Hearing the news that someone you cared about passed away often feels like a sudden shock. You remember talking to them days or weeks ago. You reflect on who they were and the life they lived, feeling the sting of no longer being able to speak with them.
Now, you’re taking on the task of going through their things and navigating the possessions that have built up over the years. Here are a few tips for sorting through a deceased loved one’s belongings, so you aren't trapped by that overwhelming question of where to start.
Take Your Time, Don’t Rush
Sometimes, all you want after losing someone close to you is to go through their things as quickly as possible. However, that isn’t always the healthiest choice. After losing someone you love, try to focus on taking your time.
Process the emotions and questions you’re experiencing first, then take a breath and tackle the task of going through their possessions. Taking your time is one of the most essential tips for sorting through a deceased loved one’s belongings.
Ask Friends for Help
Going through someone’s belongings can get tricky when your emotions are at their highest. Seek assistance from friends and family to help you stay focused and provide comfort through the process.
Sometimes, the presence of another person you trust can make a substantial impact on how you feel. Being alone with your thoughts can distract you from the task, but friends can help you decide what to keep and what to toss. If you’re scanning some of your loved one’s old documents, ensure you don't make any big mistakes. Asking for help brings in a second pair of eyes to catch anything that slips through the cracks.
Take Pictures for Yourself
There’s a significant chance you’ll come across something sentimental that you don’t have the heart to discard. When you come to a fork in the road between throwing it away or keeping it, take a picture of it.
Maybe it was a set of mugs they’ve collected over the years that you don’t have room for but don’t want to toss, either. Take pictures of anything you can’t keep, and then either donate the item or throw it out. These photos can serve as memories in the object’s place.
Don’t Feel Bad About Tossing Things Out
Throwing things away can make you feel worse than when you started. That’s completely normal; you may feel that by getting rid of their belongings, you’ve disrespected the deceased loved one and failed to consider the lengths they went to obtain said item.
Performing some serious purging is an appropriate step for clearing the home of unnecessary objects and creating a cleaner, more organized place to live. Do your best to sort efficiently, talk through the challenges with your family, and toss away anything that has served its purpose.