When my mother died last year at 87, I was torn between grief and the immediate need to empty the New York City apartment she had lived in for 50 years.As her only child and executor, I had 30 days to dismantle a beloved home filled not only with memories, but with stacks of bank statements, overflowing closets (Mom had owned a women’s clothing boutique), boxes of unsorted photos, furniture, antiques, kitchenware and more. The investor who owned her apartment wanted to sell the place quickly.


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