breaking news

DPS confirms Dunbar High played ineligible player in postseason, faces more state penalties

Organize for your loved ones while you still can


Today’s column may make you squirm a bit because it’s about death. The statistics regarding death are the same for all of us. We have a 100 percent chance of dying.

Death is a big reason why people hire me. I have worked with clients who were very near to their own death, spouses whose partners had fallen ill or passed away, and adult children whose parents died leaving a mass accumulation of clutter and collections.

In an effort to help you make better decisions now while you’re healthy, I’ll share with you what I have learned from working in these three scenarios. This advice will leave your loved ones with more peace of mind once you pass.

In most of cases, people think they have more time than they do. They tell themselves, “Someday I’ll deal with all my unnecessary things and dispose of my clutter once and for all.”

Sorry to be blunt, but the obituaries are full of people who thought they had more time. You need to bump up your “someday” to now, and donate or sell items you no longer need.

Several of my terminally ill clients have said things similar to this, “I regret not getting organized sooner. I would have enjoyed my home more and felt less overwhelmed.” Learn from them. Don’t wait to get organized.

Once you can no longer care for yourself or you pass away, it is heart-wrenching for your spouse to make decisions about all of your belongings. I once worked with a woman whose husband had dementia. She was downsizing to a more manageable home, but felt incredibly guilty parting with her husband’s many belongings while he was still alive.

This elderly woman was doing her best to care for him, while dealing with an entire household all on her own with only my help. Do the loving thing. Care more for your spouse than your piles of unused stuff. Pare down to the necessities and the things you absolutely love. Spare your spouse from making many painful decisions regarding your stuff.

One scenario is you could continue to ignore the clutter, and leave it all for your kids to take care of. When this happens, this situation can occur. You are no longer healthy enough to deal with your stuff so your kids take over. Now you are upset because they are not doing it the way you would have done it. You get defensive and demanding. Your kids are trying to help, but all this resistance is very stressful and causes a rift in your relationship.

If you want certain things to go to specific people or locations, make the arrangements. Don’t expect your loved ones to have the time to drive all over town making deliveries or mail stuff across country.

Find out now if your children want any of your belongings. If you have no intention of ever using it again, give it to them. If they don’t want something, don’t make them feel guilty for not taking it.

In the end, your loved ones will be caring for you or grieving your death. Spare them the heartache by taking responsibility of your life’s accumulation of stuff.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Insect infestation pushed Vandalia, other cities into Tree City program
Insect infestation pushed Vandalia, other cities into Tree City program

An invasive insect that devastated local tree populations actually helped spur Vandalia and many other Miami Valley cities to become part of the Tree City USA program. The city lost 150 trees just at Helke Park on Randler Avenue because of the emerald ash borer. There were 300 city-owned trees total lost. The city began to replant trees to make Vandalia...
Police surround home in Xenia, at least one person in custody
Police surround home in Xenia, at least one person in custody

One person has been taken into custody according to Xenia Police.  We’re hearing reports that someone has been taken into custody after running from the building that was surrounded in the area of East Market Street and North Monroe Drive, according to initial emergency dispatch reports. Police activity has been reported in the 200 block...
Greenville man charged in connection to January Family Dollar robbery
Greenville man charged in connection to January Family Dollar robbery

Charges have been filed against a Greenville man in connection to the January robbery of a Family Dollar location, according to police.  Franklin J. Brown, 22, of Greenville, will be charged for the Jan. 31 robbery at the store on 300 Martin Street, Greenville police said in a media release Thursday.  Brown is accused of robbing a woman who...
Police: Suspected driver in deputy cruiser ramming had loaded shotgun
Police: Suspected driver in deputy cruiser ramming had loaded shotgun

Sha’King Jones is the alleged driver among a group of young adults and juveniles suspected in Monday’s ramming of a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office cruiser at a Valero gas station at Siebenthaler Avenue and Philadelphia Drive in Harrison Twp. Jones also had a loaded weapon, according to court documents. According to the sheriff&rsquo...
Community garden in Xenia to take root this weekend
Community garden in Xenia to take root this weekend

The first seeds for a community garden will be planted this weekend at Lexington Park in Xenia. The effort by a new coalition of entities called Community Roots is aimed at increasing access to fresh food for Xenia residents. “Access to fresh produce is basically non-existent downtown and on the east end,” said Jillian Drew, health educator...
More Stories