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You aren't the only one with a lot of "stuff"

 Posted by Diana Zagariello on May 22, 2016 at 3:03 PM

Almost every client I visit with thinks they have so much stuff and are embarrassed by it.  I always tell them, "I see this all of the time".  But, I think they think I am saying it just to make them feel better.  But, it's really true.  Most of my clients are older and they have decades worth of possessions.  Many have lived through the depression and know what it is like to really have nothing.  When you have gone through that experience, I believe it leads you to keep more with the thought that, "what if you need it one day".  Others keep things because they believe they are truly financially valuable and will sell them someday.  That day never arrives.  

Older adults keep things too because, like young children, they see accumulation as something they can control.  As we age, we tend to lose control over parts of our lives.  Sometimes, parts of our own bodies.  We may not be able to drive, cook, or manage our finances.  But, we can keep things.

Until keeping things leads our spaces to be too crowded and unsafe.  Or we must move to a smaller space and all of the items will not fit within the confines of the new home.  Sometimes my clients are ready for this downsizing process and getting rid of things while others find the entire experience mentally overwhelming.  They are sad to see years worth of possessions, many with memories, go away.  Caring Transitions truly acknowledges this process and we do our best to be sensitive and find new homes for their things versus throwing them away.  Clients often feel better about the process when they know someone else is going to use their things.

So, please be mindful and understanding of your elders and their things.  While you may see the things as garbage, they are important to that person.  We all have to be empathetic to what they are experiencing and help them through the process of downsizing.