We Do the Dirty Work!

You get to move on with those things you love and want and need to live with, and leave the rest behind. We deal with all the details.

There is nothing new to EstateMAX about helping our clients move forward with ease.

Move Management, Sorting, Packing, Unpacking on the other end. Complete sales services of the contents of your home you are leaving behind, clean up, trash outs and disbursal to charity.

Since 1999. Experience and Credentials Count.

Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parent’s Stuff

Hey Richard,  It’s me, Laurie.  I wrote a very similar piece in my blog 6 years ago- The MissionTransition Trans-Act-On Plan. I’ll repost. It’s what we live at EstateMAX. How to best liquidate personal property for our boomer and senior clients.

Most clients are reasonable in their expectations but there are those who expect the moon from results. The truth is: it matters little what you paid for something. What matters i what it’s worth now. And what it’s worth is what I can get for it! With exceptions of truly rare and collectible items, or valuables.

The world is full of furniture. Personally and professionally, I think it’s a tragedy that the milennials spend their money buying crap press board and vinyl furniture at box stores, ( yea we all love IKEA’s great design but the quality is what it is and not designed to last and in the short term will end up in a landfill in a few years.

These are the same people who are “green” advocates, want mini houses and no fuss so they should roll that philosophy into their homes. Being environmentally conservative does mean re-use..

Fact is I could sell them a solid wood dining room set for $400. Same goes for every room in their house. Those with smarts and creativity can paint, stain, and re-do the Pennsylvania House solid maple side board from the 1970’s and revise it’s purpose into a great looking bar, for instance. Dressers, Dining Room Sets, etc.

Back to the estate and downsizing sale reality: Results are cumulative..all the household stuff, the garage, books, decent clothing, attic, china, crystal, silver, collections, automobiles, lawn equipment, dolls, linens, furniture and smalls. It all comes together to produce a final sales number. That is what matters!

My advice from almost 20 years of managing stuff- When downsizing, remove only personal papers, photos and true trash from the residence. Leave the rest for EstateMAX to manage. We sell, donate and consign the best of what’s left at Other Peoples Stuff after the estate sale.


Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parent’s Stuff

Advice for boomers desperate to unload family heirlooms


Your Parents’ Stuff

After my father died at 94 in September, leaving my sister and me to empty his one-bedroom, independent living New Jersey apartment, we learned the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

Admittedly, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not far off, due to changing tastes and homes. I’ll explain why, and what you can do as a result, shortly.

The Stuff of Nightmares

So please forgive the morbidity, but if you’re lucky enough to still have one or more parents or stepparents alive, it would be wise to start figuring out what you’ll do with their furniture, china, crystal, flatware, jewelry, artwork and tchotchkes when the mournful time comes. (I wish I had. My sister and I, forced to act quickly to avoid owing an extra months’ rent on dad’s apartment, hired a hauler to cart away nearly everything we didn’t want or wouldn’t be donating, some of which he said he’d give to charity.)

Many boomers and Gen X’ers charged with disposing the family heirlooms, it seems, are unprepared for the reality and unwilling to face it.

They’re not picking out formal china patterns anymore. I have three sons. They don’t want anything of mine. I totally get it.

— Susan Devaney, The Mavins Group

“It’s the biggest challenge our members have and it’s getting worse,” says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).

“At least a half dozen times a year, families come to me and say: ‘What do we do with all this stuff?’” says financial adviser Holly Kylen of Kylen Financials in Lititz, Pa. The answer: lots of luck.

Heirloom Today, Foregone Tomorrow

Dining room tables and chairs, end tables and armoires (“brown” pieces) have become furniture non grata. Antiques are antiquated. “Old mahogany stuff from my great aunt’s house is basically worthless,”  says  in, Va.

On PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, prices for certain types of period furniture have dropped so much that some episode reruns note current, lower estimated appraisals.

And if you’re thinking your grown children will gladly accept your parents’ items, if only for sentimental reasons, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise.

“Young couples starting out don’t want the same things people used to have,” says Susan Devaney, president of NASMM and owner of The Mavins Group, a senior move manager in Westfield, N.J. “They’re not picking out formal china patterns anymore. I have three sons. They don’t want anything of mine. I totally get it.”

