Estate Sales: Death and Your Belongings, Your Possessions, Your Stuff!

by Wendy

Document Your Stuff.. it's so important!

Document Your Stuff.. it's so important!

An Estate Sale will happen soon for my friend who passed away. A Estates company was hired, and they do all the work. It was interesting to hear about Estate sales in general...

I've learned:

  • They expect approximately 250 people to go through the home each day! WOW!
  • 1 in 10 people will ask if the home is for sale.
  • The first day, people will be lined up for at least 2 hours before the sale, outdoors (even in the cold). These are the folks who follow Estate Sales, collectors and such.
  • Depending on the company, the prices of items are reduced on Day 2 and 3 to get everything sold.
  • The company keeps 35% of the profits... that's a load!

    My sister went to a local Estate Sale on Friday (day 1). A table was $26, but she didn't buy. She returned on Saturday, lots of things were sold, but that table remained behind -- and she got it for $7.50! Her hobby is to refinish furniture in unique ways, so she has another piece to work on for very cheap! TIP: If you visit Estate sales, go on day 2 or 3!

    To me, the oddest part of it all... you work a lifetime, retire, then you die at some point (assuming you were lucky enough to live through retirement). That is the cycle of life. In between, your spend your hard-earned dollars to purchase things you need and enjoy. You fill your life with Stuff. YOUR STUFF.

    At your death, all those memories are gone. Nobody knows where your stuff came from, what it meant to you, or what it's even worth. Your precious stuff is sold (or worst, dumped at the curb). Who even wants MY stuff? It's really a sad thought...

    Please leave your comments below...

    Rikk Mauzer

    Yes Wendy, "stuff." It has been a just a few years that both my parents died. Like most of us, I NEVER gave it a thought that my parents would die and that I in fact would become an orphan! Well, it happened, and I am. "Stuff" entered the picture when I knew that my parents could no longer live in their home of some fifty years and be safe. Mom wanted to go back to their house one last time......I knew that it would not be easy for her nor I, BUT, I agreed to take her. As we entered, her eyes got wide as we progressed to each room with memories flooding both of our minds. She touched the walls, picked up things, but never said a word. I knew what she was thinking, she was leaving this house, this home, this life far behind and moving on to a tomorrow that was filled with uncertainty for herself and her husband, my father. I think that this visit gave her strength to move on and deal with an uncertain future. We were able to bring some of her "stuff" with her to her new facility where both of them would remain until I lost them. I felt sad that I could not bring the entire house of "stuff" with her, but that was not possible. "Stuff" to one person are memories to others, and as we walked thru that house on that bright summer day the memories came flooding back to both of us. Wendy, thank you for allowing me to share some MEMORIES......Happy Valentines Day Mom!


    Re: estate sale, it really is just stuff. I think stuff is valuable for its usefulness, and when the original user no longer needs it, and close ones do not want it or need it, then estate sale is a great way to let it find a new owner who wants it.


    Thank you your thought on the 'stuff' that we collect through our lives. We retired three months ago and moved from our family home into our little beach cottage. We sold and gave away most of our stuff when we moved, but tomorrow we are going to our storage unit to pick up what we cannot fit into our cottage and give away the rest of it. I lay awake for hours last night saying bye bye to some of the stuff that have very special meaning to me. It is going to be very emotional, but I am going to try to be positive about it: My family will not be left with my clutter, I can move on into my new, more simple, life with less stuff to clean, store or worry about, and my home will look and feel a lot more modern. Still have to work out what to do with the all the photographs inherited from my mother and grandmother though.

    Theodore Wilcocks, S. Africa

    Very true, what is dear to you is not necessary dear to anybody else. This no one can understand but the pain is no less. The most simple item can bring back so many memories. I can cry my heart out every day since my wife died when i think of the most love she had for a little cup she had since childhood. No Wendy, life is about preparing to meet your maker. People can dispute this but at the end of the day, you will have to meet your maker, and give up all earthly things. Keep life simple, but comfortable.

  • Comments for Estate Sales: Death and Your Belongings, Your Possessions, Your Stuff!

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    An elderly relative, who admired and trusted me much once said to me "I know that you will be by my bedside in my last moment." I smiled and said ...yes.

    Years later, I got a telephone call that he was very ill. I drove at a breakneck speed and reached his home as he was being taken by the ambulance people to the hospital. He saw me with a look of satisfaction and said nothing. I did not leave his bedside in the hospital as he lay in coma.

    I must have gone to sleep just outside his room as I was woken up by the commotion of doctors and nurses trying to revive his heart beat. He was dead.

    I rushed to his home to inform the family while his sons got busy in taking the body home. As I reached his home, we began to remove the furniture from the front room to receive his body.

    Hindus, by custom, lay the body on the floor, not on a bed or other furniture. I noticed that his framed photo stood on his study table in one corner of the drawing room. I decided to request his family to give that photo to me to keep in my house.

    Very soon his body arrived from the hospital and the house was packed with people who had come to mourn. I went into the drawing room and found the photo missing from the table. I opened the table drawer. Someone had removed the photo and put it in the top drawer.

    A few days later, I visited his home again. I asked his family if they would agree to give me that photo. They said that they did not know where the photo was. I told them that it was in the drawer. But the photo was not there. They said they would send me the photo.

    More than a decade has passed. The family has no clue where has the photo gone. This is what happens when we are not there.

    Re: Stuff / Old Photos
    by: Char

    Just a suggestion for the comment on all the old photos and what to do with them.

    If you would like to keep them yet have little room to store and don't want to add to the "stuff" you pass on to your own children, why not scan and build a memory photo album(s) on an external hard drive. You can add captions to the photos once scanned so later generations will know who/what/when/where.

    An external hard drive is small, requires very little space but can store up to 2T around 400K in photos. The hard copy photos can then be gotten rid of or passed on to other family members that may want them that have the space to store.

    A lot of time to scan and do this, but if you are retired it can be a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon with a cup of hot tea! It can also be a healing process in looking back at the full life that a loved one was blessed with and your special moments shared.

    by: Len S. Republic of Palau

    Thank your for writing about this particular topic. Being from a different culture we don't practice Estate Sales. Maybe in future time but not yet.

    I suppose I am just too sentimental about belongings of someone close who had passed away. I do keep certain items but the rest goes to other relatives for use and later burned.

    Yes it is sad to think that what meant so much to another will not for others. However I am sure that through these kind of sales most items will be used by someone else.. a new owner so to speak and that is nice.

    Thanks again for sharing. Take care all!

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