Different types of clutter professionals
My in-laws are getting closer to making a move to a retirement community/small condo from their home of 30 yrs. Home is pretty packed. Moving just a few miles away, in same town. MIL (and FIL) are and have been pretty stalled and not able to downsize on their own even though they've been talking about it for years.
1) No set moving date yet, so is still somewhat "in the future" but looming closer.
2) MIL still very emotionally attached to most items--family ties, etc. She would most like, I'm sure, for everything to find a good home with the children and grands, but that won't happen.
3) She indicates that they intend to sell non-needed, non-adopted items--china, furniture, knick-knacks, "whatever's left"-- in a kind of estate sale process--hence, even if she could identify some things she will no longer use, she is not of a mind to be carting very much off to Goodwill, so not much is actually leaving the house before they do.
4) She wants us to come "take what we want" and we are planning to make a trip to "do" that, realizing that it won't really happen that way (we're not going to cart stuff off when she can't even say, I'm not going to use that. Instead she says expansively, oh, just anything that you would like, then we'd prefer for you to have it --so to deal with that dynamic, we will be happy to take back a few things if it's very clear these are "rejects," but for other stuff, where her need is very ambiguous, we've decided to use the Post-it method and say, keep us in mind for this if you don't end up taking it with you).
They ask us for nothing, have done things for us all our lives, and so this will be more of a support and social visit and just help in whatever way we can with no agenda to "fix" them.
5) They do have vast numbers of boxes and sacks of papers from prior jobs and hobbies, and these are discardable (not going to new home and not sellable) but likely MIL will have to go through each one--at least, the way she feels about it now.
6) Just recently MIL said that she thought it would work best if they would move, and then go back and get other things if they need...(remember this statement!)
7) MIL said directly that she does not want me or DH to actually go through stuff room by room and sort and help--only want us to "take what we want."
So....MIL has actually inteviewed a person/company that, for $10,000, will help them go through everything, sort for keep/sell/trash etc--aiming to do that in just a few days time; but does not include cost of moving to new home, does not do an estate sale of items. At least, that's how this was represented to us. She feels so stymied that she says, well, maybe we do need this help and maybe it is worth it.
So....what I'm thinking is, however it actually works, even if is not a rip-off, this company is selling a big-sweep, in and out approach and my in-laws are just not going to be big sweep people. So I'm thinking, they have some $$ and willingness to invest in professional organizing assistance, but I think they would be better off (and DH and I can help with search) with some kind of a professional that works on hourly basis, plus later hire estate sale person (though this might be same person). For example, pay hourly for someone to help sort through papers; do more when ready to make other decisions (meaning, tendency of my MIL is to do nothing or to churn, meaning, you go through stuff and at the end, it is all still in the cabinets ). Then, they likely will just "move out" and the move itself will clarify some needs and give some separation, and then again, either the paid person or the estate sale person can help some more, and maybe they would be at a point where we could help more, and so forth.
Sooo if you're still awake, anyone have experiences with hiring an hourly sort/support/estate person, and any things to look for, watch out for? I am going to try Angie's list, estate sale co's, and so forth.