Summary: “Don’t assume your kids want your stuff.”
If all goes well, people typically live until they are 80, 90, or beyond these days. That’s a lot of time to accumulate a lot of stuff. The big question is, what will happen to all your stuff when you are gone?
Maybe your children, or other loved ones you leave behind, will want all of it – but I doubt it! It’s more likely that, at best, they will want some very small part of it. So if you currently have a house full of stuff, and those who will inherit your stuff already have their own house full of stuff, then they could end up with a double-stuffed house. Double stuffing is great for Oreos, not so great for worldly possessions.
If you really take the time to think of all the stuff in your closets, drawers, attic, garage, your off-site storage facility, and other various storage places…little of it probably fits someone else’s taste and lifestyle…or in their already burgeoning storage places.
Think about who will have to deal with your stuff when you are gone and what it will be like. At a minimum, let them know what they can quickly discard. For example, I keep a lot of articles in my files in case I want to refer to them later. But when I am gone, I am fine with someone tossing the files without even going through them. And tell people what they might do with things if they do not want them. Again as an example, I’ve got a lot of books. If my children do not want my books, I would like the books to go to a prison or correctional institution library. Who knows, maybe one of the books will help someone turn their life around. A few years ago I donated 1,000 books to a local correctional institution. They seemed pleased, and it got me off to a good head start on my stuff reduction strategy. If you are comfortable doing so downsize, downsize, and then downsize some more!
In general, if you care about those you will leave behind, talk with them and come up with a plan that won’t force them to wonder what to do with your stuff, and the stuff you got from your parents, and maybe even the stuff your parents got from their parents.
Minimize the double-stuffing risk for your loved ones. It’s a great way to help them joyfully participate in life.
Joyfully participate in life today…Chris