The Ikea Generation

Buysse agrees. “This is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did,” she notes. “And they’re more mobile. So they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff dragging down a move across country for a new opportunity.”

And you can pretty much forget about interesting your grown kids in the books that lined their grandparents’ shelves for decades. If you’re lucky, you might find buyers for some books by throwing a garage sale or you could offer to donate them to your public library — if the books are in good condition.

Most antiques dealers (if you can even find one!) and auction houses have little appetite for your parents’ stuff, either. That’s because their customers generally aren’t interested. Carol Eppel, an antique dealer and director of the Minnesota Antiques Dealers Association in Stillwater, Minn., says her customers are far more intrigued by Fisher Price toy people and Arby’s glasses with cartoon figures than sideboards and credenzas.

Even charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill frequently reject donations of home furnishings, I can sadly say from personal experience.

Midcentury, Yes; Depression-Era, No

A few kinds of home furnishings and possessions can still attract interest from buyers and collectors, though. For instance, Midcentury Modern furniture — think Eames chairs and Knoll tables — is pretty trendy. And “very high-end pieces of furniture, good jewelry, good artwork and good Oriental rugs — I can generally help find a buyer for those,” says Eppel.

“The problem most of us have,” Eppel adds, “is our parents bought things that were mass-produced. They don’t hold value and are so out of style. I don’t think you’ll ever find a good place to liquidate them.”

Getting Liquid With a Liquidator

Unless, that is, you find a business like ______________ which calls itself “the fastest way to cash in and clean out your estate” in the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville and Richmond, Va. Rather than holding an estate sale, Nova performs a “buyout” — someone from the firm shows up, makes an assessment, writes a check and takes everything away (including the trash), generally within two days.

If a client has a spectacular piece of art, Fultz says, his company brokers it through an auction house. Otherwise, Nova takes to its retail shop anything the company thinks it can sell and discounts the price continuously (perhaps down to 75 percent off), as needed. Nova also donates some items.

Another possibility: Hiring a senior move manager (even if the job isn’t exactly a “move”). In a Next Avenue article about these pros, Leah Ingram said most NASMM members charge an hourly rate ($40 to $100 an hour isn’t unusual) and a typical move costs between $2,500 and $3,000. Other senior move managers specializing in selling items at estate sales get paid through sales commissions of 35 percent or so.

“Most of the people in our business do a free consultation so we can see what services are needed,” says Devaney.

8 Tips for Home Unfurnishing

What else can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:

1. Start mobilizing while your parents are around. “Every single person, if their parents are still alive, needs to go back and collect the stories of their stuff,” says Kylen. “That will help sell the stuff.” Or it might help you decide to hold onto it. One of Kylen’s clients inherited a set of beautiful gold-trimmed teacups, saucers and plates. Her mother had told her she’d received them as a gift from the DuPonts because she had nursed for the legendary wealthy family. Turns out, the plates were made for the DuPonts. The client decided to keep them due to the fantastic story.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. “We tell people: The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make,” says Fultz. Of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties.

3. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal. If there is, see if an auction house might be interested in trying to sell things for you on consignment. “It’s a little bit of a wing and a prayer,” says Buysse.

That’s true. But you might get lucky. I did. My sister and I were pleasantly surprised — no, flabbergasted — when the auctioneer we hired sold our parents’ enormous, turn-of-the-20th-century portrait of an unknown woman by an obscure painter to a Florida art dealer for a tidy sum. (We expected to get a dim sum, if anything.) Apparently, the Newcomb-Macklin frame was part of the attraction. Go figure. Our parents’ tabletop marble bust went bust at the auction, however, and now sits in my den, owing to the kindness of my wife.

4. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.

5. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Or, perhaps, a liquidation firm.

6. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. “My dad had some tools that looked interesting. I live in Amish country and a farmer gave me $25 for them,” says Kylen. She also picked out five shelters and gave them a list of all the kitchen items she wound up with. “By the fifth one, everything was gone. That kind of thing makes your heart feel good,” Kylen says.

7. Download the free Rightsizing and Relocation Guide from the National Association of Senior Move Managers. This helpful booklet is on the group’s site.

8. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. “For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously,” says Buysse, talking about the boomers’ parents (sometimes, the final downsizing) and the boomers themselves. “I have a 90-year-old parent who wants to give me stuff or, if she passes away, my siblings and I will have to clean up the house. And my siblings and I are 60 to 70 and we’re downsizing.”

This, it seems, is 21st-century life — and death. “I don’t think there is a future” for the possessions of our parents’ generation, says Eppel. “It’s a different world.”

Next Avenue Editors Also Recommend:

 

On-Site Estate Sale or On-Line Auction? Strategy is Relative!

On-Site Sale or On-Line Auction? EstateMAX uses both strategies, to MAX-OUT the returns for our estate and downsizing clients and bring the best of what’s left to Other People’s Stuff for sale to the public at progressive discounting.

What are the factors that should come into play in making the call? We direct potential clients toward the best strategy based on all of these:

Time Frame: Is there enough time for an estate company to set up, conduct and clean up and in home sale prior to settlement, listing, property updating, the next step?

Neighborhood and Position of Home: SFH or apartment? Does the community support on site estate sales? HOA? Parking? Signage allowed? Is there a “captive” audience close by, walk-in traffic as well as drive up, to support a bottom line?

Condition of Home: Is the property safe? the Interior a maze of Stuff? Is this the home of a packrat or a tidy owner?If the first it can be a great onsite estate sale IF there’s enough time to organize and clean and price the contents. Is the approximate return worth the time and labor investment? Either way, the house has to be sorted and cleaned out to go to donate and trash and there is a cost to that service!

Contents: High to Medium End Inventory, Antiques, Vintage in Combination with Household Goods, or Cheap Worn Out Items? Is the return there?

Time of Year: Every client can’t be fortunate enough to schedule for a spring or fall sale. Winter and summer can be productive times for an onsite sale.

On-Site Sales are held in the home, the inventory is in context and arranged in vignettes ( merchandised to make the best of the the goods.) Priced to start at below comparative value ( using major auction platforms for comparison, this is not a retail environment) taking under consideration all factors that come into play in getting the estimated result, Items are organized, tagged, local street signage and in-depth social media marketing are in place -the sale is conducted over 3 days or more, progressive discounting is employed with ongoing negotiation and shoppers are encouraged to leave bids ( with deposits) on the higher end goods… and property is left organized and ready for the next phase of sale.

On-Line Sales are typically handled two ways (by the competition,) depending on circumstances: 1. Inventory is “Cherry picked” for the best merchandise, photographed on-site, or moved to a warehouse and sold with a minimum starting price or Buy it Now 2. Items are photographed and most items are sold starting price $1. Smalls are sold in “lots” ( boxes) or table full for one price, vs. individually priced.

On-Line Sales are for the convenience shopper who isn’t inspired by the “hunt”. They want inventory cessed out for them in advance. They buy items that they haven’t inspected in advance and have to take what they get. Photographs and description are not adequate to insure the bidders understand all facets of the goods. There is typically no return allowed and the winning bidders have to go pick up at the sale location. That said, the prices paid are lower than on-site sale results.

In all three options, the sales result is not guaranteed and there is a cost to hiring the sales company. On-Site Sales yield highest results across the board. The upfront cost can be relatively higher. It’s a “classier” approach and great for the full home, high to mid end residence including household goods.

On-line auctions have to be marketed to a vast email audience to attract bidders. That said, results typically come in at comparative last day estate sale pricing, for the cherry picked items, or less.

EstateMAX and MAX-Out!, Our On-Line auction division provides both strategies- even on one property in tandem, as we feel best for the client, all factors considered.

We utilize an On-Line full blown estate sale auction platform under MAX-Out by EstateMAX, list higher and brand items also on Ebay, the volume of stuff on $1 Auction sites, Craigslist regional DC, Facebook, National Furnishing Sites like Chairish. If an Item is “too good” for a household tag sale we know where to sell it. We have sent things to nationally recognized auction houses on our client’s behalf.

Please give us a call for a no-cost consultation! Please pass this information along to your downsizing and estate clients! 301-332-5585 Laurie Zook

The EstateMAX Bullet List-What We Do For You!

