Clearing Stuff Out Of The House

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MaNaAk, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,399
    Essex
    Hello Everyone!

    I know this is not the usual sort of thread but if you have cared for your PWD until they have gone into a care home or until their passing have you cleared out all their stuff all in one day? My youngest brother has been interested in clearing out stuff since before dad went into the home he had the idea that we could have a live-in carer to cut costs! He seems to think that clearing all mum and dad's things will take one day and he also forgets that we should ask my other brother if he wants to keep anything. They are both quite happy since I spoke about moving.

    MaNaAk
     
  2. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,442
    Kent
    It depends how much stuff your mum and dad had collected over the years, I suppose possible if not too much and you are all decisive, but for me Oh gosh no! It took me several weeks to sort, go through paperwork/personal items, decide between 3 sisters what if anything would be distributed or wanted. From starting as a mountain task it did get easier as I saw myself getting somewhere.Then as the completion day drew closer I spent a lot of time at the house ...organising a skip for anything that needed dumping, getting either rid of furniture if charities didn't want or donating to charities in itself took time for them to visit and inspect, any upholstered furniture/beds aren't accepted without the fire resistance label. I found dated wooden furniture especially difficult to donate. Then cleaning the house top to bottom.
     
  3. DianeW

    DianeW Registered User

    Sep 10, 2013
    533
    Lytham St Annes
    When I cleared my Uncles house oh what a mammoth task it was, and I was more or less on my own except for my Husband but I needed to make the decisions......on top of that I had pleurisy and felt so ill.

    On the surface all seemed fine, but every cupboard and wardrobe was stuffed full of stuff from through the years.

    I sorted what I wanted to keep first, then did each room at a time, sorting rubbish, and charity donations as I went....I can’t tell you how many times we went to the tip!!!!

    It was a very difficult time as I was very very close to my Aunt who had died a few years earlier and my Uncle they were like Mum and Dad to me.

    I cried many tears whilst there on my own remembering the good times, strange feelings of utter loneliness and that all of my security had gone, that I had no family left.....despite being married and having a daughter.....very strange... sorry for rambling on.

    Good luck and I really hope you find a lovely place to live and settle in.
     
  4. sausagedog

    sausagedog Registered User

    Aug 22, 2019
    42
    I think all 3 of you definitely need a get together to decide who wants what and decide what’s to be thrown away.

    I thought my mums house was pretty ‘clear’ until I started going through drawers & cupboards !!! It took time to sift through paperwork etc. I had to be quite ruthless in the end as there was so much stuff - who needs 20 clean jam jars & 50 dusters?!! It will probably take you longer than your brother thinks - I hope you get help with the task at hand from both brothers. Any furniture that the Charity I contacted wouldn’t take went into a skip I hired for the weekend. It was a big job and these things can take time & don’t forget to check the loft!
     
  5. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    713
    Male
    Kent
    My wife went into a nursing home towards the end of September, so our house is full of her possessions, most of which she will never see or need again.:(

    The wardrobes and drawers are choc-a-block with beautiful dresses, shoes, handbags - you name it. If you loose someone, it seems natural (to me anyway) to clear their items - part of the grieving process, moving on, I guess? However, it doesn't seem right (at the moment, anyway) to get rid of her things, so it will probably be a gradual process. It's horrible though!
     
  6. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    611
    My mum wasn’t a hoarder but even so it took me all summer to clear her small flat when she moved into a care home this year. I had a sale of the place looming so I speeded up as time went on. Mum had only lived there ten years, I guess your parents lived longer in their house and it is a lot bigger than my mums place. Realistically I’d give yourselves a fortnight of hard work to get it done. Most of mums stuff went to charity shops, but some is with her in the care home and I have a few boxes in our loft.
    BTW don’t forget the loft. One friend told me that she had her brother only remembered that the day before they completed the sale of their mum’s place and it was crammed full of stuff.
     
  7. Nigel_2172

    Nigel_2172 Registered User

    Aug 8, 2017
    27
    Shropshire
    Clearing my Mum's house took months. It had been the family home for 50 years. Together with my two brothers and our sister, it seemed that every drawer, every cupboard and shelf was full of memories. Old toys which needed playing with one last time, photos (thousands of them from the days when people had printed photos!) that took hours and hours simply becasue of the conversations they started - thay are now mostly in a big box in our house - stll not sorted. When we were finished saving the things that we couldn't part with and we were down to the junk, we had a house sale - simply put a sign at the bottom of the garden one Saturday morning - it was amazing how much stuff we got rid of. The clearing out process actually turned into a really quite special time, spending it with family and reliving so much of our shared past.
    I'm now in the position of my wife being on end-of-life care and am dreading the prospect of having to go through all her things. I know I will probably end up just shutting it all away!
     
  8. RosettaT

    RosettaT Registered User

    Sep 9, 2018
    297
    Female
    Mid Lincs
    When we had mums place to clear out we got one of the charities who do house clearances to do it. We went through things first decided what we each wanted then the charity came and took everything away. Certain things they could sell other things they got rid of. They even cleared the garage and green house out. It did cost us in the region of £300 I think for a 2 bed bungalow but as mum died of cancer and we engaged a cancer chairty we just saw it as a donation. We even told them there should be a couple of items we couldn't find and if they came across them would they put them to one side, which they did.
     
