Mom Has a Lot of Stuff
"My mother has quite a bit of stuff. I wouldn’t say she’s a hoarder by any means, but her home is filled with collections of things she has accumulated over the years. Every time I visit, I wonder how I will someday clear it out. I would like her to lighten the load now, but don’t know if she’s receptive to moving out any of the clutter. It’s hard to even keep the house clean these days, with so many dust collectors in it! Mom is 92, so it’d be helpful to figure this out. Ideas?" - READER
It’s not unusual to have accumulated a lot by the time one turns 92, and your mother is no exception. It’s understandable that you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of dealing with all of it, sooner or later. First, you envision spending days, if not weeks, sorting through everything. Second, you know it will be tough to decide what to keep, give or sell.
Speak with your mother now about your concerns. Find out what she hopes to happen to the things she treasures most. That way, you will learn the stories behind her collections, and that may inform your course of action. You may discover that mom is willing to part with some of her things now, which could lighten the load for cleaning and clearing space in which she can maneuver.
Develop a plan so that her prized possessions find loving homes. She may not want to part with much now, but it could comfort her to know that when she’s gone, her treasures will live on and be appreciated.
In the end, there will be many items you for which you can’t find a home. That’s when an estate sale comes in—you can manage it yourself or find a group to handle it. Also, numerous charities accept donations of household items, if an estate sale sounds daunting.
This situation is inevitable. Prepare to clear your schedule and handle your mother’s estate. Each day is only a day, and you will accomplish what you can in a day before moving on to the next. It will get done, and you will be fine.
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