My siblings and I recently cleared our mother’s one bedroom unit. She was not a hoarder, however, she was from a generation who grew up during and immediately following the Great Depression. Waste was an anathema to her.
It was important to us to rehome things thoughtfully and not to just mindlessly donate, or worse still, dump large quantities of her possessions.
In order to consider individual items we brought most things to our homes and have spent time carefully and lovingly sorting Mum’s personal and household items.
Of course, I did not want or need to keep everything as I have a home containing my own things. Nor did I want to create a shrine to my mother. She would have wanted things to go to people who could use them and much of our energy has been spent in identifying where they could be used and/or appreciated. Some has been donated and some passed on to other family members.
I wanted honour her memory by using the items that I kept and they have been assimilated into my household.
Here are a couple of examples.
I am not sure of the age or origin of this delicate tablecloth and it is beginning to show signs of wear in places. It will not last forever but I will use and cherish it.
Here it is on the table.
A completely different item is this hand beater. It is over 60 years old and has been used consistently during that time. I also owned a similar but somewhat newer version – only just over 40 years old which was not as good so I have upgraded.
I also have books, jewellery, scarves, ramekins, crockery, vases and linen. They are all appreciated, cherished and most of all, will be used.
Dealing with the possessions of a loved one can be difficult but it is worthwhile to think carefully about the process to get the best result for your own unique circumstances.