Dealing with the death of a loved one is never an easy thing to process. A task that can be even more challenging is cleaning out your loved one’s home. It can be difficult to decide what items to keep, give away, or toss. There are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier while honoring the memory of your loved one, courtesy of The Livingston County Consortium on Aging.
How to Decide What to Keep, Give Away, or Toss
The first step in cleaning out your deceased loved one’s home is deciding what items should be kept and what should be given away or tossed. Start by making a list of sentimental items that you want to keep for yourself or other family members as a memento of your loved one. As for other items, you may want to consider donating them or hosting an estate sale so that others can benefit from using their belongings.
How To Preserve Sentimental Items
When dealing with sentimental items, there are ways to preserve them so they don’t deteriorate over time. For example, if you have old photos, you may want to consider scanning them into digital versions so they will not fade over time. If you have clothing items, consider making a quilt or other keepsake item that can help keep your loved one’s memory alive.
Organize An Estate Sale
Holding an estate sale is another way of helping clean out your loved one's home while also generating some extra income in the process. Organizing an estate sale allows others to purchase items at discounted prices while benefiting from the use of these items in their own homes or businesses. As The Practical Sort explains, it’s also an opportunity for buyers who share similar interests as your deceased loved one. Friends and family might also purchase these products out of admiration and respect for who they were in life.
Organize Important Documents Digitally
It’s important for family members to organize all important documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and insurance policies digitally so that they are easily accessible should any issues arise in the future, such as legal disputes. This is also a great way to keep track of anything that was left behind by your deceased loved one. This will also help save space since physical copies can take up lots of room whereas digital copies can easily be stored on multiple cloud-based platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Lean On Your Support System
Sorting through a deceased loved one's home can be an overwhelmingly tough task to face alone. Thankfully, you don't have to. Remembering that leaning on your support system for understanding and help is essential during this painful process. Having someone understand what you're going through eases the burden of saying goodbye; plus having their extra set of eyes around helps determine which memory-filled items stay or go with ease.
Work With Professionals Who Can Help
In a time of grief, it can be hard to focus on the overwhelming task of cleaning out a loved one's home. Fortunately, as the American Counseling Association notes, some compassionate professionals specialize in sensitively helping families navigate this process with care and respect for their safety and security needs while providing peace-of-mind during an emotional time. Don't hesitate to reach out — you're not alone.
Consider Tangible Memorials Like A Bronze Plaque
Memorializing a loved one can be difficult, but it can also bring comfort. One option is to commemorate them with a bronze plaque. Bronze plaques are durable and beautiful, making them perfect for marking a home, business or memorial area. Finding bronze plaques for buildings is relatively simple, allowing you to create an enduring tribute to your loved one that will last for years to come. You can install it in a park, a garden you make at home, or connect with one of the many charities that allows people to put plaques on special walls.
Some other tangible memorial ideas are a garden you plant at home, a park bench in your loved one’s honor, or books donated to your local library on a special subject or by an author your loved one appreciated.
Coping with the loss of a special someone can be an emotionally and physically draining journey, but you don't have to walk this path alone. Lean on your support system for understanding and help as you remember them through sentimental items or commemorating their lives in meaningful ways like bronze plaques. Through it all, may peace accompany each step of yours along the way out of love and respect.