Organising possessions and decluttering your home

Image of library books

Most people do not want to think about life without us and as a result, do not discuss the topic or make any real future plans. Yet when we do pass away, there is so much for others to try and resolve. Organising your belongings now and making future wishes known, can be a relief to your loved ones after your death.

We consider some simple ways you can plan ahead for your belongings. 

Valuable belongings

You may have items of significant value in your home. We usually try and keep these items as safe as possible. Yet sometimes this can mean that these belongings are so hidden – they could get lost or thrown away if someone had to sort through your belongings quickly and did not know what was valuable. 

Dealing with your belongings after you are gone may turn in to a treasure hunt. Make sure you share with someone you trust where these items are located. 

Consider the following:

  • Do you have any items of significant value? Think jewellery, cash, art, collectable items
  • Who would know where these belongings are in your home?
  • Do you have any authentication documents or valuation certificates for those items? If so, where are they saved?
  • Who should have these items when you are gone? Or should they be gifted to certain charities/collections?
 
Plan ahead to make sure the correct arrangements are in place. Ensure they go to the people you want to have them and avoid any potential conflict by formalising your wishes in a will or estate plan.  

Photographs

We collect many pictures throughout our lives – both in printed and digital formats. Think about what you would like to happen to those after your death – who should keep them?

Image of photographs

With digital pictures, think of how these would be accessed. Who would know where they are stored – and the passwords needed to access them. 

Read more in our article on Digital Afterlife to find out to prepare for your digital files and images.

Declutter your home

If someone had to clear out your house tomorrow – where would they begin? 

Is your house organised and tidy? 

Or is if full to the brim and would take someone a very long time to sort through?

Image of clutter in garage

The reality is that at some point, someone will have the task of processing your belongings, as difficult as that may be to consider.

Why not get in to the habit of regularly de-cluttering your home and belongings? Avoid a huge build up of paperwork, possessions and belongings, that someone else will need to process in the future. 

Donating your belongings to charity

Would you like some or all of your belongings to be donated to charity? If so, do you have a preferred charity? 

Make sure people know these instructions in advance. Knowing that your belongings can be used to continue the work of your favourite charity, can bring some comfort to you and your loved ones.  

What one thing can you organise today?

Clearing out all of your belongings in one go is unrealistic. We need to build it in to part of our routine spring cleaning tasks.

Breaking it down into smaller, more manageable processes can help. Why not clear through some old paperwork, organise a cupboard full of old bits and bobs or sort through that wardrobe of clothes you no longer wear. Doing one small task here and there can make a huge difference.

If details need to be recorded, such as what to do with valuable items, update your Sunset Plan. Know that you have taken one more step to organising your life now, to prepare and protect your loved ones ready for the future. 

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