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How to deal with stuff after your parents die?

What can be more traumatic than dealing with your parent’s death is dealing with the stuff they have left. You can never be ready for disposing of their lifelong possessions, but you will have to at some point. Here are a few stages that you can consider that can help you ease the process and guide you to declutter efficiently after your parent’s death.

When to start dealing with your parent’s possessions:

Grief is an important process to heal after the loss of loved ones; it should not be rushed. Dealing with stuff has no right or wrong time. Let time heal you before you start dealing with your parent’s possessions.

For those who do not have the luxury of time to start, then you may find yourself in the middle of a whole range of emotions. This is precisely the time when your emotions may take hold of you so you must approach the process with a clear plan to keep you focused.

Inform your siblings, make a plan:

If you have siblings, it is better to let them know before you start decluttering, so that you may arrange a plan and a time frame. But if you are an only child, it would be a lot better to take someone close to you. Ultimately, this will help you stay focused and not let emotion take control.

Make a List:

Make a list that will help you prioritize:

  • Which part of the room/house you need to focus on
  • Who can help you sort out your parent’s belongings
  • What can you give away as a memento and who would be touched to have them
  • Decide the days that you think will be best for decluttering

Make preparations:

Materialistically, we recommend that you get the given below materials ready to make the process as streamlined as possible:

  • Markers
  • Boxes, storage containers, bags
  • Tape
  • Gloves and face masks (if there is any dusting required)
  • Stickers for labeling

However, going through your parent’s possessions is going to be a very emotional time. You need to be ready for the following

  • Be ready for a flood of memories
  • Expect a few surprises
  • Prepare for tears, sadness, and laughter
  • You may feel stuck and not able to continue. Know that this not unusual and that you do not have to rush if you are not ready
  • Don’t be hard on yourself, allow your tears to flow. The grief, regrets are all part of the process.

Furthermore, it is better to divide according to the basic strategy that is what you want to keep, donate, throw away, give away as a memento, and those items that you haven’t decided about yet. As a result, you will have a clear idea of what you plan to do, and the chances are that it might help in keeping your mind busy and less focused on your feelings.

Tackle the bigger mess first

What is the most challenging and frustrating area for you? Is it going through the mess of papers? A cluttered room or the storage room? Take baby steps to deal with the primary stress area. It is better that you start letting go of stuff that causes you the most stress and you will start feeling much better about the overall project.

There is a possibility that you may have to pay the bills as well so keep an eye on everything that is around you and try not to let emotions hinder the process.

Be easy on yourself:

You don’t have to resolve what to do with everything all at once. The fact is that it can be quite hard dealing with your parents’ lifetime possessions all at once.  Know that everyone one, every the most organized one have difficulty controlling their emotions. There will be highs and lows. Some days you will feel better and some not as much. Be aware of your feelings and don’t beat yourself up. It is always better to deal with stuff on days when you feel comparatively better.

Hire help:

Although you can sell your parents’ belongings all by yourself, in case you don’t have that luxury of time, you can always hire someone to help you in the process. Sort out the personal belongings and then bring in professionals who have experience in decluttering. Experts will help you liquidate households swiftly and without taking much of your time.

There is nothing wrong with designating stuff to stay for the short term. Getting rid of everything all at once is not healthy either. Everything has a value it can be monetary and even emotional. While dealing with your parents’ stuff, you can be overwhelmed in many ways. You can either get too isolated ultimately throwing away everything or too attached and keeping things that might clutter your home without giving you any value. So the line you will be walking is going to be fragile, and you need to be in all your senses while going through your parents’ stuff.


The importance of decluttering and how it change our life positively

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” ~John Maeda, the Laws of Simplicity

Nearly everyone has this moment dawning upon him where they realize how cluttered their life is and how deeply they need decluttering. Everything that is constant but pointless needs to be detached for you to start a new beginning. Your life may seem perfect to an outsider, but personally, you feel stuck and frustrated; this is where decluttering comes in; it helps you organize your home in a way that makes you feel ecstatic in every way be it emotionally, spiritually, physically. It is a fact that cannot be denied that cluttering effects the overall flow of positive vibes throughout your home and your body. It is quite usual to feel held back by your environment. It can be a piece of furniture, an unfinished project, a broken vase that was a gift from someone close, a gift you have kept for someone “in case they pay you a visit,” even your old clothes, half used make-up. Everything that is there to bring back some old unpleasant feelings or is holding you back from doing something new and exciting is something that you have to declutter.

Set your priorities:

First and the foremost thing that you have to do is set your priorities, take actions for what is just a dream or desire that it is being postponed due to a family obligation or work. It is paramount for a positive life that you live stress-free and focused on what you are doing NOT on what you should be doing. It is a known fact that two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Whenever it comes to a second choice we always have to choose between two things; either this or that. Same should be the case with your inner self; you must not keep two thoughts or duties in the same compartment of your brain not only will it confuse you but will stress you out to your core. No matter how much you change your surrounding, there will always come a moment where you will be contemplating on what you SHOULD BE doing instead of what you ARE doing. Make 2017 a clutter free year both physically and emotionally. Try to forgive and forget, move from negative thinking to positive thinking as both cannot co-exist. Set yourself free by choosing what you SHOULD do not what you are supposed to do.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure:

Secondly start decluttering your shed or any storage place where you hide your “unwanted treasure.” Strat clearing out anything that is a burden on the space and clutter for your positive growth. Everything from a year old magazine, empty plastic cans, rusty tins of dried paints, an old rocking chair with a broken arm place, birdcages, declutter them all. It’s not necessary that you have to throw things away. You can always donate them to various charitable organizations which will not only declutter your space but will also give you this sense of profound joy of helping someone in need. As the saying goes “One man’s treasure is another man’s trash”; what is trash for you might be a bundle of joy for someone else.

