Ask for help
Cleaning up and sorting out the stuff can be a huge job. So don’t withdraw yourself, but ask friends and family for help! This can make making tough, emotional decisions about what to keep and what not to keep a lot easier. It helps that you can talk to someone about it and that someone can help you think about the destination of the items.
Galit also gives the tip to divide the stuff into categories. Think about what you want to keep, sell, throw away, store or maybe donate. Then start with the items that have the least emotional value. This includes tools, electronic devices and writing utensils.
Tip: Do you need to tidy up an entire house? Then it is wise to work per room. Galit advises to start with the kitchen.
The sentimental stuff
The next step is to look at things with more emotional value. Don’t keep books if you don’t plan on reading them again. The same applies to CDs that you will no longer listen to or works of art that you actually do not like. Of course you can keep a number of things out of sentiment. Make someone else happy with the rest of the stuff by selling or donating it.
You cannot keep all the clothes of a deceased loved one. Therefore, think carefully about which items of clothing you want to donate or sell. If you find it difficult to let go of all your clothes, you can pick out some items to add to your own wardrobe. That way you can still keep a few items of clothing and keep the memories of the deceased loved one close to you.
Tip: Do you still find it too difficult to make a decision about certain things? Then put this doubtful stuff in the category ‘save’. This way you give yourself the peace and space to look at it again in a few months.
Was your loved one a creative person? Galit gives the tip to only choose representative handicrafts that provide a beautiful memory for you. For example, crafts from an important, creative period. Unfortunately, you cannot save everything. Do you find it very difficult to part with these things? Then consider taking pictures so you can always look back at them.
In addition to all kinds of stuff, you will also encounter a lot of paperwork. Don’t just throw it all away. You need some papers for administrative matters. Only hand in the passport to the municipality after you have completed all other matters, sometimes you need the passport later.
Contracts and subscriptions
Don’t forget to cancel subscriptions, such as newspapers and magazines. If you are not sure which contracts and subscriptions are running, it is useful to look at the bank statements. This way you can see whether fixed amounts are still being debited from, for example, the gym, energy suppliers or charities.
Postal companies have a special surviving relatives service. This allows you to easily arrange for the mail of the deceased to be automatically forwarded to the address you specify. You can cancel the advertising mail by going to the National Deceased Register and entering the details of the deceased person there.
Have the license plate of the car transferred to the name of the person who inherits the car. The heir to the car can then decide whether to keep or sell the car. Also don’t forget to arrange the digital legacy by deactivating the necessary things as well. Think of e-mails, digital profiles, files and documents.
What you keep
After you’ve sorted everything out, you’ve definitely picked out some precious items that you want to keep. So keep it in full conviction, by giving all your favorite photos and stuff in a special place. This way you turn it into a valuable memorial. You can store all other items that you want to keep but don’t want to display in a memory box. That way you have all the stuff together and you can look at it whenever you want.
Have you kept something precious but it’s not quite your style? Then you can also make something else out of it that suits you better. For example, you can wear a ring on a chain. Or do you have a broken chain that you don’t want to get rid of? You can have a brooch made from those beads or other materials.
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