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Do you worry what will happen to all your belongings when you die?

(113 Posts)
mrsgreenfingers56 Mon 17-Feb-20 10:40:54

Getting older I seem to have a lot of "stuff" and yet do clear out quite frequently. When you have hobbies and interests you do have more belongings. Just had a new suite and carpet and had to move a lot of things and when I emptied the two rooms I thought there is so much gear/belongings/stuff and almost felt a bit stressed with it all. I am not a hoarder but when you empty cupboards and drawers etc it starts to dawn on you how many belongings you have. Huge bags to go to the charity shop now and the wheelie bin is full. I thought to myself what a job for my family when I am gone.
Do other Gransnets think on these lines at times?

Blinko Mon 17-Feb-20 10:45:33

We try to keep 'junk' to a reasonable level but still find there's lots we can't seem to get rid of. No doubt relatives will either bin it or take it to a charity shop when we're gone. They will not have the same attachment to our things, after all.

I remember doing the same with my parents' things when they died. It's just how it is.

Callistemon Mon 17-Feb-20 10:49:14

Oh yes, but I don't worry.
I just say to DH "I hope that won't go into the skip".
And he replies "well, you'll never know, will you!"

sodapop Mon 17-Feb-20 11:12:08

I'm consciously not acquiring more 'stuff' for my family to dispose of. I have asked my daughters if there is anything they want and they can have it now, to keep or sell whatever is best for them. The rest of it is not really important. It's quite sad to see a person's life reduced to a few belonging. On a lighter note there are all the memories and fun items which mean the world to us but not to anyone else.

Framilode Mon 17-Feb-20 11:22:36

I don't worry what will happen to them more about my lack of tidiness. When my mother died all her drawers and cupboards were in apple pie order. I'm afraid I am the opposite, no matter how much I tidy everything is back in the same old mess in a few weeks.

Another thing I remember is that after she died and I went to see her in the funeral parlour her hands were beautifully manicured and her nails painted. I still bite my nails and will never achieve the level of elegance she had.

I imagine most of my stuff will be for the skip.

Anannymous Mon 17-Feb-20 11:30:19

We are attempting to clear the loft! A lifetime of ‘treasures’, our’s and stuff inherited from family. We also discovered two old cast iron water tanks which I am sure shouldn’t be there but how on earth do you get rid of them, wish we hadn’t started!

EMMF1948 Mon 17-Feb-20 11:36:06

My daughters sometimes say, jokingly I hope, I'm putting my sticker on that! I will then say If you take that you have to take this too!

I did a few years ago chuck out all our old letters from when we were at College etc., even I thought they were too cringy for words when I reread them, I'd hate my children or grandchildren to read them!

dragonfly46 Mon 17-Feb-20 11:37:58

Not at all - my DC can get someone in to clear the house for all I care about my possessions.

Charleygirl5 Mon 17-Feb-20 12:00:43

Framilode my parents died within 19 days of each other and my mother kept little throughout her life. I have paperwork everywhere, they had a small pile in a half empty drawer. She would be shocked if she saw my house because I am the exact opposite. I mean to declutter but I never quite get around to it.

Tapdance6 Mon 17-Feb-20 12:07:24

Before I take things to the charity shop I see if the people with little money and children can use any of the things. Surprising what they use them for. E.g. small chest of drawers surplus to requirements.

M0nica Mon 17-Feb-20 12:10:13

Last time I tried to get rid of something there was an uproar because it was something one of the children would have taken because it was of deep sentimental value to both children.

I have suggested that once we die they take what they want and then get in house clearers, I was informed very firmly that clearing the house is part of the mourning process, of gradually dismanting the life of someone dear and building the life that will follow.

So I am doing nothing. To be fair, I am a non-clutterer and have a lot of empty cupboards and drawers - but it is a big house.

trisher Mon 17-Feb-20 12:13:35

No my DSs have told me- it's all going in a skip!

evianers Mon 17-Feb-20 12:13:51

No hoarder here....but OH is and refuses to declutter his "priceless" collection of railway labels [which is still being added to], railway books, {we have three huge bookcases full of the latter} et al, and this after we have only just relocated from France! So yes, wondering what to do with all of the above having heard "don't you dare give it all away - it's priceless - loads of collectors' items there"! Well, possibly but how shall I go about disposing all of this rubbish {don't use that word, it really makes him upset}!!!

EllanVannin Mon 17-Feb-20 13:05:39

I find that I worry daily about all the stuff that'll have to be shifted, every cupboard/drawer is jam-packed with " things ".
I do try now and again to thin it out a bit but then pause for ages thinking how I came about having certain items and before I know it, the day's gone.
My cats worry me, the youngest in particular ( a stray ) who's so attached to me I'm sure she'd really fret.

