Cleaning out your loved one's lifetime of stuff...

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The daunting task of sorting thru things that are not yours.

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Fifth dumpster delivered today.
Sigh!

M88
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Well now you know why they brought in the dumpsters.
People who hoard stuff live in every neighbourhood, and sometimes they can put up a very acceptable facade for outsiders. The unfortunate reality is that it often takes way more time and physical and mental effort to sort through all the stuff then it is worth, so the dumpster is the easiest solution.
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Third bin full awaiting pickup.
M88
OMG!
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Sometimes books help, sometimes not. It seems like every situation is a bit different and the family dynamics are different.

When my Dad moved to Independent Living and was so glad to get away from the house that he and my late Mom had shared. Dad being in his mid-90's was so tired of trying to maintain that house, and my Mom was adding to the honey-do list like Dad was still in his 50's.

When it comes to all the "stuff" in the house. Dad would say just bulldoze everything.... means, throw it in the trash. I just can't do that. So much can be recycled and lovely used by someone else. All the beautiful cut glass, I can't toss that into a trash bag!! Can't trash the antiques, someone will buy them. I hope.

The best advice I got regarding my Mom's stuff was to "swap out something of mine with something of hers" and that worked :) Now my house is no longer looking like a flea market, as I am taking my unwanted stuff over to my parents old house and returning with something that was once my Mom's.

It still feels odd going through their things, especially clothing.
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Get this!
I have lived on the same house in a cul-de-sac for 20 years.
There are 8 houses total.
I have seen 6 individual neighbors pass away.
My lady neighbor across the street from me came back from rehab 1 week ago, and on hospice care.
Her daughter, son in law, 2 grandkids are there, 24/7 helping.
Her adopted daughter, whom we've met or seen come for a visit is here.
I heard a loud sound, like the garbage truck, coming into our street.....today is not trash day.
Well, the daughter rented a trash bin, filled with mom's house stuff. Called the city, empties, and leaves an empty one, which now, I am shocked curious, wondering what is going on over there.
True, don't rain on me folks, but it hurt MY FEELINGS to see that.
Mom is a lively lady, generous neighbor who will be sorely missed.
Couldn't the trash bin outrage wait???
Mom has to be feeling worse off watching the stuff thrown into the bin, and taken away, while she watches it happen from the living room where they
propped her up in a hospital bed????????
Oh well... maybe this post should be renamed "From My Kitchen Window".
M88, not affiliated with Amazon in anyway! ;^)
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Mulata, that's not to criticize your suggestions - just a comment on people who weigh in on challenges from a totally different wealth and social perspective.

And on the issue of going through our parents things.... I think I posted this before, somewhere here.....my brother found some letters my mother had written to my father when he was in the service, just after I had been born. I could only read one - they were so emotional and made me regret even more that she's no longer here. I will save those letters forever.
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Sometimes I think the "experts" and all their books are just exploiting the aging phenomena. There's one celebrity, whose face I can picture but name I can't remember, who appears as a guest on caregiving on various programs. I used to listen to her, but it's obvious she approaches the situation from a position of wealth which I'll never have.

So much for her advice. It's like listening to someone give advice on navigating treacherous waters - she's on a big yacht and I'm down in the water fighting off the sharks.

Grain of salt and all that in terms of relevance.
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The link is for a book being sold on amazon...The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents' Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff.
I think we have talked this topic to death here on AgingCare, but maybe some would find the book helpful.
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Five years ago, when Mom came from Old Southern Mexico to live with us, I ran to Amazon.com and bought all the books on caregiving I could get my hands on. Like anything when you don't know, duh!, not all helped, some were very depressing (to make my depression worse), and I put them on a shelf.
As the years are trickling away, I do take one book and leaf thru, or another, etc.
Well.....I saw a post here in the site, but cannot remember where, and I am not about to read thousands of them, hahaha, but I bumped into something useful *I hope*.

Ok, what it is about is: Baby Boomers, the daunting task of sorting thru your parents' things.............something like that. If you think it is relevant and interesting, check it out. No, I have not, but sure looks useful.
Have a great day. Well.............Hope OUR reactions to the things that happen today are GOOD. That's a new wish, huh?
M88
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