Top 7 tips – help make your home ready to sell

Top 7 tips – Help Make Your Home Ready to Sell

Property Manager PA NJIf you’re thinking of selling your home over the next few months, then you will need to make sure it’s ready. Although you can put it up for sale at any time, it certainly pays – literally – to take some time and do some work in it before you commit to putting it on the market. A few hours and for a few dollars spent here and there, will give you a healthy return on your investment when it comes to selling.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, senior transition services, property management and estate sales.

Joe Santoro, co-founder of Personal Property Managers lists 7 quick tips for getting your home ready to sell:

1. Clean Your Windows
Your house could be the cleanest, most lovely, most perfect house in the world, and it could be a real bargain too, but if your windows are dirty (inside or outside) then prospective buyers could be put off before they even step through the door. It takes a lot to change someone’s first impression of a property, which is why you want to make sure it’s a good one for as many people as possible. Consider having your windows professionally cleaned or you can simply take a few hours to do it yourself. Make sure you don’t just focus on the glass, but that you clean the sills and facias too. Not only will washed windows look much nicer, but the effect inside your home is better too, as more natural light can be let in, showing off the rooms as they are meant to be.

2. Make the Outside Welcoming
There may be many elements to the outside of your home that you don’t really notice anymore because you’re so used to them. It’s time to step back, and go across the street if you can to appraise what you can see. If you need to invest in new outdoor lighting, a welcome mat, some flowers, or even a new front door itself (or just paint and maintain the current one) then do it. Making the outside of your house attractive will ensure that more people take a second glance at the realtor’s brochures, or on the webpage your house appears on.

3. Paint It Up
If you’ve lived in a house for a while, there will be signs of life’s wear and tear. There might be scuff marks on the walls, or greasy fingerprints. There could be marks where pictures were hanging, and the sun has bleached around the frames. A freshly painted home (not costing a lot of money) can restore your home’s beauty. Fix everything up for you so that it looks well-kept. This can help you score you points with today’s buyers, and add thousands to the selling price of your property. It’s a job that needs doing, and if you do it rather than the new owners, they will pay for that thoughtfulness.

4. Lighting
When you’re showing prospective buyers around your home, lighting can be key. Change your bright white bulbs for something that is much softer and inviting. A more flattering wattage that gives your home a cozy feel and welcomes people into each room will go a long way to helping people make a decision.

5. Stage the Rooms
If you have rooms that aren’t really used for what they were originally designed (a spare bedroom currently being used as a junk room, a dining room being used as a study and so on), when you put your house on the market, turn those rooms back into what they are supposed to be. It’s easier for prospective buyers to see themselves in a property if you dress it right. It may inconvenience you for a short while as you try to sell, but if you make the house look great, that sale shouldn’t be too long in coming. Dress that spare bedroom as a bedroom – you can simply use a cheap bed frame (or borrow from a friend) with an inflatable mattress on, but be sure to dress it with complementing bed linens. Make your home have a dining room by tidying up your paperwork and renting a dining set – or, again, borrowing a table and chairs from someone. It will be worth the effort.

6. Use Smells
We’ve all heard of the idea that baking bread or cookies, or brewing up a pot of coffee before someone comes to view the property as a sure way to promote how homely and cozy the place is. The thing is, it’s not a myth. The sense of smell is the sense that is most closely related to memory and feelings. If you can evoke the feeling of comfort, a memory of childhood or happy times, then the potential buyer will automatically feel right at home, which is exactly the kind of thing that will lead them to buy it. If you’re not a baker, don’t worry; using scented candles can do the same trick.

7. Make the House Appear Bigger
You obviously can’t make your house bigger physically, but you can make it feel that way. You can, for example, lay down a striped rug, which will give the impression of a longer room. You can hang floor to ceiling drapes, which will give the illusion of a room with high ceilings. You can clear away clutter to show more floor space. In the yard, make sure there are no huge toys such as trampolines which take up a lot of space. These can be stored somewhere for the duration of the sale, or just until you have secured an offer. Above all…de-clutter your home. Clean out closets, basements, garages. We know this can be a challenge, especially if you have lived in your home for many years, but this is important, and we can help you with any of your downsizing needs.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

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Absentee Home Watch Services