This sorting should be done blindfolded and in a totally mercenary manner. smile Sentiments are a thing of the past.

I've watched families of the deceased with cars/vans loading stuff to remove who've taken a whole weekend and even a week moving articles from flats and that's when it hits home about the time and expense of hiring vans as well as being bereaved, at what a terrible time for them and then to be faced with things in every corner of every room doesn't really bear thinking.

On the other hand I wouldn't like to think of the family leaving the place with one black bag of my belongings either. How sad that must be, a person's life.

Daisymae Mon 17-Feb-20 13:15:49

I don't worry about it, but do try to chuck out as much as possible now. I have the outfit I wore for my daughter's wedding that cost a silly amount, hanging in the spare room but I don't know what to do with it. I didn't even like it either. Thought I looked like the aged parent from an Oscar Wilde play........

SueDonim Mon 17-Feb-20 13:18:36

I don’t really worry about my own stuff although dh is a bit of a hoarder of paperwork. I’ve got some very nice new Sheffield-made scissors that I’d like to think someone in the family will take. Also my rings.

I do fret about it all going to the dump, though. I want my stuff to be properly recycled, where possible, and not contribute to landfill. Is that a weird thought, I wonder?

I’m not overly concerned though as I’m only mid-60’s and my mum is still kicking around at 92yo. grin There won’t be much to clear from her house, she’s always thrown out anything she doesn’t use or need. Almost everything of my dad’s had been removed from their house by the day after his funeral. shock

BlueBelle Mon 17-Feb-20 13:19:29

trisher I m in the same situation as you two children overseas and one who has always told me she is not sentimental about “stuff” even family stuff and that it will all have to go I ve asked all my now older grandkids if anyone is interested in anything but no takers
I have asked that photos (a lot I m afraid) my boxes of family history and some of my poems and paintings can be kept otherwise they ll all probably go to the charity shop
I still have a lot of my mum and dads stuff and some of my Nan and grandads I m always trying to reduce

Cfaz49 Mon 17-Feb-20 13:20:05

My first post!
I love going to auctions but they are filled with belongings that have meant something to someone and nothing to the people clearing the house, whether children or a house clearance company. Seems very sad to see the dismantled parts of someone’s life in a banana box. So, I suggest that you enjoy your belongings now. Don’t keep things for “best “, use that cut glass and good china. Take pleasure in them. The odds are that the children will think them old fashioned and prefer Ikea!

trisher Mon 17-Feb-20 13:22:50

BlueBelle I'm pinning my hopes on my DGD for the photos, but she's not old enough yet. I'll just have to keep going until she is!

Callistemon Mon 17-Feb-20 13:46:07

I thought of that last night when I took two Wilko's wine glasses out of the kitchen cupboard when we have a cabinet of very nice wine and other glasses which only come out when people come!

Billybob4491 Mon 17-Feb-20 13:50:17

We downsized and made frequent trips to the Charity Shops, on the move again and once more another massive sort out, we are doing this to spare our children the task when we are no longer around.

M0nica Mon 17-Feb-20 14:22:07

The one thing I do know, not many of our belongings will end up on the tip. They will go on freegle, to charity shops, ebay, auctions, both general and specialist, and specialist book shops.

Fiachna50 Mon 17-Feb-20 16:11:42

Cfaz49, I took your advice a while ago and started to use the dinner service my dear late Mum gave hubby and I as a wedding gift. Its so nice to use it everyday. We also began to use the 'good wine glasses'. Yes, our memories are not our children's memories. Im not worried what happens to my things. Even if they end up in a charity shop, they will at least be doing some good for someone.

Dec46 Mon 17-Feb-20 16:25:12

A friend quite a lot younger than me asked if she could have,"first dibs",on my stuff when I die. I was actually quite flattered although other friends thought it was wrong that she asked.
Thinking about keeping things for best my Mum really amused me on the day of Dad's funeral when my sister got out Mums best china only to be told that it had to be kept for special occasions. We used it of course after saying it really was a special occasion!
I don't care about what happens to my things once I've gone but am worried about my cat who is a rescue cat and frightened of nearly everybody but me.

Framilode Mon 17-Feb-20 16:29:49

Evianners I'm with you on the railway stuff. We have a loft full of railway magazines and books going back to the 1950's, plus boxes of railway slides. We also have a huge shed at the bottom of the garden for the railway. He keeps telling me they are worth thousands!