You can't take it with you

The other day, I was reading a post on Miss Minimalist’s website about a woman who had to go through a deceased friend’s home. He had no family to take on the task. Her description of the state of his home made him seem like a pack-rat (not to use the term hoarder). She said that it took her and her friends two years to get through everything. It was difficult and frustrating for her. It took her a while to get over the resentment she felt towards him for having to go through everything he held on to.

That got me thinking of a question on a dating site I was on that asked something to the effect of “If you were to die today, would your loved ones be surprised by what they’d find in your home?”

This may be a morbid thought, but I considered that during my major de-cluttering. Actually, I thought of that a long time ago when I had my Will done. When I pass away, what impression will my daughter have of me based on the stuff I’ve left behind? Would it solidify the memory she has of the woman who raised her, or will she be disappointed or unpleasantly surprised by anything I’ve left behind?

So if you find you’re having a hard time letting go of some of your stuff, I suggest thinking about your loved ones. Will they appreciate having to go through what you’re leaving behind, or will it be a burden? Do you really want to leave it up to them to make the decision, or do you want to spare them the guilt of having to get rid of your stuff?

I’ve written about my personal experience with my dad’s passing. He didn’t own much stuff. There was nothing to fight over – nothing to feel guilty about letting go. There was the green cup and the orange brush. Small objects that don’t take up much space that my sister and I are able to keep and remember him fondly when we look upon them (not that we need these things at all to remember dad, he’s quite unforgettable).

Please do your loved ones a favour and start de-cluttering now.


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