EstateMAX: Our Copyrighted Slogan “Maximizing Returns and Minimizing Stress”

www.EstateMax.net

www.OpsLiquidation.com

844-378-MAX1-

Leave Message or Call Laurie Zook, President EM at 301-332-5585 or Steve Berryman, Business Development at 240-457-7097

 

  • Comprehensive  Estates Services:

 

  • Since 1999 DC / MD / VA  Metro

 

  • On-Site Estate Sales

 

  • OnLine Consignment Auctions

 

  • Property Clean Out, Trash Removal

 

  • Property Updating / Improvement – Interior/Exterior

 

  • Staging for Sale

 

  • Transitions, Packing & Moving Services

 

  • Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner DC Metro

 

  • Principal- Laurie S. Zook –  35 years of expertise in project development,  project management, interior design, furnishings, antiques & fine art sales, staging, property improvement

 

  • Principal- Steven R. Berryman –  35 years of expertise in senior retail management, project merchandising & marketing, wholesale, and commercial construction project estimating.

 

  • Our Showroom:   Other People’s Stuff Multiple Estates Liquidation Warehouse, Frederick MD for Ends of Estates, Maximizing Returns for our Clients on Consignment

 

August and September Angie’s List Reviews for EstateMAX!

Review Date: September 15, 2015
Member: Mark Hanson
75 Pine Woods Road
Eastham, MA 02642
Categories: Auction Services
Furniture – Sales
Moving
Services Performed: Yes
* More Weight is given to a review where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: August 21, 2015
Hire Again: Yes
Approximate Cost: $3,500.00
Description Of Work: Provided services to prepare furniture, clothing, household items for in-home estate sale and move to consignment or charity items not sold, including pre-sale publicity, and conduct all aspects of estate sale over three weekend days.
Member Comments: Candid, professional initial meeting to discuss and agree on contract. Lengthy review and photo shoot of all furniture, clothing, household goods (smalls) to be sold. Posted numerous photos in appealing way to website and numerous linked sales and auction sites in advance to drive attendance. Lengthy staging session to price and arrange all items a few days before the sale started. Totally professional operation of sales time for three weekend days, including control and monitoring of visitors. Professional and timely move out of remainder of furniture, clothing and smalls that did not sell to showroom for consignment sale, and charity. Regular, clear communications. Prompt follow up and wrap up with sales records and payment of proceeds. All went well. Sale was successful, although late August weekend may have reduced buyers, but that timing could not be altered. LOTS of traffic through the house indicated very successful effort to drive attention and attendance through the various web sites to which EstateMax posts.. The staging for the sale was great, attractive and appealing, and the team changed staging appearance as weekend continued. Would retain the team again. Laurie and Steve, and others from EstateMax were a pleasure to work with and thoroughly professional in their approach to this service and performing.
Share on Band of Neighbors: Yes

Overall A
Price A
Quality A
Responsiveness A
Punctuality A
Professionalism A
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED WHEN COMPLETING THIS REVIEW
How much did the final cost compare to the original estimate? right on

How does the value of the work compare to the price? I got exactly what I paid for

How far in advance did you schedule the work? more than 2 weeks

Did you find the company through Angie’s List? yes

If yes, which source(s)? website

Why did you choose this contractor? reputation

Have you used this company before? this is the first time I’ve used this company

What did you like most about this contractor? Clear, frequent communication

What surprises came up during the course of the work? We could not be completely out of the house, but EstateMax helped deal with that so it served our interests and didn’t hurt the sale or impede EstateMax.

What words of advice would you give other members considering this contractor? Think about the timing of the sale if possible to maximize local attendance.

What words of advice would you give this contractor? I cannot think of advice to offer, or changes to suggest.