  9. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    944
    Male
    North West
    I have all of this yet to do. A house full of mum and dads stuff they have collected over years. I sorted alot of dads stuff when he died, but mum has tons of stuff and I really don't know where to start, but I do know I have to start doing it. Think it will takelonger than a day @MaNaAk :). I may sort out the items that I want to keep and clear the rest through a third party as suggested
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,863
    Female
    After my mother went into a care home we cleared her flat in a day. We didn't have much choice because her flat was rented and needed to be cleared so we could return the keys and avoid paying another £1k in rent.

    I didn't want anything from it, there were no other relatives to worry about, and she didn't have anything valuable, so it was simple from that point of view. We brought several bin liners back to my house to sort out - her clothes, paperwork, photographs, jewelry etc. Everything else was taken by a house clearance company. I went through the bin liners within a week or so and either took stuff in to her, kept it here, or gave it to charity. I wanted to get it done quickly.
     
  11. SKD

    SKD Registered User

    I am currently clearing Mum's bungalow for sale and it has taken quite a time despite her moving from the family home four year's ago. Last year the sudden death of my sister-in law who lived in rented accommodation meant we needed to do a speedy clear out of her apartment. We did it in about a week - four days of very hard work plus some time for cleaning. But that was in an environment where few items had sentimental value to us and the apartment was fairly small.
     
  12. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,179
    Anything of yours, that is valuable, breakable, or of sentimental value, remove into secure storage. Be that a friends garage, or paid storage unit, before asking for help "clearing" the parents effects.

    Bod
     
  13. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,399
    Essex
    Thankyou everyone. I thought it would take more than a day. On the plus side it would keep my brothers pre-occupied and also I wonder whether it would turn out stuff in odd places. I have found some items in very strange places since dad went into the home. Before he went into the home I did clear out some books that my mother had collected but other stuff was kept so that I could read books with dad. Yes! We need to do this together to avoid upset. @Nigel_2175 I am thinking about you and your wife as I was trying to complete the home's end of life care when dad was suddenly taken ill. I am still grieving but I am coming to terms with it now and @love.dad.but on Saturday I ran into the daughter of one of the other residents at dad's former care home and we spoke about our loved ones and walking sticks. Dad would walk around the care home with other people's sticks or he would leave his in the toilet and resident M would go in with one stick and walk out with two!

    MaNaAk
     
  14. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,442
    Kent
    As the last couple of years have passed by I can smile at Dad's funny dementia ways and remember things like carrying 3 or 4 walking sticks, wearing the rather attractive pink diamonte specs in the ambulance, enjoying the pre school children singing carols whilst conducting with his hands and at the end like a naughty schoolboy making a rude gesture and giggling, even in the grip of dementia and him not having clarity of anything suddenly noticing that I had tears which I thought I had passed off as hay fever and he gently wiped my face...these memories and more are balancing out the not very pleasant and sad ones I have during the very difficult and challenging times. This will become the case for you as well...good memories even in dementia times will surface and make you smile.
     
  15. Mydarlingdaughter

    Mydarlingdaughter Registered User

    Oct 25, 2019
    29
    What is the legal position on clearing the house, did you need power of attorney to do it?
     
  16. sausagedog

    sausagedog Registered User

    Aug 22, 2019
    42
    Executor(s) responsible for clearing/selling property etc. Power of Attorney is only valid when the person who it is for is alive and is no longer valid once that person dies.
     
  17. leslyz

    leslyz Registered User

    Oct 24, 2015
    196
    Gosh Philbo, I so relate to this. Mum's been in respite but now is definitely not going to be coming home. This thought about clearing the house hangs over me but as you have so eloquently stated, it just doesn't feel quite right just yet. On the other hand having it there with all her stuff around when she isn't there also feels so sad. What a journey all this is.
     
  18. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    188
    I’m in the process of clearing both mother and MIL’s house. They’re both in a CH together which certainly makes visiting more straightforward.

    Although it’s physically hard, I’m finding the process not so emotionally draining as I expected, maybe because they’re both still alive so as yet, I’ve not got that feeling of finality. If I find photos or something I think might be of interest, I put it to one side so I will have something to chat about when I visit. What has surprised me, is how the long term memory is still mostly there. Using photos I’ve come across, They’ve both filled in gaps in family history that I never knew.

    I’ve never had a good relationship with Mother and it’s been mildly therapeutic to rant out loud to myself at her disorganisation and hoarding (these issues have been there throughout her whole life, not as a recent result of her dementia) and particularly as she was always so critical of me as a child of being untidy. Ironic, because I’ve always been quite minimalist since I’ve had my own home. Whilst the surfaces look relatively clear, every drawer, cupboard and receptacle is packed full of junk mail, newspapers and weirdly, those plastic bags that supermarkets provide for fruit and veg! She could never go shopping without grabbing a handful and shoving them in her handbag. I’ve also found piles of those mini bottles of toiletries you get from hotels - all unused. She could never resist taking anything she thought was ‘free’ but bizarre that they were never actually used.
     
  19. Mydarlingdaughter

    Mydarlingdaughter Registered User

    Oct 25, 2019
    29
    I understand executor is when some one has passed away and power of attorney when they are alive. Apologies for the mistake. But what if the person is never coming home, speaking from my own experience here, would we have to wait until the court of protection rules, to clear the house? There is no power on, and the contents are very cold and damp some of it is smelly as contaminated by stale cigarette smoke.. House has been unoccupied over a year now. I thought it would be best to just deal with the actual rubbish and clutter and wait until the legal situation is clarified before dealing with anything which could have monetary value???
     
  20. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,335
    I can't see how clearing out clutter/rubbish which has no monetary value requires permission from the OPG but give them a call if it will put your mind at rest:

    Telephone

    0300 456 0300
     

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