Parting with Your Loved One's Precious Belongings
Sadly, at some stage in our lives, we’re likely to be faced with having to make sometimes heart-wrenching decisions about parting with the belongings of a loved one who has passed away.
Some of us are able to take the pragmatic “they’re just things” approach, but for others, it’s a far more emotional experience.
Often, people are completely overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions about what to do with their deceased loved one’s belongings. We understand the emotional attachment to things when your loved one is no longer here.
The possessions of someone dear to you can have a direct connection to your senses. Maybe seeing the item brings memories and feelings flooding back. Perhaps the feel of the item reminds you of them. Smell is a particularly strong sense – and sometimes an item will have a smell that reminds of your special person.
Working closely with our customers, we have this advice for anyone who is trying to rehome and pass on their loved one’s belongings.
1. You don’t have to get rid of everything
First and foremost, it’s important to know that you don’t have to get rid of everything that belonged to your departed loved one. One of our top tips is to decide how much you can or want to keep – generally in terms of how much physical space the items take up. You may have space in an old suitcase where you’d like to keep some meaningful treasures – or perhaps it’s a space in your wardrobe. Try to only keep things that are really meaningful to you - and if you realise you don't need them overtime, you can move them on when you're ready.
2. Check in with the charities and community groups
Ring around the charities if you have items in good condition that you’re not inclined to try to sell. If you have a number of items you can sometimes send pictures and, if they want them, the charity may send out a truck to collect the items. Be prepared for disappointment though – the charities tend to be very picky about what they take and they’re often under-resourced when it comes to providing a pick up service. But there’s no harming in checking. Don’t forget about community options like offering tools and timber to your local Men’s Shed, sewing items to local quilting or sewing groups and art supplies to art groups, schools or preschools.
3. Pass on items to someone who needs them
It doesn’t have to be a charity of course. Ask family and friends if they need anything, or if they know someone who does. Or perhaps offer up items on a local Facebook page. You’ll be surprised how quickly furniture and working appliances get snapped up by families and young adults who are moving out of home. A Crackers’ Clearout customer passed on some kitchen essentials from her deceased mum’s home to a neighbour who was helping someone return to the community after being released from prison. It gave her a good feeling to know that she and her mum could be helping someone start up a new and, hopefully, successful life.
4. Call the auction houses
There are a variety of different types of auction houses all over Australia. Some only take high value consignments, whilst others auction home items including furniture, ornaments, kitchen items, tools, collectables – pretty much anything you’d find in a family home (although generally not white goods). There’s a big market for retro and vintage items, so things like furs, 1970s dinner settings and old toys can often be sold successfully. Look up your local auction houses, give them a call – and work out a time to deliver your consignment, or see if they pick up. They’ll take a cut of the sale price which is generally a percentage, although this varies. If you go in without huge expectations you’re unlikely to be disappointed.
5. Sell things online
Facebook marketplace, eBay, Gumtree and specialist sites are available for you to sell items if you have the time. A word or warning though… if you are not open to bargain hunters and on-sellers, this is probably not the option for you. If you have the time and the energy to post items, communicate with potential buyers and risk no-shows and last minute barterers, this can be a fruitful and rewarding option. If you don’t want to do the listing and managing work, there are services that do it for you for a cut of the sale price.
6. A garage sale
If you are up to the task, a garage sale is a fantastic way to move items on to homes that need them. Get organised early to make sure you have enough time to promote it. The end reward is not having to deal with lots of private messages and bidding wars that happen via marketplace or eBay. Instead people turn up on the day, buy the items they want and take them away.
7. Call in the experts
Unfortunately, not everything can be sold, gifted or donated. For example, charities and auction houses are reporting a lack of demand for timber furniture – even in good condition. And sometimes, you are dealing with more than the emotion of having lost a loved one. Often there are multiple parties or family members involved and things become complex, even fraught.
Regardless of your situation, Crackers’ Clearout is here to help. We understand how difficult it can be to part with a loved one’s belongings. We’re experienced in dealing with all aspects of clearing a home for sale, or rooms or garages full of your loved one’s precious memories. We do everything we can to reuse, recycle and repurpose the items reducing the amount that goes to landfill.
Call Crackers’ Clearout on 1300 257 688 to discuss your home clearance and junk removal needs. Your memories. Our expertise. Your peace of mind.