AlertThis review wasn’t submitted by an Angie’s List member. Non-member reviews don’t factor in to recent or overall grades. More…
Review Date: September 12, 2015
Member: Marc Mayerson
, 20852
Category: Auction Services
Services Performed: Yes
* More Weight is given to a review where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: August 17, 2015
Hire Again: Yes
Approximate Cost: $3,500.00
Description Of Work: The company provided a one-stop-solution for selling or ridding ourselves of furniture and other items from our former home. The company organized and advertised a sale of items and donated on our behalf the remainders, leaving the house absolutely empty and broom clean for the purchasers of our home.
Member Comments: The company are totally professional, super organized, and completely dedicated. I left the house with one week before the buyers took ownership, walking out the door and leaving furniture, household items, clothing, etc. in situ. Everything was sold or donated and the house totally emptied for the new owners. A huge undertaking that caused us no exertion and resulted in our receiving a net proceeds check. In other words, we dumped all this stuff on EstateMax and got paid for the privilege of doing so!

Finding and hiring EstateMax was one of the best things I did in moving from a home we had occupied for 15 years. Lauire Zook and Steve Berryman offer a fantastic service, strive to achieve fair pricing of the items sold, and take care of absolutely everything. We could not be more satisfied, and we give our unequivocal endorsement for luxury homeowners moving, downsizing, or dealing with an estate.
Share on Band of Neighbors: Yes
Company Response: Hi [Member name removed], Thank you for the stellar review. It was our privilege to handle this project for you and your family!

Review Date: July 06, 2015
Member: David & Judi Rindler
36491 Warwick Dr
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Category: Auction Services
Services Performed: Yes
* More Weight is given to a review where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: May 12, 2015
Hire Again: Yes
Approximate Cost: $3,500.00
Description Of Work: Three day estate sale
Member Comments: This service went very well. Lauri and Steve did everything that they promised and after the estate sale, they cleaned the house so that the new buyers could move in. I would highly recommend them to our friends or anyone that needs Estate Sales service.
Share on Band of Neighbors: Yes
Company Response: Thank you {member name removed} for your review. We have a number of your pieces on sale at Other People’s Stuff in Frederick and will continue to sell them through the year. Thank you for your trust and support in us. Laurie

Overall A
Price A
Quality A
Responsiveness A
Punctuality A
Professionalism A

AlertThis review wasn’t submitted by an Angie’s List member. Non-member reviews don’t factor in to recent or overall grades. More…
Review Date: June 12, 2015
Member: Martha Hall
, 20010
Category: Auction Services
Services Performed: Yes
* More Weight is given to a review where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: May 28, 2015
Hire Again: Yes
Approximate Cost: $3,000.00
Description Of Work: Organized contents of home, priced individual items, and provided auction sales, and cleaned house after the sale.
Member Comments: To me, the most impressive thing is that Laurie always contacted me on schedule about things related to the auction and the cleaning of my home. She is very responsible and in this day and age it is a very important characteristic. She is self motivated and I never felt that I had to be constantly trying to get the status of things from her. She seems to have a good sense of timing about how long everything will take and follows through on everything. Kudos to Laurie and Steve and their organization.

.
Share on Band of Neighbors: Yes
Company Response: Hi [Member name removed], Thank you for your putting your trust in us. This sale was unique in that it was in NW DC with little parking in Columbia Heights neighborhood which made it difficult overall. You had great stuff for us to sell and we did our best to get the word out locally by posting sales bills on poles and hand outs to people at the metro on 14th St as well as our in print and on line ads. We have your quality estate sale pieces now on consignment ready for our July sale at Other People’s Stuff and will send you payment within the month following their sale. Thank you again. Laurie

Review Date: April 28, 2015
Member: Francine Markbein
10834 Split Rail Dr
Manassas, VA 20112
Category: Auction Services
Services Performed: Yes
* More Weight is given to a review where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: April 18, 2015
Hire Again: Yes
Approximate Cost: $3,900.00
Description Of Work: Laurie & Steve came for an initial visit to discuss the process and do an overviiew of the things we wanted sold in conjunction with a move. After we agreed to proceed, Steve made another trip to photograph the more important items for advertising. We were scheduled for a two day weekend sale which was advertised on line and in print. The two days before the sale, Steve and Laurie returned to set up tables, organize, and price the merchandise. After the sale, Steve returned with some helpers to remove the unsold items to consignment and charity.
Member Comments: I thought the items were well priced and some even sold for more than we originally paid for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a number of the items that we thought would remain unsold did sell at reasonable prices. A number of the items I was sure would sell (dining room furniture and a few antiques) did not sell which surprised me. However, they went to consignment, on a separate contract with Estate Max, so I am hoping for a positive outcome on those things as well. I believe that Laurie & Steve were knowledgable about the items we were selling and took good care to display and price them appropriately. Since we were not present during the sale, we relied on their procedures for keeping our house and sale items secure during the sale while encouraging as much traffic as possible which they successfully accomplished.
Share on Band of Neighbors: No
Company Response: hi (removed member name), thank you very much for taking the time to review the project we did with you.I will be in touch with you on a monthly basis sending you a check for all sales up to that date it was any other information I have on your consignments again I feel that will do extremely well with them and this will be an added bonus after the estate sale thank you again hope you’re well.

