My mother moved into my home 5 years ago, but recently I had to place her in a nursing home. My brothers and sisters, who were not very supportive of me, believed that she should have been in a nursing home years ago. I now have a room full of her furniture and boxes and boxes of knick-knacks, photo albums and holiday decor stored in the basement. Walking past her room every day saddens me tremendously and I would like to heal from the past traumas. I had suggested to my brothers and sisters that I would like to invite them all down to take whatever they wanted from my mother's possessions. Some liked the idea. Others seemed apalled at the notion. While I understand some are uncomfortable with the idea, should I really wait until she dies to give away her possessions to family members? By the way, there is nothing of monetary value involved. It is all used furnishings and items of sentimental value. How have others handled this?
I care for my grandmother in my home. I have for 3 years now. She has told me that everything she brought into our home is now mine. It is mine to do with as I want. I have siblings who don't call, don't come, and don't write. I don't know if I will see fit to give them anything since they didn't see fit to have any contact with her. Anyway...
I agree with many others. You should ask your mother first about what she would like. She may have certain people she wants to have certain things. Otherwise, you should at least let her know that you are going to clear her things out of your house since she will not be able to come back to live with you. As others have said: take what you want, give other family members a certain amount of time to come get what they want, and then get rid of the rest.
Side note: We always choose to give stuff to the Salvation Army because THEY are the ones that first respond to a disaster. I have NEVER heard of Goodwill ever donating anything to someone in need after a fire or some sort of emergency. With them, you have to pay. It's a 'cash cow' for sure.
Alzheimer's or not, I'd still run it by her. Memorabilia like photos and "sentimental items" should be shared by all children. Do a garage sale for larger items (furniture, etc.) and apply the proceeds towards her medical expenses. Call the Salvation Army to come and pick up whatever can't be sold and/or your relatives don't want. You might feel a bit guilty afterwards, but it's for a good cause.
However, an atty told me to not remove anything from my mother and step-dad's house until after she dies. Do you have your mother's will? What does it say and are you the exectress? My mother is also in a nursing home and I know what things belong to her in the house from the list she made many years ago. However, not being in the situation that you are in, I really can't move anything. I don't think you will get much help from family members who were against you putting you mom in the nursing home. Maybe, you just need to shut the door to that room and clean it out after she dies.
Been there/done that.
My FIL has a lot of stuff at his house. Once he is either moved to a NH or has died, we will have to go through all of his remaining belongings. I fear that this will cause strife.
He has already been offering items to family members, but we are hesitant to accept them, since he may have also offered them to others in the past, who may insist on claiming them. EX: My FIL offered me some earrings that belonged to my departed MIL, but I decided to wait. Later, I mentioned this to my DH's sister, who then insisted that her father had promised them to her, years ago.
My FIL has dementia and and only his house and financial holdings are mentioned/divided in his will. Heirlooms and "antiques" are not listed specifically. While my FIL has no problems with discussions about this (or death/dying) - my DH and his siblings, as well as one of the spouses do not feel comfortable talking about this with him.
I can imagine that there will be fights over certain items.
Hopefully some of you won't have this much trouble.....
I agree with most of the comments here. If your family does not claim items within a timely manner and you have gone through them yourself to choose a few things, call a local charity that accepts donations and have them pick up the leftovers.
Virtual Candles of honor or memory-can be found by going to alzheimer's Association. Org....
If your mom has been placed in a facility--Just what is her mental state of mind? If she is lucid?. Do you think that some of the posessions left behind would possibly be of comfort to her? I had to go thru this ordeal with my own Mom as well-and was advised what to bring to her, and what to leave behind.
The fact that there are other siblings/family members, or even good friends-perhaps can be helpful to unload things is A+.. You may also want to ask the facility as well, as they may be in need of something...I gave the NH my Mom was at - quite a few of her belongings.
It is understandable that you want them out of your home, as it can become difficult for you just to see them. If some of the family member do not understand--they should try walking in your shoes...
You will know-if it is too soon or not, by your Mom's health condition, and if in doubt, just hold on to it a while longer.
Pictures are a wonderful tool to keep her memories of her family in tact. My brother was in agreement with me.
I pray that you do the right thing for your Mom.
And even though you say now there's nothing you want of hers, I would still take the time and go through her things. Once the physical memories are gone, they're gone.
After we moved mom to the nursing home, she tried to sue us for the rest of her belongings, tried to check herself out of the nursing home, sent the police over to find out where her stuff was. It was a really bad scene when they had to tell her her stuff was out in the dirty garage. I just had a tiff with my sister this evening about leaving the garage door wide open all night, when all mom's stuff in there and some of mine, maybe that is my sister's solution to getting rid of the stuff, let somebody take it and leave the door open. And just the other day I found a box out there in the garage full of photographs from our childhood that had gotten wet and mildewed and not salvagable. My nephew has it all sewed up now anyway, all the boxes are stacked the wrong way towards the wall so I can't tell what's in the boxes anyway. It is too soon to discard a lot of stuff, unless it is obviously junk. I don't have any other family members to give stuff to except my sister, and my nephew took the stuff he wanted without even asking and appriated the electric pianos and sofa, took it without even asking -- eeek!, and I am sitting up here in my room without cables for my computer printer and speakers that got lost in the move, maybe should investigate and see if he has them in his room. And yes, when we moved from the apartment I threw out a lot of junk, so it is dejunked, most of it are things we would want to save that I brought inside, hopefully. I think I was throwing about 10 big trashbags of stuff into the trash every day trying to get the apartment and garage cleaned out. What I think needs to be done is look at the list of things she made legally that were supposed to go to my sister and supposed to go to me and save only what is listed so we will not have mom trying to sue us again. The only problem is I do not know where to find the things in the garage with the boxes all turned around the wrong way, I am really in a bind. And meanwhile I am tripping over all the stuff in my room.
As for the "stuff" I am the practical sort. If your mother is aware of her surroundings, you should ask her if there are a few things she would like to keep. If not, you should choose a few special items for yourself, invite others to do the same, then call a charitable organization, make a list of donated items, and keep the receipt for tax purposes.
When my Mom sold her home, I organized a yard sale and got rid of years of accumulation (and she isn't even a "pack rat.") She then used the proceeds from the sale to buy a few new pieces of furniture for her new apartment. It gave her a fresh start.
If hanging on to items makes you sad, it is time to let go of them. Your memories are your treasures. Blessings to you.
I dont know what your moms mental state is, but regardless, ask her first!
My mom has been making a list of what goes to who. Pretty much, my brother doesnt want anything and anything I dont want will then go to my aunt. Its different for everyone. Does your mom have a will? Theres that factor.