Yes, parent's stuff can be a boomer burden!
Many baby boomers and those in the over 50 group are facing the inevitable in life. They have aging parents or their parents have already passed away.
Besides coping with the emotional burden, there is also the matter of the financial aspect of a death and also dealing with your parents stuff. It can certainly be overwhelming!
Top 4 suggestions for action to take now and later:
1. Start Now – If parents are alive and willing, ask if they would like help in deciding what they want done with their belongings when they die. They might also want to start giving things away to family and friends while they are still alive.
2. Savor Memories – One way to remember a loved one is to make shadow boxes containing mementos of their hobbies and activities. They take up much less room and provide pleasant memories of a loved one. They can also be made for other members of the family. They make nice mementos for grand children and nieces and nephews.
3. Don’t Wait Too Late – You will be surprised to know that your aging parent (s) would actually welcome help in culling out possessions. It is a good time for them to reflect back on their life. It is also an excellent way to find out more about their life that you maybe didn’t even know! Communicate with your parents early!
4. Dealing with Siblings – Keep in mind when working with siblings in this situation that there are differences in how things should be done. Some adult children just want to “get it done” without giving much time or thought to the process. There are also those that want to touch each item and reminisce to great lengths. Come up with a plan on how you are going to deal with your parent’s possessions that will be workable for all to handle.
Professional organizer, Claudia Smith, advocates a simple rule of thumb. “We spend our first 40 years in life collecting things and the second 40 years getting rid of things.”
How to Deal with Your Parents Stuff!