Absentee – Vacant Home Watch Services…peace of mind for PA and NJ homeowners

We offer Absentee Home Watch and Vacant Home Watch services to provide homeowners with peace-of-mind during extended stays away from home. We often work with corporate executives that take extended work assignments overseas. The question is, what do you do with your home while you are thousands of miles away? With Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) , we offer you total peace of mind. While you are away, leave you home to our care. We are an insured and bonded company offering a variety of home watch services. Now you can travel or take an extended work related relocation and not have to worry about coming home to any unwanted surprises or unscheduled maintenance on your home. We tailor our services to meet the individual needs of our clients. So, go ahead…Travel…Enjoy life! We are an award winning company and have been recognized by the SBA. In the event that you are away and we uncover a needed repair, we can notify you and take care of it for you. We provide 2017 best in class services. We proudly service Pennsylvania and the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester and the Main line. In New Jersey we service the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Middlesex, Union, Ocean, Burlington, Essex and Somerset.

Potential Problems your property will be inspected for via our services:

  • Storm Damage
  • Force Entry
  • Vandalism
  • Flooding
  • Moisture Problems
  • Plumbing Failures
  • Pest Invasion
  • Frozen / Broken Pipes
  • Tripped Breakers
  • Function of the furnace/heater or air conditioner
  • Doors/windows locked
  • Function of the refrigerator
  • Removal of newspapers
  • We can start your cars if you wish
  • We can act as you emergency contact in your absence
  • If a problem is detected and requires immediate attention, we’ll contact you and handle it for you

We provide full property inspections inside your home and outside your property. Our Absentee Home Watch Service is designed to offer complete management of all the services that need to occur in your absence. You will not have to worry about broken pipes, flooded basements, snow removal, lawn care, storm damage or leaves and old newspapers piling up while you are away from home. We’ll take care of things for you. We can tailor our program to meet your needs. The frequency of our visits is up to you. We also reserve the right to go back to your home during non scheduled inspections when there is a unique weather event or storm just to make sure that your home is safe and secure. The bottom of this page will detail some of our home watch services. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Home Watch Services PA NJ

Professional Services

We can also perform a host of tasks on your behalf to make sure your property is as inviting when you come back to your home as it was when you left it. We are here to help you. PA HIC PA031951. Licensed Realtors in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey via EveryHome Realty, Pennsylvania RS308044 and New Jersey 1326862. Ask for us at EveryHome Realty for more information about our discount real estate services or for the rental and management of your home while you are away.

House Sitting Services

Affordability

We are mindful of the budgetary reality of managing your home and property. With our Absentee Home Watch Services, you can afford to have the convenience of home management without the high cost of hiring full-time help. We will check your property based on your preferences, such as weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or any schedule you decide. Basic Absentee Home Watch Services are determined on a per-visit basis.

When Problems Occur We Handle It!

You can count on professional handling of your property and home issues. We notify you of any problems and make recommendations to correct them. We put our knowledge of community trades people to work for you.

We will organize the necessary service, meet with the repair person and admit them into your home. We will stay until the repair person has completed his/her work, set alarms and lock up following their departure. We can also send digital photo of problems or completed repairs by email. The property owner is the person who decides what exact repair is to be done and how much money is to be spent. The homeowner has full control and the final say, regarding the satisfaction or outcome of work completed. Personal Property Managers will carry out your specifics wishes. We become your eyes, ears and voice, when you can not be here to manage your home details.

How Is A Crisis Situation Handled?

When a crisis occurs (and they do!) you will be glad it isn’t your neighbor watching over your home! You will have peace-of-mind because you have a professional service in place to handle these upsetting events. There is no worry with Personal Property Managers!

A crisis is handled on the spot. There may not be time to call the homeowner to get pre-approval for expenditures in this case. The main concern in a crisis is to get the situation under control as fast as possible. You will be called as soon as it is feasible. Many times a homeowner can not be reached immediately and the situation can not wait. We have saved further destruction of homes by fast action. Your crisis may need an immediate plumber, electrician, sewer technician or handyman before we can locate you. We completely handle any crisis. This is one of the qualities you will want from a home service company like ours. When hiring an “absentee home watcher” always ask yourself whether the company/person you are hiring can efficiently handle emergency situations? This is what separates a professional service from the local person who “watches homes on the side.” We focus solely on our business and we have the highest reputation to prove it!

