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How To Pare Down Those Possessions

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune and San Diego ElderCare Directory in conjunction with an article by Marsha Kay Seff - She Wants a Royal Life for 'Princess'

Nov. 18, 2006

Cathy Golden, a professional organizer, shares some tips on sorting out a parent's lifetime of treasures:

  Start the sorting when they move to a smaller place; not after they die. It's easier to make the decisions in stages. You probably won't be able to pair down everything on the first or second go-round.

  Ask a friend to help. You're too emotional to make good decisions and will want to hold onto too much.

  Make separate piles for keep, toss, sell and donate.

  Realize upfront that you can't keep everything. If you can't decide right way if you want to keep something, know that eventually you need to let go of it. If you can put a price on it, do so. Thrift stores, theater groups and friends might be thrilled to take stuff off your hands.

  "Memories can be stronger than physical reminders." Sometimes, a photo of something is enough. But if you need to hold onto some things, consider turning them into pillows or wallhangings. Don't dishonor your parents' treasures by putting them in the garage to collect dust.








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