Life swoops in and devours our time. Before you know it we are faced with loss of a loved one. Our society has been engulfed with consumerism. Buying spending and more buying and spending.
What happens to all this stuff when we are gone?
In our profession as professional organizers we are often called in to help with a move. Sometimes it is not just any old move. It can be the move of a childhood home where you grew up and your last surviving parent has passed away.
You are left with this home full of stuff. Its not just any old stuff. It is memories, years of living, years of stories. There is a pretty good chance that this home is filled will not only with your parents "stuff' precious memories, belongings and day to day living things, but it will have things from your childhood stuffed in closets, boxes tucked in corners of bedroom closets or in the attic.
Your probably going through so much having just lost the loved one and now your now faced with the job of sorting, purging and eliminating stuff.
This job of purging, eliminating and sorting can be emotional and taxing on any individual without having a tremendous loss attached to it.
Now is the perfect time to look at your parents space, your own space and seriously clean up, clean out and de-clutter. I can't stress it enough. It is time to do this chore while you are healthy and your loved ones are alive.
My own parents are thankfully still alive, but are aging. They are at a point where they are still fairly active but I can see a day that will sneak up on us where they will not be so active. A day when the very home I grew up in will need to be sorted, purged and stuff removed from the home.
Although a professional organizer, I too dread this task. Cleaning out the home I grew up in. Lots of memories, things and a life time of stuff. Everyone has stuff. Even homes with a minimalistic approach. Eventually every home will need a clean out, a clearing a de-clutter.
If your dealing with a parents home and they have passed away and now you need help there are a few steps you need to take.
- Spend some time in the home with your siblings and family members. Look and see what there is in the home that you really want to take to your own home. If the home effects have little monetary value other than memories it's time to be very clear on what are your treasures.
- Hire a Professional Organizer or move coordinator to help you. Excellent organizers will ask you about your life, your treasures, they will get a sense of what you value and what are things, events, moments you treasure the most. This will help them help you identify your items you wish to keep.
- If you have a moving company or organizing team come in to help pack, ensure that you speak to the leader of the team. Make sure you provide clear direction.
- Let them know exactly what kinds of things you want saved. Trophies, pictures, inscribed books, baby clothes, old uniforms? What ever your treasures key thing is clear direction and communication to the entire packing team.
- Clearly mark any items that you want kept.
- Taking these steps will definitely help with your moving, de-cluttering process. Best advice of all, do it while your not grieving the loss.
- Do it sooner than later.