Losing a Loved One


How Do We Pack Up Personal Effects?

Lori Peniston

The loss of a loved one is a very hard time in our lives. How do we pack up their personal effects while grieving the loss?  Not only is losing someone we love a very emotional process but, on top of that, we also have to handle their personal effects. Keep in mind while sorting through personal items there is a checklist that you and your family can use to help with the process.  I personally believe it is helpful to hire someone to help with the process, someone who is compassionate and will be mindful of your inherited belongings. When we lose someone we love we want to save so many of their belongings or pack them away for a rainy day to sort through. I am a firm believer that things hold energy; we can smell their clothes and feel close to them, use a handbag the person loved or read a favorite book the person explored.  We cherish these items so much for so many different reasons.

Challenges you may run into…

Keep: It’s very hard to part with things when we feel their “things” are all we have left.  Keep in mind if you have the space for the items and where these items will go. I tell my clients to take a photograph of things that are hard to part with, this is a very helpful tactic.  I also encourage creating art from items too.

Donate: Find a charity your loved one donated to or supports. There are so many places to donate these days. 

 Sell: garage sales, estate sales or even online auctions are popular now. Most Professional Organizers can assist with this process as well.

 Save For Someone Else:  Be mindful when saving items for someone else. I always make sure the person really wants it. The last thing we want to do it push make someone feel obligated to take it.

Trash: What you can’t donate needs to be recycled or properly disposed of. Keep in mind that anything soiled is to be discarded and remember it can get pricey to reupholster furniture and cleaning rugs can get pricey too. If you’re going to salvage a piece of furniture make sure it’s worth the cost.

Not Sure Box: This self-explanatory just don’t have your “I don’t know boxes” pile up, this happens a lot!  

I invite you to step into your emotions and have your support team ready to help you. I assure you there will be tears and laughter.  Take a deep breath and stay focused on the project and give yourself and your support team ample time to complete the project.  Please keep in mind I can assist with this process.