How to Sort Through Your Departed Loved One’s Belongings and Keep their Memory Alive

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Saturday, May 13, 2023

Going through a loved one’s belongings after they have passed away is often difficult but you can make the process easier.

Just as there is no right way to grieve, there is no specific time that you should start going through the departed’s possessions. In some cases, you may need to clear out their personal effects immediately but that doesn’t mean you have to quickly discard these items. It’s important to take your time and not rush the process so you don’t have regrets down the road.

Here are six tips to help you thoughtfully sort through your loved one’s belongings.

1. Communicate with your family beforehand.

Let family members know when you’re ready to begin the sorting and removal process. They may be interested in specific family heirlooms or might feel sentimental about items you think are meaningless or of no value. Reach out to loved ones who can’t be present, too. Ask them in advance to be very specific about what they might like to have. Keep in mind that the sorting process causes conflict in some families. Do your best to consider what’s driving their behavior and accommodate requests but look after your own needs, too.

2. Organization is essential.

No matter how large or small the premises that’s being cleared out, start by creating a system to keep things in order. Experts recommend using large boxes to sort things as you go. You might label them Keep, Donate, Recycle, and Discard, for instance. It may be tempting to put most things in the Keep box, but holding on to every item isn’t realistic. You likely don’t have the space and there’s nothing wrong with donating or recycling things you have no use for. If you can’t decide what to do with some items, create another box labeled “TBD” and go through it at a later date.

3. Start with the easy stuff.

Prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed at the outset by sorting through the easiest items first, such as things you are not emotionally attached to or that you are planning to give to someone else. Making good progress at the beginning will put you in a positive mindset for the rest of the cleaning process.

4. Carefully select pieces from collections.

If your loved one was a collector, they may have accumulated a treasure trove of keepsakes. You do not have to keep every item in their collections, especially if they are numerous. Select a few favorite pieces and donate or discard the rest. If the collection is valuable, such as antique jewelry or fine china, get a professional appraisal before you take any action.

5. Protect or destroy sensitive information.

As you sort through your loved one’s documents, you will probably come across personal information like financial records and identity documents. Be sure to keep important paperwork such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, Social Security cards, deeds, and property titles and store them in a secure location. Shred and properly dispose of anything you aren’t keeping that includes personal information to protect against identity theft.

6. Take pictures of beloved items.

Expect that you will come across things that you would love to keep but for which you don’t have adequate space. Take photos of these special items to create a catalog of treasured mementos. When you eventually discard them or give them away, you will still have the pictures so you can always keep the fond memories close to your heart.

At Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services, we understand the challenges that come with loss, including the sorting of your loved one’s belongings. If you need additional information or resources, we are here to assist you. Please contact us anytime.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please visit batchelorbrothers.com.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Looking to Add More Produce to Your Diet? Try These Ten Simple Solutions

Take the first step towards a healthier you by learning how to effortlessly add more produce to your diet. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet goes beyond just meeting the dail...

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Useful Facts Everyone Needs to Know

Understanding cremation begins with separating the facts from the misconceptions. Cremation has become increasingly popular in recent years as individuals seek alternative end-of-life options. Des...

Traditional Funeral Flowers Not For You? Here Are Six Clever, Eco-Conscious Options

As we become increasingly aware of environmental concerns, the impact of traditional funeral flowers on our planet has come under scrutiny. Amid grief and loss, funeral flower arrangements have lo...

Winter Heart Attacks Are More Common Than You Think. Here’s How to Reduce Your Risk

Amid the serene beauty of frosty settings, winter heart attacks are a chilling reality for many people. Winter is a picturesque time of year with its snow-covered landscapes and crackling fireplac...

How Heartfelt Condolence Messages Can Ease the Pain of Grief

Condolence messages are often a source of great comfort to those who are grappling with loss. This simple gesture lets you express your sympathies and lets the bereaved know they are in your thoug...

Five Inspiring Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2024

In the United States, Martin Luther King Day is observed annually on the third Monday in January. The day commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and pr...

The Causes of Pneumonia: Five Surprising Facts Everyone Should Know

The lesser-known causes of pneumonia involve some unexpected factors that go beyond the usual suspects. Did you know that, together with the flu, pneumonia is a top cause of death in the United St...

Funeral and Estate Planning is a Smart New Year’s Resolution. Find Out Why.

This New Year, go beyond the surface-level resolutions and delve into the power of funeral and estate planning. The journey through advanced funeral and estate planning may not be fun, but it is a...

Personalized Holiday Memorials: Eight Heartfelt Ways to Honor Your Loved Ones

The magic of personalized holiday memorials lies in their ability to transform grief into a celebration of enduring love. The holiday season often calls to mind cherished memories of loved ones wh...

Cold and Flu Season is Here! Get the Information You Need to Stay Healthy.

When the weather turns frigid and the days grow short, it’s a sure sign that cold and flu season is on the way. Winter is around the corner, signaling the battle cry against seasonal illnesses. It...