Our Mission

At Around the Home Maintenance Services, our mission is to relieve the burden of property management, maintenance and organization, allowing you to spend more time with your family when they need you the most.

For a free estimate, call Kurt at (517) 242-9717.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Downsizing for Mid-Michigan Seniors Preparing for a Move

Downsizing can be difficult for anyone, but after a lifetime of accumulating treasured items, paperwork, clothing and more, packing for a move can be an overwhelming task for many mid-Michigan seniors.

Our best advice is start small - focus not only on one closet, but one item - for example, winter coats. If you haven't worn the item this past winter, is it likely you'll wear it next winter? If not, consider making a donation. Goodwill Industries has a convenient drive-thru donation procedure - they'll unload your donations from your vehicle and provide you with a receipt for your taxes.

If you or your loved one needs help organizing and reducing clutter, paperwork or sorting, packing and making donations of unwanted items, give us a call for a free estimate.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ATH Proudly Supports Local Michigan Economy

Around the Home Maintenance Services is proud to offer moulding, interior/exterior doors and windows supplied by local company Goodrich Brothers, Inc of Pewamo, Michigan. Among many other products, Goodrich Brothers offers Chelsea Plank Flooring made nearby in Chelsea, Michigan.

Does your closet need more than just a little spring cleaning? Home for sale and hoping to capitalize on your home's storage options for families who are downsizing from larger homes? Around the Home proudly offers Schulte Home Storage Systems for closet renovations, garage storage systems and more. For more information, contact Kurt at (517) 242-9717.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Cleanup a Must for Properties Listed for Sale

Drab brown grass and leafless trees give a barren look to the exterior of homes and businesses listed for sale. While we'll just have to wait it out until spring for a vibrant green landscape, a little lawn and garden TLC can brighten up the appearance of a property even before the tulips begin to bloom.

Over the winter, wind-blown leaves, broken branches and sometimes even litter accumulate around bushes, trees and other landscaping. Around the Home offers yard/garden spring cleanup that will leave your property's lawn and garden in top shape for spring.

Spring brings the hope of a new selling season in the real estate market - give your property the finished look it needs to sparkle even during these last few weeks of winter. For more information, contact Kurt at (517) 242-9717.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Would your children value your treasures?

Every day we're getting reports of individuals who tell us, "my kids would sell all of this stuff at a garage sale - they have no idea what it is worth!" Asked if the collectibles, antiques, art or sculptures have been inventoried, appraised and insured, the answer is usually "no - we've never taken the time to do that."

While our estate maintenance and organization business at Around the Home was founded on the notion that executors, powers of attorney, conservators and trustees needed assistance with maintaining property, dealing with auctioneers and appraisers, packing, storing and shipping personal property and organization of clutter to prepare estate homes for sale, we're now finding that our expertise is being sought out by individuals as they begin to plan their own estates.

We can help locate appraisers for your treasured items, help create inventories and document your history of family pieces for future generations. Don't let the things you've spent a lifetime accumulating be sold at a garage sale for pennies, or worse... tossed into a dumpster!

Around the Home offers free estimates. Contact us today to begin documenting the history and value of your treasured possessions. Email Kurt or call (517) 242-9717.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alleviating the Stress of Dividing Personal Items

For many families, cleaning out a loved one's home and personal belongings after a death can be an important part of the grieving and healing process. Holding treasured personal possessions and remembering good times can make this a time to celebrate a beloved family member's life and share family history with younger generations.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for all families. Distrust and jealousy feed claims of dishonesty and selfishness - tearing at families when they need each other the most. Why is it that family members lash out at each other with such bitterness over what appear to be such trivial issues? What leads otherwise honest, caring and compassionate individuals to act with such total disregard for the feelings of those they love?

The stories of family rivalries abound. What was it that tore your family apart? A cookie jar? A candy dish? A hammer, tool belt or hunting rifle? Was it a refrigerator magnet? A lucky penny? A clock?

One potential cause of the problem lies in our time-honored tradition of selecting one person out of the family to have the role of administering the estate, whether as "trustee" of a living trust or as "personal representative" of a will. In years past, it was typically the oldest male of the family who held this role. No matter who is chosen, having chosen someone upsets the balance of power in a family which is already struggling to reorganize its power structure after a death.

Take, for example, the resentment of a younger sibling who might see her older brother's authority as personal representative as an assertion of control and an attempt to replace her deceased father as the "head" of the family. She may object to her brother's otherwise fair and appropriate method of dividing personal property only because she resents his assertion of authority. On the other hand, he may feel unjustly accused of being unfair.

Reverse the situation (having chosen the youngest sibling as personal representative instead) and we now face possible jealousy and resentment from older siblings who believe the "baby" of the family to have been spoiled and/or "loved more" because she was the youngest. Older siblings may object to items she chooses for herself or her children because she always gets her way. Just like her brother in the scenerio above, she may feel unjustly accused of being unfair.

Our predeceasors tried to remedy this situation by naming a bank to serve as what was then commonly called "executor" of the estate. The theory, in part, was that the addition of a wise and neutral third party would help keep emotions and personal attacks in check. Attempts to keep adminstrative costs low have caused the use of banks to fall out of favor as bank fees rose - but the theory of a neutral third party still holds some merit.

In dividing personal property, informal mediation or simply guidance from a professional estate administrator might bring back a level of civility and order to the process while maintaining the status quo in the family power struggle. Depending upon the nature of the issues at hand, an appropriate neutral party might include an attorney, mediator or professional estate organizer.

Also posted at www.itrustee.blogspot.com by Jo Anne Hinds, Attorney/Professional Speaker

Monday, November 3, 2008

Preserving the Family Cottage or Cabin on the Lake

Winterizing the boat and pulling out docks at your family's cottage or cabin on the lake might be something that you always did together as a family - but when health concerns become top priority, it can be hard to tear yourself away from your loved one's needs to take care of your own home, let alone a property located 2 hours north.

Unfortunately, without proper winterization, serious damage can be caused - sometimes costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars to repair. Some might be quick to say "put it up for sale!" But in today's real estate market, you might still have a considerable wait until the burden of maintaining the property is finally relieved.

Family members might hold on to the hope that the cottage or cabin might be saved for future generations to enjoy - so what to do in the meantime?

Are there sufficient resources to continue to pay the property taxes and hire someone to maintain the property until your family can once again enjoy it? At Around the Home, we maintain vacation homes, cabins and cottages for the future use and enjoyment of families just like yours. Winterizing boats, RVs, campers and cottages is just one way we help relieve the burden of property management at at time when your family needs you the most.

For more information, contact Kurt at (517) 242-9717 or by email.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dad's Bobblehead Collection

Have you ever wondered how to get the best value for your loved one's unique treasures? Considered selling Dad's "bobblehead" collection at an online auction like eBay? Did you know that you can donate unique items to Goodwill Industries International for an online auction?

Around the Home can help you with online auctions and donations to ensure your parent's treasures are put to good use. For more information, call Kurt at (517) 242-9717.