Tuesday, 30 July 2019 14:08

Please don’t leave me your clutter!

Please don’t leave me your clutter!

A few month’s ago I worked with a young woman who had lost her mom, and needed to clear out her home. She had called me in as her time was limited, and she needed to get the house sorted as quickly as possible. Even though she had visited her mom on a weekly basis, and been inside her home regularly, she was not prepared for the onslaught of stuff in cupboards, under beds, in boxes in top cupboards and the garage, along with paperwork and memorabilia in all corners of her mom’s home.

I see it all too often. Children having to sort out their parent’s stuff, way too much stuff.

It is hard to think about dying, but it is a fact of life. One of the best gifts you can leave your children is an organised home and an up to date will.

Here are some ideas of how you can avoid burdening your children at a time when they will be grieving and dealing with so much loss.

Organise your documents

  • Keep all your important documents together in one place.
  • Have certified copies of all these documents in another file.
  • Make a note of all passwords and codes and give these to a trusted friend or family member.
  • List all your bank accounts and the details.
  • List all your investments, pension and other forms of income.
  • Ensure your will is up to date and easy to find.
  • Keep an up to date list of important contacts.

List your valuables

  • Photograph and list jewelry, along with any invoices and appraisals.
  • List your collectables and artwork. (Photographs also help)
  • Note any other valuables not on site.


  • Start deciding who you will pass things down to. Make a list and label the items if possible.
  • Start giving items to your children now. It’s time to downsize, reduce clutter and possessions to make life simpler and easier.

Clear the clutter

  • Start clearing spare rooms and top cupboards.
  • Deal with garage and garden sheds. Keep only what is useful to you now.
  • Empty those linen cupboards and tableware drawers.
  • Get your adult children to deal with the stuff they left behind.

Get rid of extras

  • Go through your dinnerware and glassware.
  • Pare down the Christmas decorations.
  • Ruthlessly edit your kitchen drawers and cupboards

Sort out your media

  • Get rid of CD’s, DVD’s, old cassette tapes, and LP records
  • Go through your electronics and ditch old phones, cables, and chargers.
  • Remember to send these to your local E-waste depot.

Deal with your photos

  • Edit your photographs. Ditch duplicates, blurred photos, unidentified photos and photos that mean nothing to you, and especially not your children.
  • Go through your memorabilia, diaries, bits from your travels, greeting cards and letters.
  • Children’s artwork. If you haven’t already done so, go through the artwork one more time, take photos of the special pieces, ask your children if they want the art, and if not, DITCH!

Do it for yourself right now!

Do it for your children who will thank you when you are gone!

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za