Cleaning House

What do you do with the personal possessions of your beloved who has recently passed? How you dispose of their things will ultimately shape your closure and have an impact on your inner peace… or lack of.


If your beloved had their own living space separate from yours, it will be pretty cut and dry. Give their furniture to whoever wants it, same with their clothes. Your personal economics will dictate a lot. If they were in their own home you can take your time, but that can be dangerous. A decade later you may find their home in the same manner as the day they passed. Nothing has been moved; nothing has been shared, given away or disposed of. Ugh! Now, after you have healed, old wounds will be opened and memories will be refreshed. You may grieve anew. That house has become a shrine for the deceased.

I recommend addressing the disposal issue head on and very soon. Of course there will be factors that will shape your behavior in this manner. If your relative lived in an apartment or leased property, you can buy time by paying the rent. This is where your personal economics play a role. Have money? Pay rent. Have no money? Get out when the landlord says you must be out. Most landlords will give you a grace period beyond the due date of the next rent.

If you need anything, of course you will keep things for your own use. This is where Salvation Army and Good Will Industries come in handy. Many people call these agencies to ask them to come and pickup all they don’t want or need. The things will be resold at a reasonable price to other people in need. The task of clearing the home of a deceased loved one, especially a parent, is pretty much a guarantee for stress. Be it emotional, financial (maybe you have to take off from work) or physical, there will be a degree of stress involved. So be prepared. Prepare with prayer.


Sales and Garage Sales Yes this is a good way to vacate the living quarters and raise funds at the same time, if you have that kind of time. There is nothing wrong with this option, but make sure your sentimental attachment to the things doesn’t get in the way of your clearing out. It is better to have a trustworthy friend or relative to supervise the job of pricing. You don’t want to charge $100 for a lamp because “it was Mom’s and she used it to read to us every night.” If the lamp is a genuine antique, then take it to the antique dealer. Otherwise, accept the $10 and move on.

By all means keep something for remembrance; a keepsake.

Don’t do what I did. I gave everything, except her cookware, to the neighbors in the Seniors Building where she lived. See, no one was good enough to receive my mother’s cookware. So I brought them home but they would not fit in my kitchen. I own so much cooking stuff that there simply was not any room in the kitchen for hers. So I stored them in the garage. Again personal economics is relevant here. If I lived in an apartment, what would I have done??? Where would I have stored this stuff if I did not have a garage???

One day I went to the garage to make use of my mother’s good frying pans, her cake pans and her Jell-O molds. When I got them inside I was horrified! The cast iron skillets was a beautiful shade of brown, the cake pans was cracked and the Jell-O molds…well I won’t even go into that. All that stuff was just a hot mess. Honestly, I don’t know if two years in the garage did that or if they were like that when they left her house. Who knows the truth, I don’t. But I don’t want you to make the mistake I made. If the deceased things don’t fit in your house, maybe you should not keep them; share them with someone else.

Anyway, I finally got rid of all that stuff. I threw them out. What did you say? Did I what? Of course I cried! Yes, I cried and I cried. I began to cook .

And you will cry too. It’s ok. When the Salvation Army drives off with your beloved’s things in the back, take a white handkerchief and wave Good Bye as the truck drive away. You are saying Good Bye to the stuff, not your beloved.

Well, I did keep one thing and that was a rolling-pin. I only kept it because my grandmother called it a “husband beater” and every time I looked at the “husband beater” I got a good laugh. One day the husband beater fell on the floor. When I picked it up it was missing a handle. My husband said, “There go yo broke azz husband beater! What’s it gonna beat now?” and we both bust out laughing.

I keep that rolling-pin as a remembrance of my mom. Lots of people were made happy from the use of that rolling pin; she did a lot of stuff with flour, butter, sugar and that rolling-pin. What is your remembrance item? What do you have that brings fond memories of your beloved that has passed on? An iron? A lamp?

I hope this is helpful to somebody. Thank you for visiting. To show you how much I appreciate your visit, here is a biscuit and some grape jelly to go with it.   🙂 You are always welcomed here!


Coming Soon: Forgive!


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