Archive for What are you leaving behind

Will You PLEASE Get Rid of Stuff So Your Kids Don’t Have To?

Clean out your clutter

This month, I’m writing blogs on topics that people have suggested to me.  Today’s, about cleaning out your clutter, is dedicated to my parents who asked me to write it a few weeks ago.  It was while my mom was cleaning out their basement AGAIN.

Honestly, I think my folks’ basement must be like that scene in the movie National Treasure where they find the secret chamber under the church and after they turn on the lights the room is 20 times the size they originally thought.  Only instead of gold and jewels, the Mouton basement is 100,000 square feet of chairs and china.

How to not drown in it all?

From my favorite source of news and information, HGTV, get rid of:  Old shoes, clothing you’ve never worn, socks without a mate, old make up, medicine & personal care products, and old holiday cards.

From Family Circle:  Duplicate kitchen utensils, coffee mugs, little-used kitchen gadgets, vases, magazines, electronics, linens, toys.

And now, for the elephant in the room (or basement).

What to with all of the furniture passed down from generations of family?  That’s a hard one, since for generations my family has had really good taste, so who wants to part with all of these lovely things?

First, ask the heirs (kids, grandkids, cousins by the dozens) if there are items that they would want to have.  Make a note of those items.  I’m sure my estate planning attorney friends would suggest even adding that note as a codicil to your will so there are no disputes later.

What about the beautiful things no one claimed?

Here is how I seeing it playing out in my house.  By the time my husband I both die (hopefully!), my kids will be retired themselves.  They will likely be downsizing their own homes and looking to shed household items.  My grandkids will be in their 30s and have homes full of furniture and accessories they picked out to their taste.  My great-grandkids will be toddlers and not looking to furnish a place of their own for another 15 years.

What happens to my things?

Well, the entire house full of stuff that I was using, PLUS the basement full of heirlooms that I was saving now has to be hauled out and sold or donated by my 65-year old sons.  They will likely have bad knees and hernias, so they will need to hire someone to do the work and oversee it.

Conclusion:

If you aren’t using it and your kids haven’t asked for it, donate or sell it to someone else.  Don’t wait around for the grandchildren to get married or get an apartment.  Chances are, the things you are sitting on won’t be to their taste and their parents (your kids) will have overstock of their own they want to offload by that time.

There, I said it in the bravest way possible.  Not to your face, but through a blog sent to 200 people.  Mothers’ Day should be interesting.


If these topics sound like they would be of interest to your employees, sales conference, or professional organization, contact me at 303-324-0014 or kristi@sullivanfinancialplanning.com for more information.