Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cleaning Out Mom's House:

When Baby Boomers Are Faced With Cleaning Out Mom's House

What's worse than cleaning out your own basement or garage ?'s cleaning out mom's house. Ask any baby boomer who is faced with this job what they think about the challenge and I bet you will hear a lot of kvetching (yiddish for complaining). And if you want to be kind to your owns kids (who will be cleaning out YOUR is the time for all of us baby boomers to get a handle on our own piles of junk....oh I mean family "treasures".

Cleaning Out Mom's House: The Family Drama

Often the decision to clean out a family member's home comes after a trying time such as a long illness or passing on of a loved one. This is always a very difficult time and layered with all kinds of family drama .....let's be honest ain't easy! In fact to be true to my kitschy self.... let's face it, we all could fill up a lot of hours of Reality T.V. discussing what goes on in families when everyone is maxed out.

Kitchen Shrink Advice About Liquidations

When families are operating on high adrenaline, they tend to rush into too many decisions. You will often see well intended siblings move in too quickly to "organize' mamas things. Here is a bit of Kitchen Shrink free advice......go slowly.....give everyone a chance to absorb their feelings and to work out the inevitable family dynamics.

Resist Th
e Urge To Dive Into The Cleaning Out Mode

Many people falsely conclude that the activity of "clearing out stuff" can somehow magically "get rid of the heavy emotional load" that all mourners carry. I have seen many people dive into the "clean out" mode way before they were really psychologically ready to disperse of or get rid of family mementos and years of accumulation. What's the real rush? Chill.....take your time, you'll thank me.

Advice from An Antiques Dealer

As an antique and collectibles dealer, I of course love to discover fresh estate sales or to advise families about cleaning out mom's house. But as someone who has had to pack up my own family member's belongings, I would say to others to resist the urge to "get rid of stuff too soon".

Consider Packing Belonging In Plastic Boxes And Waiting To Disperse

Perhaps an important interim step might be to buy some large plastic storage boxes and sort out what you have first labeling all your boxes for later review. When the time comes to disperse them to family members or sell some of your things or to give them away to charity, you might want to consult Estate Mavens on I Antique This is a group forum that I initiated to help others cope with managing estates.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. This is such a timely post! Back in December my Mom was in the hospital, and then in a nursing home to get strong enough to come home. In that time, my sister and her husband came in and packed up 99% of my Mom's things. Thankfully they are all in plastic bins in the garage, but now I have to go through those same boxes, so that I can put aside anything that I might be interested in, label each box, and find the things that my Mom is now looking for. My Mom has alot of stuff, that's for sure. But this is not the way to go about it when a loved one passes away, and certainly not when that same loved one is still alive! This has caused tension between my sister and I. I sure wish you had posted this last year!

  2. This is the great post here..and well good thinking of this one..
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