The emotional toll when we lose a parent is often overwhelming and debilitating. In the midst of grief, the last thing a family wants to add on their plate is the stress and headache that comes along with cleaning out their parent’s home. Sorting through a mix of clutter and keepsakes can become both a sentimental, winding trip down memory lane, and a difficult debate of what to keep and what to sell or donate.
Instead of facing these tough times alone, families entering a time of transition can now add an all-encompassing team on their side to relieve these burdens.
At Caring Transitions of Northeast Iowa, we are the nation’s largest and most trusted total-solutions provider for those needing compassionate care during life’s challenging transitions. With franchises located across the country, we’re experts in senior relocation, downsizing and decluttering, estate sales and online auctions, and home clean-outs.
While some families may need help making decisions on what belongs to keep, sell, donate or throw away, others come to Caring Transitions with very specific requests in mind.
Changing lives in Minnesota since 2012, Ted and Suzanne Austin, local owners of Caring Transitions Twin Cities Central, are providing a much needed one-stop shop, and forming relationships within their community.
“It’s really like moving mountains for people,” Suzanne explained. “They just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. They couldn’t imagine their way out of their situation and then we do it.”
“We like helping people, and we’ve seen monumental impacts,” added Ted. One of these memorable moments came when their team was asked to assist in the recovery of a treasured family heirloom during an unimaginable time of grief.
“We had one client who’d just lost her job. Her brother was recently diagnosed with cancer, her father needed to relocate to a memory care facility, and her mother had just passed away,” Suzanne explained.
While these challenges began to pile up, the mounting pile of clutter at her parents’ old home loomed large. The Austins took on the task and began cleaning out the house, while helping to identify old belongings to sell on Caring Transitions’ online auction, CTBIDS, to offset costs.
As the clean-out progressed, the family alerted the Austins to a special request—despite looking everywhere throughout the entire house, no one could find their late mother’s wedding ring!
After several days of excavating through the property, a Caring Transitions team member called Suzanne.
“He said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but I just found the wedding ring.’ It was found inside a tool bin, in the shed next to the garage. Probably in their safe space,” Suzanne recalled.
The Austins called right away, eager to deliver the news to their client and announce the treasure was recovered.
“She immediately burst into tears,” Suzanne recalled. “She told us that date, the moment we called her, was the one-year anniversary of her mother’s death. She (spent) the day alone, processing not having her mother. To find such a treasure, that still gives us chills. It was amazing.”
It may not always be a wedding ring. Families will search for cherished heirlooms not for their value, but for the memories and emotions they hold.
No matter what transition your family is facing, you don’t have to go it alone. There are over 280 Caring Transitions locations across the country that have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to understand how delicate these times can be and to help create a way for you to move forward.