My mom had to move from an apartment into a NH rather quickly. My husband and I basically threw all her belongings into boxes, labeled them, and put them in our storage room. Most of her furniture we sold or gave away, as we really couldn't accommodate it, but there are a lot of small things like kitchen utensils that she will likely never use again. Every once in a while, she will ask for something that was (for example) in her top desk drawer, and I can locate it and bring to her. Sometimes her memory is amazing!

She likes to think that she will one day be independent again and need all those things, but I seriously doubt that she will ever be able to live alone or even in an assisted living situation.

I don't want to point that out because I'm sure it would make her sad - she's already sad that she doesn't have anywhere to keep all but just a few of her knick-knacks, photo albums, and such. Those things I would certainly hold on to for her. But the random things, the dozens of shoes she probably won't ever wear, the clothes that are too formal ever to be worn in a do I bring up the topic of letting them go without making her uncomfortable? We are running out of room for our own things, plus there is the possibility of moving.

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I trashed a lot of my mom’s worthless clutter and old magazines...told her I sold them and gave her some money. That made her happy so it worked for me. $50-$100 for peace and clean out? Priceless if you are able to do it...
Helpful Answer (26)
Reply to ML4444

You have to employ a mindset that the things your mother can no longer use will be of help to someone else, either by you selling them if she may need the money, or by donating them. And it will be a kindness to her if you never discuss this with her, handle it quietly. Keep only the things she may want or need
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Reply to Daughterof1930

I think, if your mother won't know the difference, I would let her think nothing has changed with her world outside the nursing home. Vagueness usually works. My mother, who has dementia, is in a nursing home and while she's doing well, she will never go home again. After watching over her home and belongings for 19 months I finally sold everything. I have told my mother nothing. Thankfully she is not attached to any object in particular, but her home signified her independence and was a source of pride for her. When she mentions the house and says things like "Next year when I go back home..." I will say "that sounds like a good idea," or something like that. Hopefully, this will continue to work...
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Reply to ArtMom58
CaregiverL Dec 2, 2019
Art, how did you sell them? On a website? Because I tried to sell a couple of things on a website called letgo & they never sold I donated..
Thanks in advance!
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Go through what there is.
If there is anything of use to you or other family members dole the items out as fairly as possible.
Anything that no one wants and does not seem to be of value donate to a shelter or charitable resale shop.
Anything that may be of value that no one want can be sold and the money used for her care.
If she asks for something the new answer will be...I will look for it as soon as I can. I had to move a lot of the boxes to get ready for the holidays so I am not sure where the box from the bedroom is or the box of kitchen items, they all got moved.
By the way formal clothes..your local high school theater group would probably love them if they can not be sold on consignment. (difference between "old" and "vintage" might be the difference between an item being worth $ and an item worth $$$)
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Reply to Grandma1954

Don't bring up the topic at all! Just donate or sell whatever is left over that you have no room for at your place, and that's that. When my folks had to move from their IL apartment into Assisted Living, I had to call the Salvation Army to come get ALL their stuff, basically, because their building would not allow me to run an Estate Sale where I could have made some money for their care.

Grandma has some great advice, esp. about the formal wear. It might be considered vintage and be worth some $$ in a vintage resale shop, if you're in the mood to do some footwork.
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Reply to lealonnie1

My mom and dad live in a house FULL of stuff. Every drawer, dresser, cabinet , etc. is filled to the brim. Wall to wall furniture and two unusable rooms. Parents live in their home (89 &90) and mom has dementia She insists on keeping everything and just is not capable of understanding the predicament she is putting her daughters in. My advice is to hold on to the things you think she might be asking for and get rid of the rest. Someone somewhere will benefit and it's far better to be put to good use than labeled as clutter. Besides, your future self will thank you for having less things to tackle with.....especially considering you might move Good luck.
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Reply to Abby2018

Yes, NHWM, my dad lost a few items of clothing b/c the NH did his laundry, mainly his GLASSES! and chapstick, which was always in his pocket. The employees didn't care to see if anything was in his pocket, and although he always wore his glasses, I had to track them down several times in the laundry. NO EXCUSE! When he passed I found other people's items in his chest of drawers, including a small woman's sweater. All his clothing was labeled, but there's no way anyone could have thought that tiny little sweater could have been his. It depends on whether the employees care about their charges. Few and far between.
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Reply to Daisy9

Been there. Only I was cleaning out a house.

