Keepsake clutter can be very overwhelming. Besides the normal feeling of not knowing where to begin, you also have an emotional attachment to the item or guilt. So instead of getting rid of items, you keep it all. Does this sound familiar? These items can add up over the course of your child’s early years, then add grandparents or parent’s stuff to the mix and now you have a house full of items you don’t use and can’t emotional get rid of.
We have all had it happen, we have been given something we don’t want or can’t use. You have this guilt of getting rid of it or worried the gift giver may find out. Last week I shared a little bit about how to handle that, so today today I want to talk about this problem on a larger scale. I am talking about having to take over a loved ones estate. We often work with clients that are having to take care of a parent’s estate or trying to clean up their own estate so they can downsize. There was a time when people did not have a lot of things and had a lot of kids so there was not much to give out. Now that is not the case, we as a society have too much and only 1-2 children to deal with it. Taking care of a loved one’s estate can be a very emotional and stressful process. I want to share with you a few tips that may help if you are dealing with this right now.
Bring Support: Don’t try to do this alone. Ask a close friend or distant relative to help. Someone that cares about you but will also be helpful. If you feel like you need more of an unbiased person call a professional organizer. Having someone there to keep you focused can make all the difference.
Get a Game Plan: Maybe start with the stuff you know you want or your loved ones have specifically asked you to give to someone else. Then give yourself a timeline and schedule of which rooms you will tackle when.
Start Small: This is huge if you want to be successful at it. Start small at first because it will be emotional. You may catch a whiff of perfume or find a handwritten note, then the next thing you know you are overwhelmed with emotions and are in no shape to work. So take on a little as you can and it will get easier, I promise.
Set Boundaries & Rules: Decide before you start what your rules are for items you keep. Like it has to be something you will use or integrate into your home. Please do not bring it all back to your house to store in a basement or garage to go through later. You will not go through it. Use the deadline of needing to sell the house as a goal to go through everything.
Research and Schedule Donations: Feeling good about where you are donating your items will make the process easier. Lots of places will pick up your items for you if you call in advance and schedule a pickup. Here is a list we have come up with locally: Donation Location Suggestions