What to Do with Your Late Loved One’s Clothes

There’s a chapter in my new book, The Sentimental Person’s Guide to Decluttering, about what to do with the belongings of someone you loved and lost. It’s a highly emotional subject, especially when your loss is still fresh.

I used to work as a grief support volunteer, and I learned so much from the people I worked with. One woman was a new widow and a mother of seven. She cut up her husband’s shirts into patches, which she turned into quilts for each of her children. I included her story in my book because it’s so inspiring. This woman found comfort while creating comfort for her children.

It’s funny how boxes of a late loved one’s clothes can become an insurmountable fortress for some people, but for others they can turn into vehicles for dealing with grief. If you have boxes of clothes from a late loved one that you haven’t been able to deal with, consider turning them into memory quilts. Hire someone to do it for you if you don’t sew; otherwise, be inspired by this great example and this tutorial. The best mementos are those that are used and seen daily, not packed away under the stairs.

Nomads for a Reason

This isn’t just another story of a family that sold everything so they could travel. This family lost their little girl a few years ago, and are dealing with their grief as they travel the world while homeschooling their remaining children. They make it clear that home is where your family is, not where your McMansion stuffed with smart TVs and high-end furniture is.

We found that to be true after the last recession forced us to downsize and move away from our large family home that we built and that was paid off. We lived in rental housing for four years before we found the lovely little town we now live in, and the sweet little house we now call home. Even when we were in rentals, and selling off most of our belongings via garage sales and Craig’s List, we knew that as long as we were together, we would be fine, and we were.

My heart goes out to this young family.