Less is more – ditch your junk

May 9, 2018 Ian Hull Charities, Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Ask anyone who has cleared out the home of a loved one who has passed away or moved to a care facility, it can be a tough task.

On top of the emotional burden of sorting through family items, and determining what should be kept or discarded, there is the physical burden of simply dealing with so much stuff. It can overwhelm just about anyone. This article provides some good ideas on how to tackle the project – one that can often take a year or more depending on the circumstances.

But here’s a more important question: have you done anything to lessen the burden for others when your home is eventually cleared out? The sad truth is that most of us are surrounded by stuff that will end up in dumpsters when it’s our turn to move. The article noted above even outlines “skip” or dumpster strategies. Why do we continue to hold on to things that have no day-to-day use or role in our lives and will have no use to others when we die?

Ditch your junk

The answer to that question is simple: other than those who have a hoarding disorder, most of us accumulate and keep stuff simply because it’s easier to let the status quo prevail rather than undertake the work of clearing things out. And if we do clear things out, it’s often related to an event that forces our hand, such as downsizing from a large home to a condo or apartment.

Let me throw out a challenge: if you’re at that post-kids-at-home stage of life, act now to clear out your stuff so that others won’t have to when it’s your time to move on. If your adult children cherish certain items and kick up a fuss about throwing things out, have them take the items to their homes. And take a hard, honest look at what items you and your family will likely never use again – and get rid of these items today.

It doesn’t have to go into dumpsters. Charities will take a wide range of items, including clothes, bedding, toys, games, small appliances, sporting goods, books, electronics, housewares and furniture. For example, both the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy and Diabetes Canada have home collection programs.

Yes, it takes some work, but there are important benefits to you as well as your family in clearing out your junk. You not only gain peace of mind in knowing you haven’t left the hard lifting to others, you can enjoy your decluttered home for many years to come.

Thank you for reading,
Ian Hull

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