Inherited clutter is still clutter
We accumulate enough stuff on our own, but as time passes, we inherit even more belongings from family members and friends to fill up our homes. Whether it’s keeping memorabilia or pieces of furniture, clutter abounds. Here are some tips to organizing inherited clutter.
Go through everything you inherited and sort it in piles to keep, give away, donate and toss. If you get an entire household’s worth of items, you could be in for a long sorting process.
Decide what might go to other family members or friends if you can let go of them. If things are in good shape and usable, donating them is a tremendous way to honor the person who passed away.
Emotions can get in the way
Emotions can weigh heavily on your decisions, but sometimes being practical is the way to go. If you inherit a large credenza from an elderly relative, for example, it probably won’t fit with your decor. Envision your home the way you want it and the decision will be easier.
Keeping the credenza would be sentimental. Memories are wonderful, but your home probably doesn’t have space for the addition of a piece of furniture, especially a large piece.
What you decide to keep is a personal decision. That being said, you may consider other people with more space or desire for the memorabilia. Maybe it can be a welcome addition to a struggling younger family member who will appreciate inherited objects and have use for them. If no family or friends can use the item, donate it. Take a photo for your memories and then let go.
Sewing kits filled with buttons, thread and needles might remind you of your childhood with grandma, but consider what you will do with them. How many old buttons do you need? The same goes for a lot of small household items and clothing.
A friend of mine inherited a bunch of clothing from her favorite aunt. Lucky for her, they shared the same taste in clothing and wore the exact same size. The aunt had a huge wardrobe and the friend did not. It worked perfectly for her. That is rarely the case. Usually clothes, shoes, coats and accessories are outdated, worn and taking up valuable closet space.
Just do it
Once you make your decision, you have to follow through. Making this move can be difficult for some people. Do it quickly without leaving items sitting around the house for months and it will be easier.