World Wide Access

We report all our activities to you from the comfort of your computer. You can see our work from anywhere in the world via our exclusive Internet access. While you are away, you will be given special access to online messages and digital photos of your home and any needed work or repairs. All home visits are documented and digitally photographed per your requirements. A copy of our checklist and pictures will be forwarded to you at your request. Now you can relax and leave the details to us.

Sample of Basic Interior Absentee Home Watch Check List:

  • Check that security system is functioning
  • Resetting electric appliances/breakers from power outage/surge
  • Check smoke alarms/replace batteries
  • Blinds are adjusted
  • Flush/check all toilets
  • Run/check all faucets
  • Run kitchen sink disposal
  • Watering of indoor plants (if requested)
  • Function of the furnace/heater or air conditioner
  • Doors/windows locked
  • Function of the refrigerator
  • Removal of newspapers
  • We can start your cars if you wish
  • We can act as you emergency contact in your absence
  • If a problem is detected and requires immediate attention, we’ll contact you and handle it for you.

Sample of Basic Exterior Absentee Home Watch Check List:

  • Inspect area for vandalism and forced entry
  • Check doors, windows & screens to be sure they are secure
  • Clear out unwanted flyers and newspapers from your yard/mail box
  • Inspect roof and gutters
  • Check outside faucets
  • Snow removal service offer upon request

Estate Sale Services Pennsylvania (PA)

Why Choose Personal Property Managers

We are an award winning organization dedicated to providing personalized services and offering you solutions that are tailored to your specific needs.

We tend to your property and its contents like it was our own. We know that often times a move, a home downsizing or sale can be overwhelming and physically demanding. We can handle everything for you. When you call us, you get us. We are on site at every job. You can rely on us and trust us. With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all. We are Estate Specialists, are licensed Realtors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and are certified Senior Real Estate Specialist via EveryHome Realty, RS308044 and 1326862. Please call us for a free consultation at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.

Home Downsizing Services

Home Downsizing Services

We are Home Downsizing and Home Cleanout Service Experts servicing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you are a property owner or the executor of an estate and need to move, sell your home, clean out your house or have an estate sale we can help. We provide you a one-stop solution. If you are located out of state or out of the area where you home is located you know how overwhelming, exhausting and physically demanding this process can be. We can help. Our single source solution provides you with total peace of mind. As licensed realtors and certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, we can help you sell and maximize the value of your home and can handle everything relating to your move. We handle all your home and property content downsizing, de-cluttering, content liquidation and estate sale needs. We can donate, move or help sell your home contents. Our goal is to help you obtain the highest value of your home. We provide special 2017 best-in-class portfolio of services to assist you.

We proudly service Pennsylvania and the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester and the Main line. In New Jersey we service the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Middlesex, Union, Ocean, Burlington, Essex and Somerset.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

  • Full Service discount Real Estate sales
  • Home Downsizing, de-cluttering, and cleanout services
  • Estate sale and content liquidation services
  • Property repairs and maintenance services
  • Absentee home watch services
  • Home rental services.

We also offer discount real estate services via our association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Bucks County Home Cleanout Services
Home Downsizing Services

How Our Process Works

We begin by meeting with you personally. This allows us to understand your personal needs and for us to develop a tailored solution to meet your individual goals.

As certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, we then conduct a comprehensive market analysis, which will help give you a feel for the value of your home, your contents and their value. We then will evaluate the contents of the property with you to ascertain what you wish to keep, give to friends and family, donate, shed, discard or move to your new home. A full inventory is done at this time and is sorted based on your direction to us.

For items of value, we can facilitate an Estate Sale.

For items you wish to part with, we will arrange for the disposal of them or donate them to charitable organizations. For items you wish to keep, we can arrange for them to be packed and moved. We then work with you to determine a moving schedule.

We can assist in creating a floor plan for items going into your new home and help you move, unpack and organize. Lastly, we can assist in a final cleaning of your property as part of our home downsizing and de-cluttering process, which is all geared to help you sell your property at the maximum value.

