Moving your parents or other aging loved ones into an assisted living facility or a nursing home is a task that no one looks forward to. It is a decision-making process fraught with stress and decisions, one of which is, “what do we do with all their belongings?”
You know that much of your parent’s belongings have sentimental value and that may mean that you divide it up between the family, but there are those items that are just items – they don’t have sentimental value, but they are taking up space and need to be addressed.
One of the first things you need to do is decide which items your loved ones can take with them when they move. You will then need to decide who will be gifted with some of the more sentimental-value items. After that, you will have to make decisions on the remaining items ranging from knick-knacks to appliances to clothing and furniture. Here is a checklist of avenues to consider:
What can you donate and to whom?
There are many organizations that would gladly welcome your donated items. The task could be finding out what they accept or need and whether they will pick up large, bulkier items. Avenues for donations include: schools, community theaters, animal shelters, veteran’s shelters, homeless shelters, your local library, your church, a neighbor you might know who is in need, a food bank and others. Reach out to a homeless shelter or shelter for battered women to see if they need clothing or furniture.
What to do with items that can’t be donated?
There are bound to be items that have no value such as papers, plastic and things of no value to anyone but your loved one. Separate items and recycle as much as possible.
Your electronics could potentially be sold if they’re still operational. Other electronics will need to be taken to an electronic recycling center as they cannot be put into landfills or taken out with the trash.
Batteries and light bulbs also need to be taken care of separately. Many areas have hazardous household waste collection programs where you can go and drop off those items.