Overall A
Price B
Quality B
Responsiveness A
Punctuality A
Professionalism A

Our Standards Are High, Clients Can Count On Us To Do The Job-Completely!

At EstateMAX and Mission Transition we work very hard for our clients, holding ourselves to high standards.  We work with our senior, boomer and estate clients as if we are their right hand, planning and executing their move in a time and cost effective manner. We have been in business since 1999 and have worked the bugs out of our processes.

For our Tag/estate sales, we approach organizing and selling personal property in a personalized yet linear fashion. Unless there are valuables in a home, of significant value-such as precious metals, fine art, fine jewelry, antique items that are over and above the norm, are most residences are similar, based on the style and stock of furnishings and decoration sold at retailers in the mid century.

We are experts at pricing and selling these items. For valuables, we do the research needed and call on experts to help in valuation. EstateMAX Maxes out our marketing for our sales using numerous online and local print media.

We might ask our clients to provide us with an appraisal, if possible, on any items they know are unique and deserve special review. Laurie Zook has a depth of knowledge in furnishings, design and fine art sales, auto sales and procurement  and Steve Berryman has 35 years of in depth retail experience.

For On-Site Tag Sales, we spend from 100 to 250 hours from start to finish with our crew, handling the set up, marketing, running the sale, cleaning up, working with charity and tying up  any loose ends, leaving the property ready for settlement or to be updated.

Our clients are paid the proceeds of their sale within a week of the completion.  If you are not an Angie’s List Member ask for our review list.

So, If you are reading this blog, considering hiring EstateMAX or any company to do an estate sale for you consider these issues that come into play during the process:

Market competition: there are lots of new estate sales companies in the Washington DC market. Most of them are new in the industry.  There are between 5 to 45 estate sales in the DC Metro on most weekends. That’s a lot of used stuff being sold. It’s a buyer’s market. It takes strong sellers to succeed.

It is all about professionalism. Considering all these points of the individual estate sale company, when making your choice, will make the difference in the process, sales results and terms and conditions of your contract.

  • Prompt payment/fiscal responsibility
  • Physical security
  • Reputation/trustworthiness/integrity
  • References
  • Flexibility: the ability to conduct more than one type of sale
  • Market knowledge- knowledge about what is being sold, how, your location, and time frame
  • Planning/punctuality/efficiency
  • Knowledge of competition
  • Pricing to the local and regional market
  • Evaluating merchandise/ability to research/partnerships in the industry
  • Marketing resources and strategy/what is best method for your location and time frame/advertising
  • Liability Insurance

If you’re not an Angie’s List Member, you can check us out by clicking on this link. It should take you to our public profile.  WASHINGTON D.C. auction services

The Things

The Things
Donald Hall, 1928
When I walk in my house I see pictures,
bought long ago, framed and hanging
—de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore—
that I’ve cherished and stared at for years,
yet my eyes keep returning to the masters
of the trivial—a white stone perfectly round,
tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell,
a broken great-grandmother’s rocker,
a dead dog’s toy—valueless, unforgettable
detritus that my children will throw away
as I did my mother’s souvenirs of trips
with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens,
and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.
“The Things” from The Back Chamber by Donald Hall. Copyright © 2011 by Donald Hall. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

from the book
The Back Chamber
The Back Chamber by Donald Hall
IndieBound
Worldcat

Donald Hall
Donald Hall was born in Hamden, Connecticut, on September 20, 1928. He began

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http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/things