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Monday, November 19, 2012

Uncluttering seven decades of life

Are you always trying to get your parents to free their home from those boxes of old papers and recycled scraps of everything from aluminum foil to used clothing? Many executors tell me that on the death of a parent, it takes days if not weeks to go through all of the boxes and closets and drawers to decide what to keep and what to discard. And this is not necessarily the extraordinary amount of stuff kept by the people we might consider "hoarders"; most of the time they are just people like you and me.

I remember the jolt of concern I felt a few months after my father passed away, when my Mom called to ask whether there was anything I wanted from the house. She was "getting rid of things" she told me. Of course I wondered whether there was anything she wasn't telling me about her own state of health, but as it turned out she just felt in the mood to clean things out a bit. Everyone has his or her own reason for keeping personal items or discarding them, despite any hidden meanings the rest of us might apply to them.

If you are encouraging your parent to de-clutter, take a look at this article from that thoughtfully discusses what it feels like for a senior to unclutter his or her home, and the reasons it can be tough to do so. It might help you to realize why it's hard for some people to do. Click here to read it.

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