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Divvy, Donate or Dump

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

When we transition from this physical realm, the belongings we leave behind are destined to be distributed in one of three ways: Divvy, Donate, or Dump. Contemplating this reality has prompted me to reevaluate my own possessions.

Recently, as I facilitated the liquidation of a trust sale estate, I found myself faced with the arduous task of discarding items for what felt like the hundredth time in my career. Among the discarded items were countless perishable goods—fridge contents, pantry staples, and spices—accumulated in excessive quantities by my deceased client.

In reflecting on this experience, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness. The sin, however, lies not in my actions, but rather in the accumulation of excess by my client. Much of what was discarded had expired or spoiled, rendering it unsuitable for donation or use. Despite salvaging some items, the bulk had to be discarded as we prepared to vacate the property.

Over the years, I've witnessed firsthand the emotional toll of sorting through a loved one's possessions. What once held sentimental value to the departed quickly becomes a logistical challenge for those tasked with managing the estate. Ultimately, the process boils down to dividing, donating, or disposing of the belongings, a task that can evoke a range of emotions for all involved.

Final Thought:

Last week they were prized possessions (or hoarded), this week just a task of:
Divvied, Donated, or Dumped.
Do your loved ones a favor, declutter now! 


Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

Image by Achim Thiemermann from Pixabay
Photo by RDNE Stock project: www.pexels.com

Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your observations. 

Dolores and I are among the seniors with too much stuff.

May 12, 2024 09:40 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Michael Elliott   Must have lived a sheltered childhood as divvy has been on the east coast for as long as I can remember, Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets 

May 12, 2024 03:27 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Thomas- I've run into this with clients on staging consultations. One of my favorite clients placed her collectibles on her dining room table and invited her children over to take what they wanted. The rest, she said, was being donated. I've been simplifying what I have lately,  

May 12, 2024 07:09 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - the saying, "pay me now or pay me later" comes to mind as your post continues to "sink in".  The evidence that this continues in our homes and society could get me "in the dumps".  However, I hope I prefer to see it as a call to action for those in similar situations.  Of course, if they can find themselves and become aware of it that this is not a nice legacy to leave

May 13, 2024 03:29 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

You are so right - and it is such a good reminder to all of us - I have a bag of spices/condiments that I need to get rid of 

May 13, 2024 05:23 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I am one that constantly goes through 'stuff' and decides whether I want to keep them or let them move on to another home/family to enjoy. Seems like it's a never ending task.  We've been in the process of doing it again lately and the garage is looking great again! Yes!

May 13, 2024 11:12 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

My wife is constantly de-cluttering, we are / were both pack rats. Hopefully no one throws out my old baseball cards & memorabilia!

May 13, 2024 05:29 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Ughhh I had so many baseball cards and comic books from the 1970's worth thousands that my mom tossed as "outgrown" when I moved out. 
Meltdown was an understatement lol

May 13, 2024 06:01 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Thomas,

Since we do not know our expiration dates, we never know how long we may still need what we have. Not overbuying perishable items is sage advice though. Compost is cheaper by the bag, than pre-compost by the pound. 

May 13, 2024 08:25 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

The phrase divvy up is not exclusive to the West Coast as I heard that phrase and used that phrase back in the Midwest. When we moved I donated over 500+ books to the local library because I did not feel like paying for them to be moved 2,400 miles.

May 14, 2024 04:59 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Leanne Smith 🤣I know: poetic license - I was just being silly. 😉

May 14, 2024 07:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes indeed - after I had to go through my parents home, I came back to my own home and got rid of a lot of stuff. That being said, I'm not the only one in my house! :-)

May 14, 2024 06:29 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Another option is to hire a professional estate sale manager. I've been conducting estate sales since the mid 1990s. Yes, some of what we do is the "dump" part, but we only get involved after the family has divvied up what they want to keep.  Finally, what doesn't sell at the estate sale gets donated.  So don't forget the option of having an estate sale liquidator bring a little extra $$ to the heirs.

May 14, 2024 06:32 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Yes indeed-good point, but "estate sale" didn't fit with my triple "D" rythmic title flow 😂 

May 14, 2024 07:51 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Thomas, One of my clients had a garage sale and had lots of one of to items of dishes that did not sell,  I mention to him to put a sign out after 4 a big side FREE for the last hour. to get rid of things.


