A Generation Xer's caregiving journey

Its never too late to deal with the clutter

REQUEST - Garage Clutter - Landscape

I stumbled upon this post from Uncluttered about dealing with someone’s stuff after they passed. Unfortunately, this has been me for the past 4.5 years  (13 if you count my great-grandmother’s things).

Everytime I try to bring up the subject with my grandmother, she throws a fit (yes, old people can have tantrums too) and cries which forces me to lay off. I tell her how holding on to their stuff cannot be healthy for anyone.

A few weeks ago she asked for my Mom’s table. I told her she can’t have her table until she gets rid of the one that she has.  After all, I had to sell quite a few of my things in order to have my Mom’s things in my apartment. She agreed and we will move it in the spring.

With the table out of the way, it will finally give me time to go through the rest of the things in storage and finally start to clean it out once and for all.

2 Responses to Its never too late to deal with the clutter

  1. I am careing for my mom. She keeps everything. When she could not care for herself at all and we needed room in her room to get a wheelchair in there amoung other things. I had to start tossing and giving away stuff. There was a path to her bed from her door and that was it. It took days to get it cleaned out. It was hard on her and me. but had to be done. I feel for you.

  2. I am a caregiver for my grandmother as well, and that photo in the post resembles our garage too well.

    Grandma doesn’t want to get rid of anything. She insists that we’ll use it and that we have room to store it somewhere. As much as I would love the house to be functional and to let go of a lot of the stuff we have (in triplicate) I know that ultimately, it’s up to her.

    A lot of our clutter comes down to simply not being aware of what and how much we have. So when Grandma has a good day and is ok with me bringing something in to sort, I bring things in groups so that she’s aware of just how much of something we have (like large storage bins of Tupperware or too-small pajamas).

    Any time she insists we will use something, the rule is that we have to have a home for it (it has to have a shelf or cupboard space).

    She hasn’t parted with much, but for her it’s a huge deal. (and I’m proud of her for it) I’m not going to push her on the issue because I know we’ll both get frustrated.