Your Parents Stuff; How to Get Through It And Keep Your Sanity

It's a part of life. Losing a parent or a family member. Its not something that we look forward to or want to deal with. When it happens, it generally hits us like a ton of bricks. How does one grieve and deal with a parents/relatives stuff. One step at a time.

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Whether its your childhood home, or your parent has been living in assisted living, you have decisions to make. What do you do with the stuff?

First of all, are you ready to deal with it? I know several people that have let their family homes sit for years because they aren't ready to make decisions on stuff. Everything reminds them of the deceased.

If money is a factor, this make push up your need to clear out the home. If you have siblings, this could be a really big challenge. I saw this happen in my own family. Mom my wanted to give her moms stuff to the family, while my Aunt just wanted to trash everything. In the end, my Mom was able to give a lot of the furniture and stuff to family members (we have a big polish clan). It made her feel better that her mother's things were going to good use. I took the family recipes(still can't find the perogi one).

If cleaning out the family home is a must, take it step by step.

* If you feel comfortable, hire a professional organizer or an estate management company to do the pre sorting for you. They will follow your instructions and clear out the trash, categorize everything, and assist with the selling or donating of items.

* You can also work side by side with an estate professional. Take one room at a time.

* Stage the items by category.

* Have the family members come in to look at the items. Everyone should have a different color of post it notes. If you see an item you want, put a post it note on it. At the end of the day, any item with one post it note on it, can be cleared out by the family member. Items with multiple post it notes, need a discussion.

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* Consult a estate professional about items you want to sell. Don't assume things are junk. I have seen many people through out things that are worth money. Its better to ask an expert then assume.

* If this is too trying for you to handle, rent a storage unit and box up your families items or move them into your basement. When you feel ready, start going through them.

Grief if different for everyone. Take your time and do what works for you.

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