Every summer my family made the trek back from Texas to Connecticut to visit family. It was the same thing every year. My grandma's chicken soup, a day at the beach with my Auntie, Aunt Kates 4th of July party, and a peak inside my Aunt Adas closet.
My Aunt Ada's beloved husband Charlie had passed years before. She kept all his clothes in the closet in perfect order. As a child this fascinated me. And each year, I had to take a peak. The clothes were still there until the day she passed away. I guess it gave her comfort.
So when should you purge your families or spouses stuff? The answer is when you are ready. Its different for everyone.
My grandmother packed away and donated my grandfathers clothes pretty quickly. She also opened up his workshop and let the family have whatever tools they wanted. This was her comfort level.
I just started working with a client that lost her brother 10 years ago and then her mom. The family put everything in her basement(that is what happens when you have a big house). They just decided they were ready to go through the boxes.
Last week my father's brother passed away suddenly. I told my Aunt I would come and help her whenever she was ready- an open invitation with no pressure.
It's important to wait until you feel calm and can make clear decisions. When you do take on the process, consider the your loved ones friends and family. Are there certain items they would want to have? Ask them. In the particular job I am working on right now, we are making piles for different family members.
Give yourself time to heal. Don't let people rush your process. Take your time.
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