It’s a significant part of an Organizer’s job – the picking up or sorting out the pieces left behind from lives gone off track: a family member loss, a divorce or simply life in a tangle. Every now and then as was the case this past week I am called in to help sort out a mess of another kind – the one where a new home buyer has inherited a world of junk left behind by the previous owner.

It’s the bane of every realtor – dealing with a less than pristine closing day property. Despite assurances and deadlines, even notes of holding back partial offer amounts, people still leave stuff behind in little and large amounts.

If the seller had been living a cluttered or hoarding lifestyle they may not see the forest for the trees and think things are just fine while the new owners stand in abject horror at the state of what they are expected to move into. Then there is the cost of simply getting rid of stuff. It’s expensive. And you can’t always parcel out 40 bags of trash a bit at a time to city services every two weeks or worse share the wealth with your new neighbors. It doesn’t engender good will.

As a Professional Organizer I often act as a sub-service to realtors to help transition their clients be it a full relocation or to help with sales and post sales set up. I am frequently asked to dive into to help defray a situation where buyers have descended into a mess not of their doing and should not have to deal with on top of the usual new home chores. An organizer can clean up most things, often on all fours -everything from bagging heaps and heaps of loose paper to broken dishes to hauling rusty filing cabinets to coordinating the removal of decrepit and soiled furniture  – even haul off ancient three foot thick TV’s and primordial appliances. Each abandoned item has an option, some easily dealt with – others not so much: I have found takers for dated furniture and given old appliances and electronics to metal guys who pick up for free. But the real cost of making piles of pure junk go away is a wake up call to most and that an organizer often does not drive a vehicle large enough – why should they? Organizers can get a lot gone alone but there’s a limit. More often than not one has to book and hire a truck.  With the added cost of city dumping fees and time, time, time. It’s an old formula, time or money or time and money. Some of my realtors offer some of my time as a service to their clients. Even just that time  is pure value for the small investment towards restoring nerves and the situation to the perpendicular.

A deft realtor also knows how to get people communicating. Hiring a multi-talented Organizer who knows homes, organizing, getting stuff gone and has connections as well as delicate people skills is a sure step in spreading a little salve on the hurt when a client’s new digs require unexpected digging.  – Stephen Ilott is that talented Organizer working anywhere within an hour’s declutter from Oakville, Ontario 416-460-8098