Help with contents of my dad's house?
My father died recently, and I'm in charge of dealing with his stuff.
The catch is that I live a good 16 hours from his house. There's a LOT of stuff (mostly very useful, some quite nice, nothing of serious value, though). I've got to get the house and furnishings squared away fairly quickly, as I can't easily keep an eye on them, and since I'm six months pregnant, I've only got a few more months where I can travel easily.
While we were there last week, my sisters and I did a quick once-over to collect important papers and to separate out things we KNEW had been promised to specific children or which we KNEW someone would want. There's still lots of stuff to go through, though. A lot of it is random "might come in handy someday" items (my dad loved to tinker and build things, so there's a stunning array of mechanical bits and pieces). Some of it, like pictures, dishes, furniture, etc. has sentimental value, and will go to one or more children, but since we all live very far away (and far from each other), it's going to take a while to arrange delivery of certain things.
Realistically, I can go back down twice more before my due date. I have to arrange for the furniture to be shipped to the appropriate kids. For the tools, random household items etc. and furniture that no one has room for, I'm thinking about just getting an estate liquidator to take care of it. Anybody ever used an estate liquidator? I have no idea what's actually involved in that.
What's bugging me are the possibly-sentimental-but-who-knows items. I share my dad's tendency to save things of dubious value, and I'm feeling particularly soppy about "his" junk right now, so I have to restrain myself from saving EVERYTHING. (I have to admit I actually took a couple boxes of bona fide JUNK, just because it was his.) But I'd hate to pitch out something that was especially near and dear to my brothers & sisters. Do you think it would be reasonable to box up things like dishes, books, pictures, records, etc. and store them for a set period of time (say one year)... and if no one has requested anything in the boxes, go ahead and donate them?