to represent me at closing.

Find buyers for both looms; I may have to donate the larger one to a nonprofit group in Hartford area that teaches blind people a skill (weaving). The smaller one should sell...I have a possible buyer coming tomorrow to look at it.

Next week an estate liquidator guy and his art expert are coming to my home to look at my mother's art and ideally buy it all as one lot to sell to dealers or whatever.

Later down the road I will want to sell my mother's 2 diamond rings, and 2 antique Koran holders my mother bought in Morocco that I believe are worth something.

There's also a large Moroccan rug that could be worth something.

I may also hire a cleaning company to deep clean just the kitchen and 2 bathrooms.

I need to find a place to donate a zillion photo frames, picture frames and mats and miscellaneous art supplies. I'll throw in yarn supplies to whoever buys the looms. May call a Montessori school about the frames tomorrow.

Have been in touch with mom's accountant; concerns about taxes. There's just so much to think about. My only consolation is that for most people, this kind of thing happens when their loved one passes, so then they have to do all this stuff while they're still in mourning. At least for me, my mom's still alive so it's not quite as emotional, though it is still difficult and I do feel very guilty at times becus i feel I'm dismantling her life and leaving her with very little.

From the surface, if you spoke to her, the only thing amiss would be that she can't remember anything, and even has trouble finishing a sentence. Otherwise, she's not overweight, she walks quite well and looks pretty well put together.

6 Responses to “Whirlwind. Exhaustion. Accompishments.”

  1. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    Wow I'm sorry you're having to do all of this alone. You are right that it is a blessing you are doing this while your mom is still living. I've volunteered in hospice for years and it blows my mind how many families wait until a loved one has passed to do this part and between the grief, family feuds, and legal or financial issues it is a miserable experience for everyone. As added bonuses your mom is adjusting as best she can and you've lost weight, so onward and upward you go!

  2. VS_ozgirl Says:

    WOW. You should be so proud of yourself, you have done so much in a month! Your mother is lucky to have you.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    You sound completely wiped out. No wonder you lost 5 pounds. You've been going non-stop.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    That's an amazing amount of work; I'm tired just reading about it. I hope the condo sells quickly and that buyers for all the other stuff materialize and come through! Sorry your sister has wiped out -- she sounds a lot like my sister Smile.

  5. snafu Says:

    Having worked with DB to clear mom's house to sell, I'm sad just thinking about the volume of work and stress. True, it's harder with emotional overlay and I still can't believe how much stuff my mom neatly squirrelled away in her small bungalow. I don't wish to add work but suggest you talk to your chosen realtor about flooring. In our region buyers are rejecting carpeting, preferring the better quality laminate or Engineered, wood looking flooring. Stairs are horribly expensive so carpet is chosen.

    While sister hasn't done her share of work, I'd postulate she'd expect at least half of future benefits. I believe it would be in your interest to note dates/hours devoted to these tasks, retain all receipts for any and all expenditures including utilities, fees, mileage to GW, handy-man, cleaners, repairs, flooring, legal etc.

    A great many hospitals and assisted living communities have craft programs like knitting caps for infants should there be softer yard. Would you consider a photo ad in Facebook Sale page in your community for looms or items of value?

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Wow, you have accomplished a LOT in a short time. I hope the house sells quickly.

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