One on One with Desiree Kunihiro: Organizing Home Assets


    Home and business organizing is made easy when Desiree Kunihiro is at the helm. As owner and founder of Clean Slate Organizers, Kunihiro has more and more clients utilizing her skills as an organizer to help them list assets that include the value and location, two important pieces of information that helps the inheritance process.


    Organizing assets is an opportunity to manage and list items for future heirs.
    Organizing assets is an opportunity to manage and list items for future heirs.

    Q: Why is it important to organize assets?

    A: Family members or heirs might lose out on a valuable item. As we get older, we tend to accumulate many things. And those things can gain value as time marches on. Most heirs really don’t have a clue as to the value of items and may simply get rid of them unaware of their current value. When detailed records are kept, it helps establish the worth and it can then be sold at a fair market price. It is also is a way to keep track of the items so it doesn’t get lost or disappear.


    Q: Do you catalog everything in a home?

    A: No, that would be exhausting. But going through the home looking for potential valuable items such as art, wine collections, jewelry, cars, crystal, sterling silver or any kind of collections is the first step to take. Even fine clothing can fetch a good price. I have been in business for over 20 years organizing and helping many clients with the care of theirs and their parent’s assets. I understand the industry very well and keep up to date on the current value of things. For instance, though crystal is still valuable, right now solid sterling silver items can fetch top dollars due to its current popularity.


    Q: Where does one go to sell these things?

    A: Auctions and consignment stores are the most popular avenues to sell valuable items. Though finding a reputable company that is trustworthy to sell your items can sometimes be a challenge. Many of these companies go out of business regularly and take the consignment items with them. Yes, there are a lot of really good ones around. But some of these shady lots are still in operation and it is good to hook up with someone who has their ears to the ground in this area.


    Q: Once a reputable consignment store is found, how does it work?

    A: It’s good to read the fine print when putting items on consignment. Most stores list it at a high price for 30 days. After 30 days, they drop the price, and so forth until it sells. Knowing when it sold is part of understanding the process. So it is necessary to follow up with the company every 30 days to see if it has sold. Many shady companies are not forthright with when and how much the item sold for.

    An organized home is refreshing and eliminates frantic searches for missing items.
    An organized home is refreshing and eliminates frantic searches for missing items.


    Q: Is there a special method to organizing assets?

    A: There are software programs to help you organize. You can even make it simpler by listing it out on paper; or even using an Excel spreadsheet. Lawyers can help you create your will and trust and give you a form to use where you can detail your collection’s cost and location.


    Q: So just listing out your valuables is the first important step.

    A: As well as its location and value. This way your heirs know where to locate the items and their value. For instance I have a client with a large art collection. She is single with no children, but would like to leave it to her nieces and nephews. They might know there is artwork in the house, but not sure what it looks like or even if it has any value. But by helping her inventory the items and their worth, my client feels confident her heirs will appreciate what they will be receiving. It’s important to give your lawyer a copy of the inventory or have it in a place that can be found easily such as a safety deposit box and/or together with important papers.


    Q: You just recently finished filming an upcoming episode of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing/Orange County Real Estate Wars.” Can you tell me a little bit about it?

    A: It’s a new reality show that features real estate agents in Orange County. My client was asked to be on it and though she’s the star, I did appear in one of the episodes. Orange County has been my home. I grew up and still live in Newport Beach, went to Corona del Mar High and continue to work here. I’m also a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and help people get organized through out Orange County. It seemed natural for me to appear in a show geared to the OC crowd. I’m not sure when it will air, but look forward to seeing it. Who knows, I might just end up on the cutting room floor. But I’ll still be here to help people organize!


    By Gina Dostler

    Desiree Kunihiro
    Clean Slate Organizers
    PO Box 10452
    Newport Beach, CA 92658