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She doesn't seem to remember most of it, and has no need for a lot of it. She told me to give away most of the books, and has plenty of linens and household stuff for her tiny apt. No longer cooks, so no kitchen stuff. She's actually ready for a NH, has been for awhile, and we've been trying to put it off... think it's ok to give away the stuff she no longer needs? She doesn't want to go through it with us - confuses her immediately. Hubby is helping and he wants to give it away; I feel odd about it....

When it was time to downsize and move mom who had cognitive decline 10 years ago she did not miss her stuff. Her world was already shrinking. One thing to hold on to are any old photo albums. I put them in one of her dresser drawers. Upon occasion she finds them and they provide her with entertainment, even now with advanced dementia
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Reply to MACinCT
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I absolutely agree. Based on what you've said, ask her in principle if it is
OK for you to keep the things she can use and use your own discretion about other things. She doesn't need to do it piece by piece. Make sure you put away some small things that are easy to store, ask her for the story about where it came from, and keep it for family history in the future. Perhaps you both could enjoy those conversations about things that are kept.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I absolutely agree. Based on what you've said, ask her in principle if it is
OK for you to keep the things she can use and use your own discretion about other things. She doesn't need to do it piece by piece. Make sure you put away some small things that are easy to store, ask her for the story about where it came from, and keep it for family history in the future.
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Snoopy and Countrymouse, you're both right; I get it. I don't miss stuff after selling or giving it away; guess she won't either. She's saying thank you for all we're doing, and that her apt looks so much better already.... Thank you guys for the helpful advice!
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Mally, as your mother has actually said that she doesn't want to get involved in the sorting and restocking process, why not ask her - kind of formally - if she's happy in principle for you to make the necessary executive decisions? And assuming she says yes, which I imagine she will, you have carte blanche.

You might also feel better if you look on it as selecting out what needs to be kept for her, then *everything* else is redundant and goes. It puts the focus on positive choices to keep as opposed to cruel rejection of long-treasured possessions, if you see what I mean.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My vote is: toss it all. Water damage and mold are too difficult to combat. I would imagine you already have enough going on without taking another project on. In the end, it's just stuff.

Over the years I've had to discard things that got ruined for one reason or another. I don't miss the things now.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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Agree. Get rid of all you can. It isn't necessarily easy. I remember packing up my mother's last apartment when she was in a geri psych hospital and from there going to a specialized facility. I was doing some grieving as I knew she would never have the lifestyle she had lived for most of her adult life. Maybe that's why you are feeling odd. ((((((hugs)))).
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Reply to golden23
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mally1 Jan 16, 2019
That's it, golden; she has no use for most of it and never will again, not to mention losing her cat; you're right - I'm grieving. Thanks for the insight and the hugs....
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Thank you, JoAnn; you confirmed what my husband said; to keep one small set of dishes, set of pans, silverware - stuff like that. She doesn't have a bed; only able to sleep in her recliner, so sheets can go, I guess. I think I'm the one confused now, but in a way it's a blessing to get it done a bit at a time, instead of all at once if she has to move.
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mally, ah, the what to keep, what to donate, what to toss away. Not easy. I remember how exhausting and time consuming it was clearing out my parent's house. I tired to get my Mom to downsize, so whenever I asked for donations for the hospital rummage sale, Mom would hand over one knick-knack. Oh dear, it will take 50 years at this rate :P

When I emptied my parents' house, I did swap out items that had memories for those items I had that had no memories. Right now on my computer desk is a small china candy dish my parent's had that I am using for paper clips... got rid of the candy can I was using. Swapped out a few of my lamps with those of my parents, etc.

Remember to keep some items to use to decorate Mom's nursing home space. I remember when my Dad moved to senior living, he wanted to take all of his books. Told him he would need to downsize those books. So out of 200 books, we had 199 to take to Dad's senior living, thank goodness all the bookcases fitted in his room. Turned out those books were Dad's cocoon, which gave him a sense of safety.
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Reply to freqflyer
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mally1 Jan 14, 2019
FF, thanks for the laughs! One item at a time... 199 books..... maybe we're better off with my mom, who is overwhelmed since the flood and tired of it all, poor little thing.
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I would get rid of anything she didn't need to live. Don't ask her to decide if it overwhelms her. I wouldn't get rid of all kitchen stuff. Keep the basics if she is going back.
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