This week I have been helping a family to go through the belongings of an estate that has been left to them. This is always a busy time for families, especially the Executor. Not only is there a great deal of paperwork at this time but there are all the items in the home, garage, garden and sheds to organise also. There are many decisions to make from where the items should go, right up to whether to sell or rent the home. The role of the executor is quite demanding and they also have their normal life to live such as work and family.
The Executor needs to know what is in the house so they can make decisions for each of the items. However taking the time to go through everything in the house is long and tedious. Much of it will be rubbish. One house I did had 6 bags of rubbish to every box of anything usable (this was an extreme example). Although, it does become quite obvious as you go what is rubbish and what is not, someone still needs to look at it and make decisions.
What I have done to assist them is sort through the draws and cupboards and organise the items into groups. Items for donations, sale, rubbish and family memorabilia. I have displayed them out on the floor in different rooms so that it is easy for the family to give the items a quick overview and make decisions. Putting them into these groups reassures people that they are making the right decisions about items, allows them to easily see what is in the home, enables them to make quick decisions on large groups of items and reduces the need to hold onto them for reasons they are not sure about.
Assisting the family/executor with these things reduces the amount of time they need to spend on the general household items. They can focus their attention on the important items such as paperwork and memorabilia, focus their emotions and feel supported also.