Being a senior and realizing your hour glass is more at the bottom than the top, it’s time to think about your spouse, children, and grandchildren. What’s going to happen to all the stuff you’ve accumulated?
I have been a victim as well as observed overwhelming stress this can put on families.
My neighbor, in her 70’s, hoarded many items she felt important prior to her death. Her family spent everyday for over a month going through her belongings. This family had to make tough decisions based on someone else’s life choices.
This is something that happens in so many lives. I’m sure everyone has been touched by this reality in one way or another.
So let’s look at what we can do to reduce our family’s stress when the time comes to deal with your stuff.
1. Stuff is just stuff.
Is that collection that you dust weekly and is taking up space really needed? Maybe give it to a family member that admired it now so they can enjoy it everyday. You’ll not only free up space and time but you will also bring joy to those around you. Take pictures of other things that you treasure, that your family doesn’t want, then give it away or sell it.
2. The house you live in.
Is it too big to maintain? Do you have the time and money to keep it up to date? Depending on your answers you may want to sell and move into something more manageable. The money you receive from the sale may free you up for other interests (your bucket list).
3. When shopping, think, do I need that or do I want that?
If it’s a need, great, but if it’s a want, think about what you can give up to replace this new item. By going through this process, you will think more clearly about what’s important to you and reduce the clutter in your home.
4. Make lists.
I know these were helpful for me after my husband’s passing. Each day, week, or month I tackled one thing on the list until I gained freedom from the weight hanging over me. It may take a while until you can deal with certain things, but I promise the freedom at the end will be rewarding.
A few more things you can do now to help your family upon your passing include:
1. Make a will
2. Prepare and prepay your funeral wishes. It takes the stress off your family guessing what you wanted.
3. Leave a gift for everyone you love. This can be in the form of a letter, picture, or an inheritance.
4. Keep your clutter to a minimum. If you buy something you want get rid of something else. Go through that storage every 6 months as your priorities change.
I am not suggesting that you get rid of everything but I am saying reduce your possessions to things you love and need to live comfortably.
I hope these few simple ideas will not only help you in making difficult decisions but will also give you freedom to live a life well deserved. As a senior you can have a life you want without putting unnecessary stress on your family.
About the Author: Lorraine is a housewife, mother and grandmother who loves her family and writes about life experiences, mostly in her journals.