Whether for reasons of death or divorce, an estate sale can be an emotional rollercoaster. Prepare yourself for challenges so that you are not taken by surprise when possessions unleash a flood of memories.
It's not always easy to make rational decisions when handling the logistics of an estate sale, explains a post on WCPO, "4 tips for dealing with the emotional side of estate sale planning." Here are four good suggestions for dealing with the emotions that often accompany such an endeavor.
Get advice. Don't take on this responsibility alone. As you begin the process of selling the contents of an estate, find yourself a support system. This can include members of your family, friends, and experts (like an estate planning attorney). These folks can provide you with valuable advice, and you may feel more comfortable when you've considered input from others. Given that this is an extremely emotional experience, you might also want to talk with a member of the clergy or a counselor as you go through the steps of preparing for the estate sale.
Get ready for memories. There can be times of grief that will pop up unexpectedly, and in some instances, simply seeing certain items will trigger special memories. Sorting through some household items might appear to be a simple and unemotional task. However, it can be tough when you come across something that you associate with a memorable occasion. Be prepared to find items that may cause a moment of pain. Even so, try to balance this with happy memories when you can. While this isn't always easy, concentrating on positive feelings can be a critical part of staying strong throughout the process.
Get ready to take your time. Although it may not be possible, try not to rush through the planning stages for the estate sale. Make wise decisions on what to sell, what to keep, and what to donate—as you want to avoid any regrets in the future. Preparing for an estate sale offers a measure of closure, but this process can also cultivate feelings of finality. Allow yourself time and space to consider your options to reduce the emotional burden.
Get a professional to help. Every community has estate sales, and you may see some names that show up on a more regular basis in well-heeled neighbhorhoods. If you can identify a reputable estate sales team, they may be able to take some of the pressure out of the process. They will know what various items will sell for, how to handle promoting the estate sale and when to schedule it. Many are paid a percentage so there is no out-of-pocket cost. Speak with references and do your homework before hiring anyone, but consider allowing a professional to run your estate sale.
Reference: WCPO (May 9, 2016) "4 tips for dealing with the emotional side of estate sale planning"