Estate Sale Services New Jersey (NJ)

Estate Sale and Content Liquidation Services

In addition to home downsizing and clean outs, we can help sell and liquidate all your household contents We work with you to identify which items you wish to sell, donate or dispose of. Together we develop realistic fair market value price points for all household contents. We even develop special website pages to market your contents.

As your asset liquidator, we have found that prospective buyers feel that there is a greater perceived value when a professional estate liquidation firm conducts your household estate sale.

For more information on our estate sale process, please click here.

Estate Sale Services Pennsylvania (PA)

Why Choose Personal Property Managers

We are an award winning organization dedicated to providing personalized services and offering you solutions that are tailored to your specific needs.

We tend to your property and its contents like it was our own. We know that often times a move, a home downsizing or sale can be overwhelming and physically demanding. We can handle everything for you. When you call us, you get us. We are on site at every job. You can rely on us and trust us. With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all. We are Estate Specialists, are licensed Realtors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and are certified Senior Real Estate Specialist via EveryHome Realty, RS308044 and 1326862. Please call us for a free consultation at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a House in the Fall and Winter

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a House in the Fall and Winter

Take advantage of buying opportunities. True Bargains exist in the Fall and Winter.

Home Selling Tips PA NJWe are often asked if the fall or winter is the right time of year to buy a house or should a buyer just wait around till the springtime. We have outlined 5 reasons that now is a great time to buy.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com )who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales.

Fall is here and the days are getting shorter; however, the benefits of buying a home continue to grow. The real estate market reflects the seasons – when the flowers and sunshine appear in the spring, the market starts hopping; and when the days get cooler and leaves start to change, the market starts to slow. A slower market is good for buyers, and here are five reasons why.

1. Price reductions from leftover spring inventory.
Spring is a common time for homes to go on the market. Sellers often list their homes too high to start, which results in a series of price reductions over the next few months. Generally, after Labor Day, sellers’ chances of capturing spring buyers begins to diminish. However, in the fall, buyers are likely to find sellers who are more motivated to sell, which may result in reduced prices, which may be below spring market value.

2. Less is better. There are fewer buyers on the market.
The coming of fall means back to school, sports and extracurricular activities. Families who are in the market for a new home usually aim to be settled by the beginning of the school season, which means they may remove themselves from the market in the fall and winter months. Fewer buyers competing against one another with means more opportunities for bargain buyers.

3. Tax advantages of closing before the end of the year.
A home is a major investment. Therefore, it has tax consequences. If homeowners want take advantage of capital gains or losses during this tax year, they will be motivated to sell. When shopping around, buyers should ask sellers if they are willing to make a deal if closing is before December 31st. Buyers will likely find many sellers eager to do so to get those tax benefits.

4. It’s a hassle for sellers to show a home during the Holidays.
The holidays bring gift giving, cooking, cleaning and entertaining. The last thing sellers want to worry about during this busy time of year is selling their homes and keeping it spotless for possible spur of the moment buyers. If homes are still sitting on the market come November, the homeowners are likely very motivated to sell before the hustle and bustle of the holidays begins.

5. Buyers will see a home’s true colors.
Once a homes pretty landscaping fades in the winter and fall, and the rain and snow set in, a home is truly exposed. Fall and winter are the best times for property inspections, as the weather reveals home flaws. It’s better to see these flaws before making an offer instead of getting unwanted surprises months after closing.

Please contact us for more helpful insights into the real estate market; buying or selling a property, home downsizing, estate sales and property management, please give us a call.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Home Selling Tips for Pet Owners

Home Selling Tips for Pet Owners

If you are selling your home it is very important that you understand how important it is to make your home pet neutral.

Home Selling Tips PA NJIf Home selling tips for pet owners: Removing signs of pets can help a home sell faster and for more money

News flash…although you may love your pet and feel that it’s a part of the family, not everyone may feel the same way, especially prospective home buyers who may be turned off by pet odors, worn yards and scratches on floors and walls. So, what is a home seller with pets to do?

We are sharing insights to pet owners who are trying to sell your home. In fact, we advise animal-owning sellers to rid their home of any evidence of pet damage or animal scents before opening their doors to potential buyers.

Appealing to buyers who may not love pets as much as you do can boost your chances of getting top dollar for your house.

