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VonNoble

Death-cleaning...should start earlier maybe

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I read an article on Sunday regarding a Scandinavian custom of "death-cleaning" - which is a very sensible approach to senior-citizenhood.

The custom, as described, is both practical and cathartic.   As you hit the mid-sixties - you start ridding yourself of possessions.   It is in part a typical declutter process but too, more than that. 

 

You do it systematically.  One room at a time.   And it is not a light or quick process.   You involve friends, families and co-workers - over time.  You give (and folks accept) items of value (dollars and or emotions) to those you want to inspire, comfort, delight, or with whom you hold in high esteem and wish a post life connection  - - you give specific items and discuss your life and their contribution to it.   It was far more involved than I am describing but also a very thoughtful way to reach out and allow others to reach in.....

 

For many moving into smaller living arrangements causes us to declutter our possessions.   For many the age of acquiring yields in retirement to the age of retiring and we get rid of things to fit into our less active future.   Some people just keep buying bigger homes rather than declutter.   Others start renting storage facilities (and then more of them or larger ones.) 

 

I suspect the Scandinavian approach is a very balanced one.    Physically ridding oneself allows a societal reminder that you are hitting the exit ramp but too it reminds those still acquiring - ownership might be a temporary thing.  Therefore enjoying it (rather than not noticing) those possessions is possibly enhanced.    A reminder life is finite is in play in a positive way.   Memories can be cherished a few times around before a deathbed gathering. 

 

Seems like simplification has an impact when you do so from a celebratory sort of detach way.   

 

So if you have too much - and most of us do - do you have a master plan for getting rid of it?

Or is that the heir's problem?    ^_^

 

Big garage sale?    Big bonfire?    Estate sale while you are quite fit and well and can take a trip with the funds?

 

NOT EVEN ON THE RADAR to assess it.....just enjoying "having" stuff?   Retail therapy helps and so does the security of owning stuff and trading it in for better stuff?

 

Death-cleaning involves the word death and I NEVER think about death?    This is a horrible subject and you would never discuss dying because it is depressing?

 

Lots to think on and maybe discuss.

 

von 

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i could leave a detailed will the size of most encyclopedias(remember those?)and my heirs still wouldn't get it right.or i could just leave instructions and have everything sold,and there would still be infighting and stupidity in abundance.

 

i may just sell everything and leave $1 to each of them and say"fight now".

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On 12/14/2017 at 9:10 AM, mark 45 said:

i could leave a detailed will the size of most encyclopedias(remember those?)and my heirs still wouldn't get it right.or i could just leave instructions and have everything sold,and there would still be infighting and stupidity in abundance.

 

i may just sell everything and leave $1 to each of them and say"fight now".

Your family sounds so very normal.   

Before retiring from the church I was asked to speak at a bunch of funerals.  LOTS.  At times it seemed like a full time job. 

I was honored to do so.  BUT......in doing SO MANY....I certainly did see way more than half the time there were distribution issues rising before the funeral had ended.  

 

As the minister I was sometimes at the funeral home when the family gathered to write the obit....when they selected the coffins or urns.....at the vigils the night before - and I heard plenty of angst, worry, scheming and griping about STUFF.    

 

We just went through this process....moving out of state and into a very small (but comfy) place.  In the process we gleefully ridded ourselves of about 80% of our possessions.  Paying people when necessary to haul it away.    I think it is a VERY good custom they have developed in Scandinavia.    I only wish I had grown up sooner and not anticipated that anyone would want things.  They don't.   They really don't.

 

They fight over it - I suspect more often - because they don't want someone else to have it.  

Which is different than actually wanting it. 

 

Do you see it that way with the kids?

 

von

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