May 14, 2024 08:07 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I had to get rid of my Mom’s Nicknacks. I discovered her Nursing Home had Bingo Nights and were always looking for small prizes . They were thrilled to get the bulk of these !,,

May 14, 2024 08:58 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Oh that is a wonderful resolution Michael J. Perry and a way to pass on your Mom's legacy.

May 14, 2024 09:57 AM
Melanie Bocock
M Bee Creative - Naples, FL
Marketing creative in Naples, FL

Doing this for my parents' estate was one of the hardest things I have had to do. This was my childhood home.  My parents built it in 1986 and lived there until they passed away.  I still have piles of stuff in storage that I could not part with but don't have any place to put.

May 14, 2024 12:18 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

I can relate, same here with 2 sets of grandparents. I'm storing items I can use but can't lose...yet.

May 14, 2024 06:11 PM
Dan Jasmer
Fine Properties - Sarasota, FL
Changing the way you look at real estate
Going through these motions with my father and our home as well. Just too many unnecessary possessions. The longer you wait, the harder it is!
May 15, 2024 04:23 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Amen Dan, it's heartbreaking for me when it's a client I sometimes hardly knew or never knew. You see the material puzzle pieces of their story.

May 15, 2024 09:40 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is so true!  Older pp hold on to so much STUFF..I have already started getting rid of things, my kids won't want any of it.  My husband has boxes in the basement from three moves ago!!!!

May 15, 2024 08:18 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

😂 we do too, I shared with my bride: "It's been 4 moves in 22 years, why are we moving boxes we never open once we're settled?"

May 15, 2024 09:41 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

I finally got rid of my storage.  After years of paying and not even remembering everything that was there, that was it for me.  On the other hand, I have to admit it’s very hard for me to part with things that are  from my family - and I know I have to.  Kids today don’t want any of it.  It’s time to go. I just have to do it now.  

May 15, 2024 07:30 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Elyse Berman, PA I'm in that same process now of emptying a storage unit we rented in August last year, I didn't want to own it more than a year. But, like you, I find it hard to let go and disappointing that none of my nieces nor my son wants any of it. Although I don't know if I'm disappointed in them for now wanting more stuff, or in myself for not being more like them. 😂 

May 16, 2024 06:39 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Hey Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets   I have a client/friend who is going through that now.  Most has been disposed of or given away. 

Just have an extra garage fridge, junky treadmill, and a few other odds and ends and then we can list the property...of course I also want them to get rid of the dirt as well such as soiled carpets that need cleaned, dirty cabinets, bathrooms, etc.  

May 16, 2024 09:35 AM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Keep an inventory of what’s in fridge and pantry. Make sure the list is on your phone stored. When shopping check your inventory before making a purchase. Do the same with your closet and dresser 

May 17, 2024 03:43 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

That's a great idea! Would prevent duplicates and expired food too.

May 18, 2024 08:02 AM
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

My husband and I downsized nearly 7 years ago and I am so glad it forced decluttering. It was a major task but the end result was worth it. 

I lived in the old home for nearly 30 years. Lot of "stuff" was no longer used. I kept what I treasured, sold a lot of things, trashed a lot of things. 

Shortly after moving to our small home, my husband died. I now declutter a room a month then start over. If I haven't used it, I get rid of it. I've donated lots of items to a local church. 

If it doesn't fit, get rid of it. If you don't wear it, get rid of it. Get rid of dust collecting items. I'm still not great at this! If a guest says they love something I have, if I don't absolutely love and use the item, I give it to them. 

It's freeing to live clutter free. It makes life easier, too! Less to clean and dust. 

Stay focused. take it room by room and if the room is badly cluttered or large, section it and tackle it. You'll love the results.

I'm at the age where living clutter free is great. My son doesn't want my stuff! He will thank me when I'm gone.

May 18, 2024 04:14 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Sorry for your loss but, so inspired to read about your declutter process. You're very disciplined about it. Wishing you a happy weeekend Dee Toohey 

May 18, 2024 08:01 AM