It’s not easy parting with personal belongings that hold a lifetime of memories. Taking time to sort and emotionally detach is crucial to both the process and well being of a loved one.
There are steps you can take to make the task much easier on everyone. Here are some tips:
- If there are keepsakes from the now-grown children still taking up space in the home, have everyone take their belongings home.
- Make decisions about who gets what long before you need to act on it. Put it in writing or put tags on furniture.
- Decide on a sorting method you will use before you dig in. Create areas where you will put items to keep, to toss, to pass on or to donate.
- Set special pieces aside with care so they don’t end up accidentally being thrown or donated.
- Get rid of the biggest items first. It will help you feel like you are making great progress and free up room to move around as you continue.
- Don’t lose the stories. Special pieces often have great stories attached to them. Jot some notes down so the story can be passed along with the item.
- Work a little every day.
- Know that people may get emotional. Allow this to happen and honor the process.
- Make sure everyone knows what’s considered a keepsake and should be set aside.
- Take time to do the job properly. Don’t try to rush the process.
- If you need help, hire someone.