Blog 2024 Real Estate Stuff Management: Moving, Estate Sales, Yard Sales, Downsizing & Organizing

Stuff Management: Moving, Estate Sales, Yard Sales, Downsizing & Organizing

By Kat Gilpatrick, April 1, 2024

Moving? Preparing to list your home? Making your space more livable? Just making space?

Whatever it is, it requires a handful of different tasks carried out — or services rendered — ¬†and making sense of it all can be challenging, especially if you’re under the wire to get a job done; if it’s a difficult moment in time or if there are many decision makers involved, etc.

I’ve put together a handy guide for how to manage these projects, who can help, and how to get there.

Why would I be an expert on this? Because, as a Real Estate Agent I help all kinds of people prepare to move, to de-clutter or downsize; to organize for a more streamlined living space or to prepare to put their homes on the market.

I help with move management, coordinating customized services like estate sales, auctions, clear-outs, and of course the moves themselves. In situations where an estate requires a combination of jobs done, (off-site online estate sale item distribution, inventory and donation coordination, movers and clear-out, deep cleaning and storage space decisions) And of course personally, as a consumer of these services and someone who’s been knee-deep in the work myself, I have partnered with some of the best resources in the country to achieve custom outcomes.

When there’s individual or bulk item selling, you’ve got the classic tried and true yard/garage sales; Craigslist listings and Facebook Marketplace to name a few, as well as antique and resale selling for furniture, appliances, home decor, etc.

In any part of the country, there are options and preferred vendors, and it can be dizzying who to choose, how to get started: scoping the size of your jobs and specific needs, etc. One thing remains the same however, one common cry of those in this stage of the game: “I have too much stuff!”


What Services Do You Need?

Here are some of the folks who can make your life much easier, and what you need, of course depends entirely on you.

  • Organizing and Decluttering Professionals – There are all shapes and sizes for these kinds of services. One of my favorites in the Bay Area is Rita Rey. Read on for a bit more about what Rita offers below.
  • Preparing for Marketing Your Home Professionals:
    • Declutter and streamline your home
    • Assist with decision-making about what items to keep
    • Arrange for a donation, sale, or disposal of unwanted items and supervise removal
    • Stage home with existing furnishings
    • Arrange for furniture and heavy items to be moved within your home (if needed)
    • Pack and arrange for the removal of items not needed for staging
  • Downsizing – much of the above tasks apply, with an emphasis on removal or rehoming of items rather than staging and listing preparation. This can be DIY of course, or you can enlist some support!
  • Storage Rental or Pods – Knowing what you need and what serves your specific purpose and then aligning with the right contract and combination.
  • Estate Sale or Auction and full service coordination for larger jobs and important transitions – These are incredibly valuable services for those assisting after a loved one’s passing, or extreme downsizing, estate sales being especially useful if you’re able to conduct onsite. If unable to do this, an auction may be the way to go. Folks like Caring Transitions’ Jessi and Ryan, in Phoenix AZ are the gold standard, and the bar by which I measure all the rest. Check out what their services include here, and check out below the reasons why they love what they do, and people love them so much.

  • Yard Sale or Online Selling – Doesn’t need much explanation – but there are certainly pro tips and best times of year depending on your location.
  • Move Management or Movers – I am often surprised that people are unaware that these fully managed suites of services are available, and increasingly popular as a large part of our population is aging into a category who’s best served by folks like The Move Makers, here in the Portland Area.
  • Cleaners – There are regular house cleaners, and there are move-out specialists, and of course other specific services like carpet cleaning, window and gutters, etc. Some companies specialize in whole-house readiness, and this is a phenomenal choice for a one-and-done kind of approach, or for those heftier scenarios. I’ve recently had the good fortune to work with Shawna at Maid to Organize and am loving their work ethic and availability. These fine Portland area folks specialize in Estates, Hoarding, & Generally overwhelming spaces & situations, or as they put it: Professional Organizing, Cleaning & Estate Clearing as a wholistic package offering.


When I asked Rita, of Rita Rey organizing in the SF Bay Area, to tell me a bit about what makes her services so special, it really resonated with her passion, and spoke to her compassion:

“I just love to be part of the process of helping my clients achieve a sense of peace and surround themselves with things that make them happy. Letting go can be scary, but less scary than facing the chaos daily. I have not heard one client say that it was not worth it despite being scared to start the letting-go process.”
When I asked Jessi of Caring Transitions, in AZ, to talk about what was meaningful to them in terms of serving their transitioning clientele, she told me:
“Our job is simple: to make sure your lifelong treasures and family heirlooms are cared for in their new home.”
And they do this by featuring a really seamless online auction service, which sets them apart from other packing/moving/estate sale services.
No matter what your project is, it’s yours, and it’s important, and having someone by your side to help or advise you is worth it’s weight in gold. I hope this has been a little assistance!

Kat Gilpatrick

Broker | OR


Kat Gilpatrick is a Portland-based real estate agent with a global perspective. Leveraging her industry knowledge, Kat works alongside colleague Jennifer O'Brien to guide clients through every step of the real estate journey, from buying a dream home to securing an investment property. Kat prioritizes building long-term partnerships to maximize client opportunities in the Portland market.
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