Unconscious consumerism:

We all are guilty of unconscious consumerism, and this dawns upon us when we look at ourselves and see our space occupied by things that we rarely use and this sense of guilty engulfs us; takes away any bit of satisfaction we had while shopping. We are all so enamored by the innovations and updates in technology that yesterday’s breakthrough easily becomes tomorrow’s trash. So what you can do is get rid of all the old printers lining in the storage room because you got a newer much-updated version, a TV because you got a giant flat, rear projection television, or anything that is there unused since ages because you have got a replacement for that. Decluttering such valuable clutter is always hard, but nevertheless, you have to for a positive change in your life.

Sensibility vs. sentimentality: 

The life-enhancing energy called chi, according to the Chinese must flow freely in our homes, but it is normally blocked because of the presence of emotional, physical or spiritual clutter. So the first and foremost clutter that needs to be handled is the physical one as the physical opens the doors to the positive change to start. Invigorating and reorganizing your life is always a battle between sensibility vs. sentimentality. There are things that you are attached to and even though you are not using them for ages still have a spot in your heart where you regard them as treasure. It is this kind of pressure that blemishes your beginning of decluttering. Chi involves both the positive (yang) and the negative energy (yang). In order to bring a positive change, you obviously need to harness the positive energy, as stated above to (or “intending to”) harness the positive energy you need to declutter everything that sets you back to the past and blocks the way for positive vibes to flow in your space. Decluttering also does not mean that you should have empty spaces as nature despises vacuum; so instead of leaving you space empty it with light, plants, colors and everything that will bring in positivity.

Consult a specialist:

Let’s face it decluttering on your own can be a stressful, loathsome, and tiresome job. Well, why do it alone when you can have professionals for this job. Experts at Abode Staging will not only help you in decluttering but will also assist you with organizing and reconstructing your entire home. Professional organizers at Abode HT Staging will guide you from the very moment you decide to declutter and reorganize your home.

Are you looking for help in downsizing? Are you looking for help in decluttering? Are you looking for home staging services? We can help. Contact us at 613-869-1590 or


A Study In The Process Of Downsizing

There are many reasons why people downsize home. These include:

  • Your current home and garden may be too big and difficult to manage
  • You may have trouble with stairs and getting out and about
  • You want to reduce your bills like rising energy costs and day to day expenses
  • You may face large bills for repair and refurbishment of your home
  • You want to free up some money for yourself or for your children
  • You want to move somewhere that offers care, support and company
  • You want to move closer to your children and grandchildren

Despite all these reasons, many people put off making a decision about moving home until it is too late. While it is a big decision to downsize your home, taking this step is only the beginning. During the course of your downsizing move, you will have many critical decisions to make and countless arrangements to plan, organize and manage. It is likely and completely normal that you will feel very overwhelmed. You may even have no idea how or where to start. Nevertheless, rest assured that there is no need to do everything by yourself or impose on already busy family members and friends.

Are you unsure of what to keep, move or discard? The bottom line is that we have too many belongings. We’re a society of consumers. We do because we want our homes to look nice, because we inherit belongings, and simply because we can. The bigger the house, the more we fill it, right? One thing I must reinforce is to start thinking about what you want to get rid of long before the downsizing process starts. You can start by asking family and friends if they would like some of the items that you have or are interested in getting rid of. It’s easy if they live near you, but what if they live in another town, province or overseas? What will be the cost to get the items that might want delivered? Maybe you’re thinking about selling some of the items in question. There are different ways to do it.

A garage sale can be fun if you have lots of help from family and friends, but they are a lot of work and the rewards can be few. A successful garage sale involves endless organizing, including setting up a float and promoting your event. You must get up early to beat the dealers (5am) to get the items out ready for sale. A rush of keen people at first is usually followed by a long slow day. By the end of the day, you are exhausted and you may have made some money, but you need to be ready to go at daybreak for buyers the next day. And when it’s all over, you still have lot of things to get rid of… In the end, only you can decide if you are up for organizing and holding a garage sale. Because we are such a throwaway society, items that go to auction are not as valuable as they once were. Even with the most beautiful items, by the time the owner pays our delivery fee and the auction house takes its cut, the owners do not make much, if anything. The consignment boutique could be a better option if the owner delivers the item to the boutique themselves.

Many people achieve a great deal of success in selling their unwanted items online via eBay, Kijiji or Buy,Sell and Trade on Facebook. The benefit of using these forums is that stuff tends to move quickly if it is priced cheaply, and buyers are often willing to travel to you and will dismantle and load items themselves to grab a bargain. However, if you struggle with technology, going online is not always a great option. Donating goods to charities is honourable, but requires a lot of early organization. Charities are overrun at the moment, and if you have items to donate (and if they will indeed agree to take them), you need to give plenty of notice to book them to pick up your unwanted goods. In the end, sorting through and discarding your unwanted goods is a complicated and time-consuming task that you can do yourself or with the help of family and friends. However, sometimes it is easier and less stressful to get a professional in to see you through this difficult process. This is your move and it should be as stress-free as possible. Remember, the things that fill your home are just “goods” and it is better to hold on the years of happy memories you have associated with those, and let them go and allow someone else to gain pleasure from them.

Are you looking for help in downsizing? Are you looking for home staging services? We can help. Contact us at 613-869-1590 or