Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sorting Jewelry for Estate and Or For Selling

As you know if you have been reading my blog for the past few months, I have my terminally ill mother living with me. 

She has been getting better and clearer in the head while she has been fighting infections. They seem to take forever to heal. 

We had to go see her cancer Dr. last week and my mother has been begging me for something to do while she is here. She mentioned she could sort her jewelry while she watches movies during the day. 

I thought that would be a good thing until my sister filled four banana boxes full of basically bad 80's jewelry.

My mother gets tired so easily that she lasted about an hour while sorting. We have spent 2 days and still have lots to do. My mother basically has given up except looking through after all the work is done to see what she wants to keep. You can see she has a black eye. I had a bunko night last week. The morning after playing bunko, she woke with a black eye. 

She has no platelets and bleeds easily. We even had to go in and get a nose bleed cauterized a few weeks back as we couldn't get it stopped. 

I questioned her about the eye asking if she bumped it somehow in the night but no, she probably just scratched it or something. 

She didn't want to work on bagging or sorting, the only thing she seemed to want to do was put "matches" together with earrings, necklace and bracelets. I explained to her that someone may want the necklace and not the earrings or bracelet and that they would then be wasted if they had to take the bag just for one item. Unless the items came as a set, they all went into different bags.

We were then able to put all the jewelry into little bags keeping them individual. We sorted them into specific piles.I put the little bags on a tray and take them to her as we fill a tray.

She went through each bag deciding if she thought she would wear it in what time she has left. She then allowed us to put it into a "give away" pile if she didn't want it. 

We have several "give away" piles. We have one that is just for the boys. It has coins, antique lighters, etc. 

We have one that is anything of value. Silver, gold etc. We were extremely surprised that the items of value in all those boxes would fit into a sandwich bag.

We have one for things that have "history" that she wore for an event or bought during her reign as a beauty queen etc. 

We bagged everything into little bags. You can purchase the different sizes for $1 for 100 or $2 for 100 depending on the size of the bags. The jewelry section at Walmart sells them. I went through at least ten bags of bags not counting the larger snack sized and some my sister brought over. My guess is we used somewhere near 1500 bags or more. 

My sister brought card stock and cut slits into the top edges and hung the necklaces off the slits and then if there was a matching set of earrings, she would punch them through the center of the card which displaced the set easily and nicely.

Our plan is to set up tables at the next family get together and then let them draw numbers and allow the grandchildren to pick whatever item they would like off the table. 

To keep from having any family disputes, I won't touch anything or sort or look at anything unless my sister is present and we haven't shown anything to my mother without both of us there just to make sure that there are two people knowing the history of the items and that no one can be accused of anything. She took pictures of each drawer as she removed it and boxed it. 

She then has taken them out of the storage room and unpacked them knowing how she packed them so there won't be any issues as she felt "someone" in the family was accusing her getting the jewelry for herself or for me. 

It is sad that estates can bring out the worst in families but the hardest thing for me is that no one wants to do the sorting, cleaning, hauling, scanning etc.I don't know a way to make that fair. I try to keep it fair and make copies of pictures by sorting and scanning them all. I also made copies of all 170 plus family movies by watching, putting them in chronological order, and documenting everyone in them and making copies for EVERY family member including cousins etc but it will never be "fair" as not everyone shares in the work yet want to "share" in the estate. 

Making sure there are at least two people documenting items covers that base. 

The charm bracelet we found is fun and I am looking up buying bulk silver necklaces and attaching one of the charms to each necklace and making sure each grandchild gets a charm and video taping my mother talking about where she got each charm and the history of each will be a fun way for them to remember her. 

I found this family button our family had taken when we visited the "Calgary Stampede" Fair when I was about 9. 

Bagging, labeling, documenting and carding anything that is large are the best ways to distribute and then sell anything left over that family members may not want. 

When I sell the jewelry I purchase and bag from second hand stores or estate sales (click here for a post about that), it is so easy to sell at yard sales and online because it is bagged and easy to see. It also keeps things from getting tangled or scraped.

I have written posts about how I have divided up things for inheritance now before all my kids have even left the house.  
Here is a post about toys.
Here is one about toys etc part 2.
Here is one about household items.

We have done the same thing for books and other inheritance items. My girls have no question how to proceed with dividing my estate when I am gone. I hope that in having to go through this nightmare with my mother and her stuff that there won't be any issues with mine.         

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