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IF YOU HAVE EXCESS OF THINGS, DON'T WAIT FOR THE INEVITABLE TO HAPPEN. START GIVING YOUR "PRIZES" OUT AS GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS.....My friend's dad had things he wanted certain people to have. He died of cancer a couple years ago. I was a recipient of one of his prized possessions. He loved seeing people receive his gifts. Then we put my name on it. My friend gave it to me when he died. He started giving things away that took up shelf space, and wall space. We found out that his house looked more and more empty. So, we moved things around to fill in the gaps..Trust me, we humans have a tendency to gather stuff without even realizing it. The house looked nice, and there was less things for us to "donate". Another friend loves to collect jewelry- good stuff, not costume. I told her to start giving the things she doesn't wear to her family. Who can wear that much stuff? I used to give one of my best friends pretty glass paper weights for xmas etc. She finally said STOP. How many of these things does one need? We both laughed. Next one I gave her, she would hit me with it. We do lunch and walks together instead. Much better....You can't take it with you, have fun watching your loved ones open a present, while you can enjoy seeing their expressions...you don't have to wait for a special moment or holiday. Now is a good time to make someone smile :)

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I agree with giving things away while a person is around to enjoy seeing how much happiness they can bring to others. My husband has five grown daughters, all except one married and with their own children. We agreed to send them all a letter asking if there were any special things of their dad's they wanted. I was standing by with the stickers! Based on their requests, we have already given them what they wanted. It made us as happy to give them as it did the daughters to receive them. We are left with a special cake plate that belonged to his mother and a very old pitcher that none of them would remember or associate with the family they knew. Everyone seems to be downsizing today, including us, so we aren't sure what to do with those two items. I told him that, since I do know the history and significance of the pitcher, I could keep it and make a flower arrangement in it. When his only granddaughter gets a little older, I will tell her the story and offer the pitcher to her. As far as the cake plate, we don't want to start a war among the five daughters. The plan right now is for me to keep it and use it, rather than let it set on a shelf. My husband can enjoy seeing it used again with his favorite cakes. Since no one expressed an interest in it, I plan to keep it and enjoy it. When someone dies and emotions run rampant is not the time to divide family heirlooms or possessions. Let the living enjoy giving and receiving them.
My best friend is younger than I, and I am including some of my good jewelry that she has verbally stickered in my will and living trust, and they will become hers. I am 68 and still active in a special fraternal organization. As an officer I have to dress a certain way. When I visit other chapters, I enjoy dressing up and wearing my jewelry. When I see that I can't or don't wear my dress up things, I will donate my clothes to the local university organization that provides needy students with interview clothes and other local charities. I will enjoy seeing my good jewelry being worn by my best friend! If none of my step-daughters express an interest in the rest of my "good" jewelry, I will combine it with some of my mother's pieces I still have, sell it for the value of the gold and stones, and have a party for my friends...dedicated to my mom's memory and to the friendship of those who attend. Then, I will relax, wear jeans and t-shirts, and just keep a few nice outfits for special occasions. PS. I am sure this is not an isolated case. I learned the hard way not to insist that my mom enjoy her expensive jewelry in the ALF and next level. She kept trying to give it to me. I always replied that, since I am an only child, it would be mine some day anyway...I wanted her to enjoy her things. While going through her things when she passed away, I discovered that some of her things that were meaningful to me were not there. When Hospice was called in, I took off the jewelry she was wearing and took the containers of what she said was her valuables home with me. I noticed a couple of things missing and asked her about them. She didn't know where they were either. Spunky right up to the end, she told me, "I told you you should have taken them when I told you to!" I had to laugh, because we had both learned that things were not our real treasures. We laughed, and I began (very poorly) singing the old Sonny and Cher song, "...I got you, babe..." We both laughed, probably at my singing efforts, and didn't worry about things we couldn't control. I was blessed in so many ways to have time with mom before she passed away and for her to be mentally aware and able to talk until the day before she went to join daddy. I did learn many of life's lessons during that time, too. One was not to wear or keep valuables in a communial living environment. When my time comes, if I live that long, I won't have any valuable jewelry, and I will spend my last days in lounging pajamas or blue jeans and t-shirts!
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I wish I could do this. The trouble is with most things around my mother's house is that no one wants them. My parents accumulated drawers full of absolute junk. I've donated a lot, but probably the charity shops have even been disappointed. My father did have about 100 knives that were expensive. I gave them to my brother to give out as he wanted. He lives in the country where knives are good things to have. I thought later that I should have put them on eBay.

We have so many tools here. Some of them I've sold on eBay. I need to put more of them on, because no one uses them. They are just nice clutter. My father would buy tools. He never used them, but he liked to buy them. And we have some of almost every nail, screw, and bolt ever made. The bad thing is that we don't ever have the size that I need to do something, so I have to run to Lowe's and buy more. :-(
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We would kid mom about stickers. She said she wasn't going to be around long. I asked if we should get the stickers. "What stickers?" she asked. I said "You know, little stickers with our names on them, for who gets what item." Her eyes flew open "NO we don't need the STICKERS" she spit those words out. Suddenly she felt quite well. When she would buy something new, someone would always say "I'm putting my sticker on that." LOL
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In the process of emptying Mother's house. Oh my! I come home each day and fill a bag of donations from my own house. We simply have too much stuff. I've told everyone I need nothing, want nothing and don't want my kids to realize how many foolish purchases I've made. Unloading it all now...lol!
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EXACTLY. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING :)
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Thanks for posting that. Ah, I was thinking the same thing the other day. That instead of making a list of misc physical things to distribute after we die, why not start giving these things away now so we can see the people enjoy the items.

Example, I have a large stamp book and a dozen of old coin books sitting in a sealed bin in the basement for the past 30 years... why not have my sig other's two grade school grand-daughters start getting interested in collecting stamps and coins. I was around their age when I started collecting. And now with the Internet, they can research how much each individual stamp or coin is now worth :)
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