Over the last few months I have had to try to clear out my parents house. They have both had to go into care within the last year and now the house has to be sold to pay for care home fees.
Initially my thought was to rent the house out on AirBNB and the like so the first run through of the house was to depersonalise it.
It’s amazing just how much stuff we stash in our homes. Not only is there the clothes for now but also the clothes that are decades old. It ended up that I had layers of clearing as I got my mind around the fact that I couldn’t keep everything.
The first layer was relatively easy, that was all the recently bought stuff that had not been worn for a while. The second layer was the good things that hadn’t been worn in a while, old suits, coats etc. Then there were the things that were too good to throw away, this third layer took a bit more time as I tried to find people who could use and appreciate these items.
Eventually I was left with a few items I could keep and use, now I just had to find somewhere to put them in my much smaller house.
After the clothes came the household goods when we realised that we had to sell the house. Boxes of crystal glasses that hadn’t been opened in over 20 years. Wedding china that I hadn’t seen in over 40 years. Three different salt and pepper grinders and a myriad of kitchen gadgets that were lucky if they had been used once.
Personal items were next, thousands of photographs shoved in bags in a drawer. Weights for an old set of kitchen scales, now rusted beyond redemption in the garage. Blankets and throws, cushions and pillows, telescope and binoculars, flasks galore. Picnic sets, cuddly toys and board games, they all had to go.
Throughout the weeks of clearing there was also the need to find paperwork. Anything to do with the house from planning applications to pest control guarantees. Paperwork for my parents including Power of Attorney, wills, bank details and everyone they paid by direct debit. Council Tax, water and electricity, I needed all of that information.
Today the skip arrives at their home and this weekend we should finish removing the contents of the house and garage.
If your house is full of memories and knick knacks, do yourself a favour and ask if you really need to keep something you haven’t looked at in decades. If you need to move in your later years, decluttering now will be a blessing in disguise.