This is part of a continuing series of articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com ), who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, property management, home content downsizing and estate sale services.

Addressing Outside Pet Needs
While a spacious backyard is a plus in the eyes of most buyers, pet-related landmines and holes typically aren’t on a buyer’s list of wants. To get your yard visitor-ready, we recommend filling in any doggy-dug holes and scooping the poop.

Additionally, be sure to check your fencing, deck, and porch for any marks from scratching or chewing. Most pet-related scratches and damage can be easily repaired with a little sandpaper and stain.

Addressing Inside Pet Needs
First impressions are everything, but dog toys and pet odors don’t exactly enhance a home’s initial appeal. Get your home ready by ousting any evidence of pets, including:
• Pet belongings. Collect toys, bowls, beds, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes and keep them out of sight. We even recommend hiding pet photos.
 Scents. Get rid of potentially off-putting animal scents by lighting candles, opening windows, or hiring a professional carpet cleaning crew to deodorize your domicile.
• Scratches. If your hardwood floors have a few battle scars to show for their years of being trodden upon by pets, consider having them resurfaced.
• Remove Your Pet(s). Leaving your pet in the house during showings isn’t the best idea. They could dart out an open door or pose a liability issue if they behave in a less-than-friendly manner toward strangers. If you can’t take your pets with you, let a friend or relative care for them or board them at a kennel.

Please remember that you only have one time to make a good first impression, be that a buyer or with other realtors, so please keep this in mind if you are a home seller with pets. You do not want to sabotage your chances of success by not being mindful of other people’s opinions of pets.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Top 4 tips – How to Add Value to Your Home

Top 4 tips – How to Add Value to Your Home

Property Manager PA NJThe housing market is ever changing. Things that were important for buyers a few years ago may not be today. Sellers are always asking us what they can do to add value to their house. This is an interesting question, because keeping a clean house and keeping it updated are very important things but we advise people to be careful with what they buy and what they spend. Sellers will want to get the greatest return on their update value. With this said, we have put together the top 4 things that you can do to boost the value of your home without breaking the bank.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales.

As a homeowner, you should focus on making your home appealing and more valuable. The more work you put into upgrading your home, the easier you will find it to turn a profit when the time comes to sell. The money and time invested into making these upgrades will more than pay off in the long run. Studies show that most homeowners will spend more on materials and upgrades in the first six months of homeownership than they will for the rest of the time they own the home. While that is understandable as you move into a home, it is equally important to constantly keep updating your home at a more moderate rate to keep the value of your home and work on increasing its value as time goes on.

Our 4 key tips for you to consider for increasing the value of your home are;

1. Paint. Keep it clean and fresh looking
The most affordable way to boost the value and appeal of your home is by having it painted. As time goes by, the paint on and in your home will begin to look a bit dull and worn. Rather than letting this dull paint reduce the appeal of your home, you need to get it fixed. If you are trying to sell your home, a fresh coat of paint can help to make it look new. Painting is probably the least expensive thing that you can do to help maintain the value of your home.

2. Kitchens are the focal point of any home
One of the most used rooms in a home is the kitchen. Making sure that your kitchen is both eye-catching and functional should be something you are passionate about. Over time, your kitchen may start to look dated and remodeling it is a great idea. When remodeling a kitchen, you will be able to update things like countertops and fixtures. Taking time to figure out which materials to use for this project is essential. Using granite on your countertops can raise the value of your home substantially. If you are unsure about what you want to change in your existing kitchen, then working with remodeling professionals is essential. These professionals will be able to inspect your existing kitchen and then offer suggestions regarding how to make it better.

3. An Energy Efficient home is Important to buyers
By boosting the level of energy efficiency, you can also add value. Hiring professionals to perform an energy audit is a great way to see where changes will need to be made. In many areas your local utility company will conduct an energy efficiency audit for free. Doing things like upgrading the doors, windows and HVAC unit in your home can provide you with far more energy efficiency. This will help to save you a lot of money on energy bills and can be a great way to reel in a buyer when you are selling your home.