I first went thru and got rid of junk first. We have bulk pick up once a month. That all went out. My brother came up and he and his wife took what they wanted. There were 4 of us. I bought storage boxes with lids and put each of our names on the boxes. I lined them up and started taking albums apart. Giving each child the pictures that had something to do with them. Then I started splitting Mom and Dads pictures up. Dads service pictures to the boys. Every time I found something pertaining to a certain child, I thru it in the box. The boxes were given to them and they determined what they were keeping.

Her baking stuff went to a friend who baked a lot. Other things to a Thrift shop. Your Mom will only need a few clothes in an NH. My Mom had lost weight so I kept the size she wore and the size above. When she gained her weight back, I had clothes for her. Shoes, get rid of them. Keep the comfortable ones. Mom had 3 pr, navy blue, brown and black to go with different outfits. Didn't really matter, the aid took the pair her hand touched first. Actually, I was trying to find a pair of canvas slip ons. Easier to get on and off and comfortable. She will need only 5 to 7 outfits depending on how the facility does laundry. And thats all u want to leave besides socks and underwear. Keep things u think she could wear when the other clothes wear out. Moms winter coat I kept home. I took it with me if we were taking her out. I had under the bed boxes, I kept at my house, for when I switched Mom from winter to Summer. Don't leave anything that is of sentimental value or valuable. The residents are known to pick things up out of other rooms.

If your Mom has been excepted into LTC, I doubt if she will ever come out. So get rid of anything she will never use. If she asks for something you don't have just say she is limited to what she can bring with her.
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Reply to JoAnn29
Daisy9 Nov 27, 2019
BEWARE: The first thing a NH does to a new resident is to remove their underwear and socks, never to be seen again. The nicer pieces of clothing will always be "in the laundry". Don't believe that lie; it went home with an employee. Any other item of value goes home with an employee. YOU will need to do her laundry, signs "Family does laundry", or whatever language is dictated, up around the room, on the laundry basket, etc. It's not difficult to do the laundry for one extra person, however, the NH staff will not dress the resident with panties, bra, or socks. My dad could dress himself. My mom, however, could not. She landed in an exceptional NH which did dress her properly and family took care of her laundry.
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If it gives your mother comfort I would be taking her anything of hers she wants, provided it is not expensive nor of sentimental value. What harm can it do? If there is room, take in an item of furniture in which to store the stuff, or even just a few suitcases that might store in or above a wardrobe. Perhaps ask the staff if they have a store room in which the cases might be stored and your mother can access. Yes, there will always be carelessness, and I am sad to say dishonesty, among staff, but once one is living among people who are generally forgetful and befuddled, not to mention those in various stages of dementia, it is almost a free-for-all. Admittedly my mother is in a memory care unit where it is most problematic, but the residents go from room to room in confusion, despite their names on doors and familiar items in memory boxes. And my mother does the same! Then there is the other problem of her leaving her belongings around the memory care unit itself! The unit has put up a Christmas tree with decorations. We are currently betting between ourselves how long it will take for the decorations to disappear and who will be the first ''tinsel taker"
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Reply to Shezza1
Weeroo Dec 2, 2019
Good to know! Everyone blames the staff, when we know our charges brains are broken and they do the oddest things!
Why rush things! Keep her belongings as long as you can and do not bring up the the topic of letting them go. Her time is getting short and you have more important things to worry about.
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Reply to Ricky6

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