Clearing out a family home

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
As resentful as I am about my parent's stuff, I also agree with you. My mom did a good job of decluttering in her 60's but never dealt with the paperwork.
In about 2005 my mom bought a shredder and started shredding canceled checks. She had EVERY check she and my dad wrote going back to 1950 when they got married. She did keep canceled checks for any home improvement she made that possibly could be deducted from any Capital Gains if she sold the house. I helped, and I have to admit it was entertaining to see the check for 25 cents my dad wrote for a parking ticket he got in the early 1950's, or the $1,700 check he wrote for the brand new 1957 Chevy 150 he bought. That includes tax and license, all fees. Of course that car had ZERO options on it. No radio, no heater, 6 cylinder engine, 3 on the tree manual transmission, and rubber floor mats.
Mom passed away in 2013 at the age of 90 after living in that house for 53 years. I really didn't think there was THAT much clutter given how long she had lived there.
 

KayMichigan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
My mother was from that same age group! They saved everything!
So was my Dad!! He was born in 1928. When we went through his apartment after he passed away in 2010, we found glass McCormick spice bottles (still containing spices) that he had saved through three moves that dated back to the late 1960s. We have family photos and you can see them in the background on the spice rack.

They're pretty cool retro bottles so we pitched the spices and saved the bottles, but there were also a lot of spices from the 1990s that he kept through the move from his last house to the apartment.
 

kimmar067

TAGS?? It's all about the 'likes' now!
Joined
Mar 7, 2001
I’m in a unique situation because we bought my parents house after mom died.......Some of these little things I have kept around here are going to finally go if they are not things I can use. There are some things she got as gifts that mean nothing to me. Why would I pack those? I just have a hard time letting go of things.
...we all do...it just means that you are HUMAN. :rolleyes: :flower3:
 

disykat

This person totally gets me
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
Yep, I recently tossed a receipt for a used car bought in the early 60's into the shred bag. I'm "carblind," so I can't remember what kind it was. I think maybe a Mercury Comet? We also did tax stuff going back into the 50's. (My DH likes to save that stuff for "history" but at least I've talked him into only saving the first page after the 7 year rule of thumb has passed. I'm fine with a little bit of history, it's just the never throwing anything away that had me :scared:. He is really getting it now that we've been going through this with my parents AND his.)

Kudos to your mom for getting a head start dealing with the paperwork. My parents wouldn't and my siblings wouldn't let me touch it during the last four years when "we" have been in charge either. They kept saying they needed to go through it, but never did - until now with the estate sale date looming. The thought of strangers coming in the house and seeing all their private papers finally jogged them out of their inertia. Even when they were in their assisted living apartment and I was there paying bills, if my mom heard the shredder she'd come running in and I'd have to justify every paper I shredded! As far as she was concerned the shredder was invented for envelopes with your address on it and everything else was to be saved into infinity!
 

barkley

DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
cool whip containers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hundreds of them, neatly stacked in cabinets b/c 'who in their right mind is going to pay for that overpriced tupper ware when cool whip containers work perfectly well???' :teeth: :faint: equally as many margarine containers, recycled aluminum pie tins (i admit to reusing the tin ones but the aluminums you can never get the rim entirely clean on?:crazy2:). cups, cups and more cups. i don't ever remember my mom having a complete set of matching dishes-complete categories yes, but never the entire set so it was like walking down memory lane pulling all the cups out of the cabinets. so many duplicates of spatulas, spoons, veeeeeeeeeeeery dull knives.

i've tried to get into the habit of removing something for every one thing i bring into my kitchen (those cabinets and drawers are like black holes in space married with time capsules-you don't fully know what's lurking there until you go to empty them).
 

disykat

This person totally gets me
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
As much as I give my husband grief about his paperwork saving, I give him grief for throwing away my cool whip containers!!! He throws them out when I've told him over and over that I want to keep them. I buy cool whip for a recipe maybe twice a year and haven't bought ANY in several years due to less entertaining, and he has kept systematically throwing them away so I have none. All I ask is for four to keep frozen to use as ice for the small cooler and he just won't listen!
 

LuvOrlando

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
My mom passed away on Thursday. My dad or brother didn’t even call to tell me. My mom was in hospice for 18 days. I went to see her on weekends and took 5 days off work during that time. I live 3 hours away. My younger brother is 55 and worked less than 10 years his whole life. My parents have supported him all this time. They have paid his bills and given him vehicles. When my dad dies he gets the house. I have always had to work. They have never given me anything and I get nothing when they pass so I feel that he should take care of them in their final days . He is not working and gets everything so why should I jeopardize a job that I have to have. Anyway, now he and my dad are not speaking to me because I was not there every day. I loved my mom and miss her so much but I have always had to be the practical one and take care of myself. I am not able to grieve my mom because I am angry and hurt by this situation.
I'm so sorry this happened to you :hug:.
 

FreeTime

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2000
Hi everyone - I’ve been reading the struggles as I keep telling my DH we need to start going through our stuff. I think I will just hire a senior move manager instead. Even if you are aging in place they seem very helpful in helping you go through your items. Sounds like an easy way to get rid of the hassle!
 

Owlpost23

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 2010
Sending warm thoughts to those doing this or having had to deal with this while grieving.

Sounds to me like a business helping someone coordinate & dig through stuff would be an amazing small business for college graduates, stay at home mom's & anyone who has time. I have family but their time is limited and I physically just can't by myself so it's taking so much longer than it should, I would love a helper & it seems I'm not alone.
THere already is.It's the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Management.Looks like a very reputable organization and they have businesses all over to help you do these very things.
 

FreeTime

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2000
THere already is.It's the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Management.Looks like a very reputable organization and they have businesses all over to help you do these very things.
Based on my research they are quite reputable. Some associated organizations that are members have locations all over the country. Sounds great!
 

disykat

This person totally gets me
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
We used a senior mover for their move between levels of care that happened during the pandemic when we weren't allowed into my parent's residence. It worked great.

We've gone through this with DH's family, who didn't have assets to purchase help, and with mine, who did. It's definitely easier if there are assets.
 









Top