4. Get New Flooring
Another way to boost the value of your home is by investing in new flooring. If the home you live in has carpet flooring, you should replace them with hardwoods. The hardwood flooring is both more appealing and will usually last a lot longer than carpeting. There are tons of different types of hardwood floors on the market, which is why you will need to do some research before making a decision. In fact, there is now engineered hardwood that cost about half of traditional hardwood and looks great. Years ago, everyone had carpeting. Today, the trend is hardwood flooring. It often gives a very comfortable feel to a room and is very much in demand to today’s buyers. It is one of the ‘must have’ for buyers today. Keeping up with current trends is very important now only for your own enjoyment but when it’s time to sell your home will stand out from your competition.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Senior Hoarding – Signs and Game Plan

Senior Hoarding – Game Plan

Recognizing its signs and developing a game plan to address it

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJWe wanted to share with you an often confounding yet common situation when dealing with transitioning an elderly loved one from their home of many years into a senior care community, or perhaps your home or even settling their estate. We are specifically referring to senior hoarding. This is real and the condition is known as Diogenes syndrome, and it is more common than most people realize.

This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in home downsizing, content liquidation and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Our senior loved ones are certainly part of the ‘greatest generation’ for sure. They have sacrificed for our nation, fought our wars, defended our freedom, were hard working Americans who put in long hours at work, saved and accumulated things over their lifetime. Now, as their caregiver, you may be faced with dealing with the task of trying to clean-up or sort through what they have accumulated over their lifetime. In many cases, the mass accumulation of things turns out to be senior hoarding. We often find homes with 4 or 5 blenders, toasters, lawnmowers, ladders, boxes of things that have never been opened or things never used and the list goes on and on…

Times have changed. Items that were valuable years ago are no longer desirable. Family members often have no use or desire to bring Grandma’s things to their home. Change can be hard, and sorting through a lifetime accumulation of possessions can be overwhelming to a senior who is already struggling with a loss of independence and to family members who are stressed out.

It is perfectly normal for an individual who has lived for many years in one location to acquire a lot of stuff, and for some individuals, letting go of the things they no longer need can be extremely difficult. Experts say seniors are prone to cluttering for a variety of reasons, including fear of loss, anxiety, and depression. Research also suggests that pre-Alzheimer’s personalities may trigger hoarding behavior, further complicating the issue for those already pre-disposed to this obsessive habit.

For families dealing with loved ones and parents who have slipped into a pattern of hoarding, it can be difficult to develop strategies for the kind of downsizing that is necessary to accommodate a move to senior housing. The individual may be ashamed of their living conditions, and reluctant to accept the help they need. They also may be fearful of being forced to let go of the items to which they have become attached and resist their family’s attempts at getting the clutter under control.

Of course, securing the homeowner’s consent and cooperation is only half the battle. Once you have the go-ahead to begin sorting through the collection, it is important to have a strategy for completing the task at hand. Here are a few suggestions for getting through the cleanup:

Call a professional. At Personal Property Managers, we specialize in helping families take stock of what they have, what is valuable or not and how to declutter. Often, going through an entire household after years of accumulation is simply too much for one person to undertake. Far better to work as a team with a common goal.

Set a date to start the project. Block off a section of your calendar when you can truly focus on the task at hand. Determine how long you will work, and then stick to the plan. You may not make it through the process entirely, but knowing you have a starting time, and a plan to wrap up the day’s work at a specific time, can help keep you on track.

Do it in chunks. Work room by room. Although you may have an entire house to wade through, you will do your best work by focusing on one room at a time. Besides, any large project is easier to complete if you divide it into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Use a system. Focus on the most used items. As you go through each room, set aside a place for each of the following: donations, keepsakes, items to be organized and put away, and trash. At the end of each workday, take time to put away the items you have chosen to keep. Be selective. Remember that you are downsizing, so make your selections carefully. You may actually need to go through this process twice as it is often difficult to make emotional decisions the first pass through.

Think about digitizing boxes and boxes of photos and photo albums.

Have donations and trash picked up promptly to prevent second guessing your selections. The sooner you have temptation removed, the better.

Once the cleanup is complete, check in often to make sure that day-to-day clutter is not getting out of control. Staying on top of the problem is far easier than wading through a year’s worth of accumulation, and maintaining a tidy living space will relieve stress for you and your loved one, as well as make the home safer for its inhabitants.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize family’s homes and liquidate your contents for items that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services and can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources. With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.