Our Conscious and Our Clutter

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

by Patricia Feager, 8/12/19


Clutter is a word that makes some people uncomfortable. Yet, when people move it is a word that comes up in conversations. Another word I think about is conscious. It is something we live with our entire life. Clutter, on the other hand, accumulates over time and can be controlled. 

Like many people, my family was affected by Alzheimer. If you ever lived with or known anyone with Alzheimer, you know it is startling when something out of the blue triggers a memory. Something in their subconscious comes back, unexpectedly, crisp and clear. At times, being with my aunt in Florida it was difficult when her mind was out of control. It was as if I was witnessing the tide roll in and out causing her emotional pain while I felt knocked down on the beach. She was there, but she wasn't really there. 


Sellers are often emotional when it comes to letting go. Packing up and getting ready to move is not easy. Thoughts bring back memories. When getting rid of clutter things we touch, store, pack up, remove, and collect evokes strong emotions. Sellers aren't just moving; their brain is functioning; thoughts are bouncing back and forth between conscious and unconscious. 


Clutter becomes an emotional experience, shifted and shaped by the present and the past. People aren't just thinking when they are awake, they are thinking in their sleep. Moving can be exhausting. 


I stand strong by other people's side when they are vulnerable. Whether it is a family member, seller, buyer or friend I understand their thoughts are inundated with tasks, taking chances, making decisions, donating, tossing out, reading contracts, and they know time is of the essence. Making things happen in 30 days or less is the hardest thing they have to do. A sense of belonging is ending and the longing to begin anew may or may not be as exciting as other people think. I understand that when things are outdated or not it's not my place to judge. The color of painted walls, a piece of furniture, clothes that don't fit can alter a person's mood. I recommend all agents representing anyone moving to be sensitive to their client's needs.  









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 dfw fine properties



                                        2900 W Southlake Blvd, Suite 180
                                        Southlake, TX 76092
                                        Office: 817-748-4800/FAX: 817-748-4900

                                         Patricia Feager
                                                        Cell: 469-951-4758

                                                        Email: patricia.feager@gmail.com



Certified Residential Specialist
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ertified RE Probate Specialist

"With self-discipline most anything is possible." --- Theodore Roosevelt 





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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP being sensitive to others' way of living and lifestyle is most important for listing agents to be conscious of.... moving is a tremendously exhausting task, mentally and emotionally....

my mother has dementia and it's progressing at a steady pace.... she often does not know who we are....but there are days when she says "my daughter is here".... it does a number on me with each visit!!!


Aug 12, 2019 04:04 AM #1
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dear Barbara Todaro - I'm sorry to hear your mom has dementia. I do hope there will be a cure. Caregivers and daughters are also challenged. And when your mom says, "my daughter is here," it has to better than hearing the Boston Symphony or the first songbird in spring. May you never get to miss her good days.  

Aug 12, 2019 04:12 AM #2
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Patricia. Well put! And we must constantly remind ourselves it is not their fault. Congrats on crossing the two million mark here in the Rain. Jeff Dowler, CRS was kind enough to let me know! Enjoy your day 

Aug 12, 2019 04:25 AM #3
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning, Patricia - for many different reasons, the world of real estate and of real life can certainly have emotional moments and confusing times.  When we have the opportunity to reflect, we aim for clarity.  Direction as well.  

Aug 12, 2019 04:26 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Patricia... moving is exhausting... physically and emotionally. I've done it so many times and it doesn't get easier. But I can declutter and get rid of "stuff" quite easily at this point in time. As for people suffering with Alzheimers, dementia, etc., all we can do is be patient with them, but it's hard to "see" them when they are not "there."

Aug 12, 2019 04:32 AM #5
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Wayne Martin - You're absolutely correct. "It's not their fault!" Longevity is certainly something to be proud of but without the mind functioning as it should it is gut-wrenching for loved ones. Plus, it's hard on medical professionals, especially with all the health care changes. 

Thank you for your congratulations and many years of support. 

Aug 12, 2019 04:43 AM #6
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Michael Jacobs - Moving is a mood changer! The physical realm and the mental one affect each other, including loved ones profoundly. What the world needs are love and patience, more now that ever. These are confusing times for all - too much movement in real estate, business, in traffic, physical, emotional, financial, and every aspect of life. 


Aug 12, 2019 04:48 AM #7
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nina Hollander - I really do believe the older one gets living in the same place makes it so much harder to pack up and move when they haven't done it in awhile. Every move needs to begin with a trained professional and not just some new fast way to sell a house without regard for other people. 

With aging comes many challenges of the body and the mind. Being a Senior Residential Specialist goes behind the basics in real estate. 

Aug 12, 2019 04:53 AM #8
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Patricia!

Like you, I have Alzheimer's in my family and it petrifies me - not for what I may experience but, for what my boys may experience. I can't even put into words the sadness that envelopes you, seeing a once, strong, pillar of the community, completely at the mercy of caregivers and truly childlike. It is gut-wrenching, heart-breaking and emotionally draining. I pray for a cure each and every day of my life, not just for my family but, for every family who has or has ever had a family member with this dreaded disease.

