Swedish death cleaning from a distance
May 31, 2018 6:01 PM   Subscribe

I am helping my parents downsize their possessions after moving. Have you worked with estate liquidators or antiques auctioneers in St. Louis, MO that you recommend? What was the process like?

I promised my mom I’d help her with the daunting task of getting rid of the furnishings and decor objects that my sisters and I don’t want or can’t take. There’s a lot of antiques, some large pieces, some furs, and smaller things that will probably have less value.

I don’t think we want total estate liquidators, as she’s not selling her entire household of stuff. We have a decent amount of experience in holding garage sales, and I will be flying in to help with a garage sale to sell some of the lower-ticket stuff. At this point our main priority is getting the things gone, rather than squeezing as much value out of them as possible.

For higher-ticket items, have you worked with any auctioneers or antiques appraisers in St. Louis that you recommend? What are tips that I/we should keep in mind?
posted by Liesl to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You (or your mom) might go down to Cherokee Street (lots of antique furniture dealers there) and ask them if they are interested or who they recommend.
posted by notsnot at 6:48 PM on May 31, 2018

If you all enjoy holding garage sales and want or need the money, then go for it. However, as someone who recently cleared out a three-story house, I can tell you that it's not worth sweating over the small stuff for such a minimal profit.

If your parents live in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you can often just put furniture out with a free sign and it'll disappear fast. This is really the easiest way to get rid of big items because you don't have to transport them anywhere other than out of the house. A lot of people are in need and this will help everyone involved.

I also regularly took a carload of donations to the local Goodwill because donating there is so easy, literally a drive-thru. There are many thrift stores where I live that benefit charities I support but the ease of Goodwill won in the end.

This isn't specific to your region but surely there is something similar: our local Rotary has an annual rummage sale to benefit a local charity. It's held in a huge empty building, and members with trucks will pick up nearly ALL of your stuff for free.

In any case, this all takes a great deal of time and emotional effort. If your parents are up for it, then it can be a really cathartic experience with a big sense of accomplishment at the end. However, it can easily take months and months so I vote for focusing on the things with most value and then hiring someone to handle everything else.
posted by smorgasbord at 7:27 PM on May 31, 2018

You should try giving MoModerne a call. I haven't used their services personally, but I have gone to one of their estate sales, and everything was organized well/on the up and up.
posted by MundaneNoodle at 7:50 AM on June 1, 2018

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