Estate Clearing and Liquidation

Has a loved one recently passed away? Are you feeling overwhelmed with the thought of clearing the family home? Don’t know who to contact, or where to start?

Getting someone to help clear a home or apartment allows you to manage the other tasks in settling an estate. We carefully and respectfully find worthy charities who will benefit from your donations. We arrange for auctioneers, consignment stores, or retailers to sell the larger items. Rest assured that someone will love and use the items.

We follow a structured method for clearing an estate, but we also use our intuition and compassion to adjust the process or schedule when needed. The team supports you as you make some tough decisions—lifting a huge burden from your shoulders. REVIVE Organize specializes in clearing homes that have been lived in for many years.

When clearing estates, our guiding principles are as follows:

  • Respect all of the family’s decisions.
  • Arrange to sell valuable items for the best price through consignment stores, auction houses, and retailers; or sell directly to buyers.
  • Distribute remaining items in a socially responsible manner. Match the items to the right people and organizations.
  • Recycle and dispose of garbage in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Keep the family informed of the progress and provide a venue for feedback and check-ins. For out-of-town clients, a custom website facilitates communication about the estate clearing.

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Client Story

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Sue: Clearing our family home of 57 years

This client story was written by Sue herself for people who may be going through a similar situation. She was so impressed with our service that she asked to write a lengthy testimonial so she could share everything that REVIVE Organize did to help her during this difficult time.

When our mother passed away, not only were we faced with a devastating loss, we were also looking at clearing a house that was full of memories. My parents had lived in this house since 1957, so there was an accumulation of years of items.

Where to begin?

Looking around, we realized we wouldn’t be able to clear the house out without help. But if we got someone to help, would sentimental things be put aside, or would they be stuffed into a box and given away without us ever seeing them? What about the large quantity of furniture? And all the craft supplies.

I don’t think anyone in the family realized what a massive job lay ahead of us.

Basement of estate Basement of estate Office in estate Bedroom before estate clearing

We hired Allyson of REVIVE Organize to help us. At the initial consultation, Allyson asked pertinent questions such as “What is important to you?”, “What are your goals?” These questions helped me realize what we wanted.

1. Go through the things that sparked wonderful family memories.
2. Dispose of trash and recycling in an environmentally friendly way.
3. Feel that our mother’s things were respected.
—and most importantly,
4. Donate items to people who needed them. To pay it forward, as it were, and help someone else—in memory of our mother.

Allyson walked through the house with her camera and took photos. She made notes, and came up with a plan. Allyson’s plan had us starting in the basement, then clearing the main floor, and then finally the attic.

Mom’s things were respected

One of my biggest concerns was whether my mom’s things would be handled respectfully. Yes, they are just things―but losing a parent and having to dispose of their items is very emotional, painful, and exhausting.

Allyson and her team handled everything with respect. No comments were ever made about the sheer volume of items. Everything was packed up in the most cost efficient and careful manner.

At the end of every sorting day, everything was cleaned up. There were no half empty boxes or bags laying around. Walking in at the beginning of each day was peaceful, something I never expected to experience during this clearing process. Beginning every day with a clean and tidy space give me a sense of purpose, not a feeling of chaos.

Being organized saved us time

The efficiency with which Allyson cleared the estate astounded me. There were different colours of bags for refuse and recycling, different coloured masking tape and Post-It Notes for labels, gloves, masks, black markers and scissors–all neatly stored in clear boxes in central working areas. The colour-coding system was efficient and saved us time; with a quick glance, we knew where a bag was destined.

Color coding system

Special items for the family to review were placed in a dedicated room, with a check list on the door, so that we could ensure that everyone had a chance to look through the sentimental things that we found.

Allyson also put together a list of resources so that we knew what items could be donated to whom. We donated art supplies to Atira, fabric to Our Social Fabric, and wool to the Royal City Gogos. Some art supplies were picked up by teachers from elementary schools. Clothing was donated to the Downtown East Side and to battered women’s shelters. Furniture went to Helping Families in Need. Toiletries made their way into the hands of the needy. Not only did Allyson find these worthy causes, she took the time every day to drop off donations on her way home.

Donation matrix

My emotional attachment

Going through my mom’s wool and crafts were two projects that I dreaded, as they were the things that I associated the most with her. Allyson made sure I had a volunteer from the Royal City Gogos to work beside me going through the wools. And what started out as painful became an interesting lesson on wools. I formed an entirely new appreciation for my mother, and how busy and fulfilling her life had been.

My other stumbling block was the craft supplies. Not only did my mom create a small home-based business selling her hand-craft items, she also taught in elementary schools and at night school. She had literally a ton of supplies, dozens of pairs of scissors, paints, pens, instruction books.

With the help of a close friend and her daughter, we went through the crafts, held a craft sale, and had the pleasure of knowing that these things were going to people who enjoyed crafting. Sewing supplies and a sewing table went to a young mother who teaches sewing to children.

A smooth transition

Slowly but surely, the house emptied out. My mom would have been so happy to know that we distributed as many things as possible.

I highly recommend Allyson for her efficiency, her organizational skills, and her compassion during one of the most difficult tasks anyone has to face when losing a parent.

Sue C., Vancouver

Basement after estate clearing Basement after estate clearing Office after estate clearing

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Donations

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Many local charities benefited from the donations

Card of thanks for donations

A card from the women of Atira Women’s Resource Society expressing appreciation

Donations truck

Allyson helping to pack up a donation truck for Helping Families in Need Society

The following charities and organizations were directly helped by this estate.

  • Atira Women’s Resource Society
  • BC Children’s Hospital
  • Canadian Diabetes Association
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Discover Books
  • Dixon Transition Society
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Helping Families in Need Society
  • Our Social Fabric
  • Royal City Gogos
  • Salvation Army
  • Schools and teachers in Vancouver and
    New Westminster
  • Trans-Continental Recycling
  • Urban Source Alternative Art Materials
  • West Coast Knitter’s Guild
  • West End Seniors Network
  • Wish Vancouver

 

The following thank you card was sent to the family by the West Coast Knitter’s Guild. It beautifully shows the ripple effect of what happens when you donate—it benefits so many people.

“Thanks so much for donating your mother’s yarn to the West Coast Knitter’s Guild. Some of the yarn was sold to our members and all the proceeds went to our primary fundraising project, Nova Transition House in Richmond.

“Some of the yarn went to a member’s project—knit4charity. She teaches knitters a new stitch every week and together they make blanket squares that are sent to South Africa for baby blankets for the underprivileged.

“Other yarn went to knitting charity projects for our annual fundraiser sale in Dunbar, and teaching knitting skills at the Tommy Douglas Library in Burnaby.”

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