As for clutter - I recently helped a client whose mother had to move into an Alzheimer's facility. We spent days de-cluttering.  I didn't know this woman from Adam but, she was a referral to me from another dear client. When she told me what she was going through, trying to get her mother's home cleared out, I went home, changed clothes and returned every day for nearly a week to help her de-clutter. 

That is one more reason that I am so emotional about this disease - I don't want my family to have to do my de-cluttering. It's just another emotionally draining part to this devastating disease that families must endure.

Aug 12, 2019 05:34 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Getting rid of all of the unneeded stuff is a major challenge for many who plan to move.

Aug 12, 2019 05:47 AM #10
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debe Maxwell, CRS - it petrifies me too. I won't have my son or daughter to care for me if it should happen. My worst fear is that I would be awarded to the state so I pray it never happens. The thought of strangers going through my things makes me very uncomfortable, and so I'm packing and I'm not even moving! It really, really IS hard work! And I can't even reach the things in my attic anymore or carry them down the pull-down ladder. Each day I say, it's only going to get worse, so I have to start and do what I can independently every single day.

Even though my spouse didn't have Alzheimer or Dementia some of the things he did was unbelievable!. One day I had to run out to get his prescription and when I got back I couldn't find him! Then I saw the attic opened up and he was crawling around up there trying to clean up and get rid of things so I wouldn't have to do it. It just about broke my heart! I know I can't be the only one who says to myself, this stuff drives me nuts, and now I'm beginning to wonder if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to Dementia or Alzheimer? 

The mind is a mysterious thing! That was really noble and kind of you to help your client de-clutter. What choices did you have? I would have done the same thing. It's sad when you think about it that so many of us were conditioned to buy and save but not to donate or give away until it's too late. 

What you did for her wasn't something you discussed when you were getting your license or in training. These are things we do for clients without being asked. There are many times when charity is all we can do. It reminds me of the time I closed with a buyer. Everything went well until I got about 90 miles away from Flower Mound. My Buyer called to say he's at the new house and his moving truck is too, but there's a problem. He told me the Seller was sitting in a rocking chair and said he wasn't moving. There was nothing removed from the house and boxes and junk all over the place! He told us at the walk-through he had people coming to help him move and he'd have the place cleaned up. He didn't have any help and he shut down, rocking in his chair! I called the Listing Agent and I made a U-Turn. We both got there (he long before me) and together we moved that guy out of the house, physically carrying boxes out to the Moving Truck the other Agent paid for sharing half the expense with my Buyer! I bought lunch, snacks and drinks, trash bags and cleaned out the pantry filled with expired food products and filth in his laundry room; therefore, I bought cleaning supplies too. But we did it, just like you.

Did you get that lady's house sold or are you still trying? I have a feeling you sold it quickly. I sure hope so. I wonder if anyone visits her in the facility? I hope she is getting good care. That's what I worry about the most if nobody is there, nobody knows!

I'm with you. I don't want anyone having to do what I need to do, that's why I'm taking no chances and I'm preparing now whether I need it or not. Health is promised to no one. And even if you have family, it doesn't mean they will assume responsibility. But I can't think about them. Embarrassment and worries are the worst things to live with. 

Take care, my friend. Be safe and healthy. 



Aug 12, 2019 05:58 AM #11
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I don't like clutter at all and it will always weigh on my conscious if I have clutter in my life.

Aug 12, 2019 07:42 AM #12
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Moving is very hard and we need to always be gentle (and helpful) with our sellers. Not everyone is well suited to working with the elderly, but you know exactly how to help.

Aug 12, 2019 07:48 AM #13
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP,

Great post. We oftentimes forget about the interconnection of memories to articles that must go and we need to be sensitive to this process.

I watched my husband's grandmother go through this change. Back then, it was not easy to diagnose. Alzheimer's was confused with dementia and often misdiagnosed as such.  It is so sad and painful to observe the degradation of the mind and spirit. 


Aug 12, 2019 08:15 AM #14
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia I have had to care for two family member with dementia, and it is a challenge I hope I do not have to deal with again.

By the way CONGRATULATIONS on going over 2,000,000 points 

Aug 12, 2019 09:32 AM #15
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Oh yes, this hits home for our family too. It's no picnic, that's for certain. Although, we were so lucky dad's medical problems took him before he became totally locked up in his mind. We have to always be sensitive to our clients needs regardless of the reason. Moving and transitioning can be very difficult for many people.  Congrats on the 2Million! 

Aug 12, 2019 12:56 PM #16
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I hear you! The end is not near, yet the older we get, the more responsible we become with our 'planning' and de-cluttering is one of those things, Patricia. 

You're so right, you would have done the exact same thing - helping her was not really a thought or an option; it was something that I knew I had to do and together, we got it done! 

Yes, we sold the house very quickly, with the proceeds going to the Alzheimer's care facility for the mother. She is now full-time care so, thankfully, she has the funds from the sale of her home, to be able to have round-the-clock care. 

Aug 12, 2019 11:52 PM #17
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

No kidding.  So much to do in a short time, and always with the uncertainty that everything might go off track at the last minute.  So much stress.

Sep 02, 2019 08:57 PM #18
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