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How can I help my mother decide which things she can get rid of?

My other has so much stuff and can't seem to part with any of it. 

Answers
Laura in Tyler, TX
May 2, 2017

A good approach is to sort into these categories: 1. Do I still use this regularly? If answer is YES, keep it. 2. If I don't use it regularly, is there a family, friend, or someone in need who could benefit from it? 3. If anything is broken, soiled, etc. dispose of. 4. You could also ask her to have family come and her set aside items she'd like for them to go ahead and take (if they want it). That way she can see them enjoy it.

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User in Salem, MA
Feb. 15, 2019

You can't. She has so much stuff because she cannot make the decision. Everything is of importance. Everything. You either hire people to clean it out (watch the show "Hoarders") or go behind her back and do it yourself. She will not be able to part with anything.

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Make a got to go pile, a maybe to go pile and a pile that say's this stays.

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User in Tampa, FL
Jan. 21, 2019

Elderly have difficulty letting go as a security blanket they want to keep everything ever consider yard sale??

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Paul in Rockford, IL
Jan. 15, 2019

Elderly do not get rid of things easily. If it causes stress, do not involve her. Become the trustee and make the decisions for her while she is not present. If you need help for your wealthy parents with Alzheimer's anywhere in the US, visit my profile.

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Ask her what she is going to use in the next 6 months. If she is not going to use it, then find a home for it. Sometimes people are more willing to part with things if they are given to their favorite charity or to another family member.

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Laura in Garner, NC
Oct. 15, 2018

Does your mother know of any specific needs family members or friends may have? It might make her feel really good about seeing something go to good use. As a rule of thumb, anything we haven't used or even picked up in 5 years is fair game.

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THATS ALWAYS THE HARD PART LETTING GO OF THINGS THAT HAS SO MUCH MEMORIES.

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I hear you. It is always hard to get rid of things specially if there is a story behind it (sentimental value). Somehow you just have to let it go.

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Don't push your mom to get rid of her belongings. Respect her choices even if you don't agree with them.

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What is sentimental and whats not, what's being used and what's not!

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James
Aug. 13, 2018

Make three "piles:" One to keep, one to donate, and one to pitch. Donating makes it a little easier for people to part with their "treasures."

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Tamala in Venice, FL
Aug. 10, 2018

I would bring some boxes into the home. I would bring some rubbermaid trunks for her to "Keep" things in and cardboard for removing items. Say, "mom, it is your choice. You have a (or 2) week to make decisions in this room." "Mom, what did you do with all the items that your mother left you when she left this world. Do you have those things? Is it time to pass them on to others? Is it time to let it go? I am here to help you, but you need to first make a decision to help yourself". Leave her with the boxes. You will see some change or no change. If no change, you will have to let her know that you can no longer be responsible for her decision to keep everything. And you will have to let go.

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Alan in Nutley, NJ
Aug. 8, 2018

They say if you haven't worn something in six months, its time to get rid of it. But, keep in mind some items hold a special place in her heart and should be kept.

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Laure in Edmonds, WA
July 30, 2018

This is a tough one. They know they are declining and are holding on to whatever they have, it's.... a way for them to stay. My uncle did that when he was dying. Instead of insulting him by parting with his model race cars he built and anything else, I just left if to deal with later. I think for THEM it's like letting go on a level they are not ready for. Respect for them is more important.

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Karina in Redmond, WA
July 30, 2018

if an item in the house have not been touched for more than 6-1 year, then decide if its time to go or not

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Susan in Jackson, MO
July 23, 2018

That's a tough one. Things cherished go in one spot. And things not used in the last year or two, go.

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If it has no sentental vaue to her and she hasn't used it or wore it in a year she can donate to someone in need

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User in Selden, NY
Oct. 20, 2017

That is a tough one, as each and every possession probably symbalizes a place or person to her, if her recall is good.You can go through her things for maybe an hour a day if you can, and place them in containers, marked so she can check them out every once in awhile.Certainly some things are no longer needed, you can dispose of them when she is not around, so she doesn't feel like a child.

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Help her make a pile of things that she must go through and decide what to get rid of but do it in parts or it will be too overwhelming. Also doing it with them makes them have to decide what to do with an item.

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Erinn in Perry, GA
June 13, 2017

I would start with anything that she hasn't used in the last 3 months get rid of or donate. I would then work my way through all my stuff: clothes, books, music, etc..

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User in Verona, WI
May 15, 2017

When we are working on letting physical objects go its good to discuss and ponder it a bit. With each item we can ask ourselves if it has a purpose? Does it bring me joy? If the answer to either of these questions is no we can ask ourselves why we are holding on to it and if it may be better suited to gift, donate or sell.

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Get some bins, label them: Keep, give away, Sell Or whatever you are planning. Make a party of it ~ if it's not too over whelming! Or play some music & have the time to listen to her stories Be Gentle & Respectful ~ we like to donate to the Vets here, but there are so many places that could & would appreciate her things, they wouldn't be thrown away!

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Just talk to your mother and see why she wants to keep an item. Maybe we can convince her to maybe sell it on Craigslist? Money is the great motivator lol

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by going through items with her make three groups one for things she wants to keep and she does use one for charities and one to dispose of

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User in Bronx, NY
May 4, 2017

Elders have a hard time parting with material things. Try explaining that it's only material, it can't go with us when we pass(just being blunt), so part with it. Make a list and stick to it.

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Family heirlooms, collections, antiques, must be kept aside for review by family, Other "stuff" - Have you used it in this past year? Is their a family member or friend that needs it right now? If not, may be Yard Sale material.

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This is a tough one - so many memories. Idea, photos of her most cherished possessions - have her share a story about why they are important - help her build a scrapbook of these photos and stories - ask her who would she like to give the item to as a gift, birthday, anniversary, Christmas etc. As for collectibles, is there a museum in your area that she might donate some items too. We donated my dad's flight gear to an aerospace museum. Or perhaps to a fundraiser auction for a particular cause. Of course could Craigslist for $$$$ All mom's love to go shopping. Best wishes.

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Its usually the family decision.. But if mines depends on worn on or if replace with fixin that would be best choice

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it is hard for our older parents who have been through any depression eras because of going without food, etc... back then. you could attempt having a meeting with her & explain that if it's out of date it's best to let it go for it's not good for their personal health to attempt to hold on to it & use it open or not attempt to offer to replace older items with alike new products/items.

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Find out if it's something she has a personal attachment to along with things she may or may not use on a daily basis.

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ASK HER WHAT DOES SHE NEED AND WHAT IS IT THAT SHE DOES NOT USE OR NEED. WHAT EVER YOU DON'T USE THROW AWAY OR GIVE IT TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS IT.

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Well start off asking her to pick things out and place them in the garage or bed room . then in a week go over .you will have to be in the suggestive mood.It will be a touch & go for a wile but she will get the idea.

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Taryn in Dodgeville, MI
April 30, 2017

Maybe sort it into piles and then see if there is anything she can part with. 

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