gifting to your heirs

How to Declutter Your Home and Gift to Your Heirs

When decluttering your home, it can be challenging to decide who to gift your beloved possessions. Whether you have collected valuables along the way, received important gifts from friends or family, or kept sentimental items throughout your life, most of your belongings hold significant meaning. Giving these items away can feel like gifting part of yourself or your story to your family. This is what makes these moments so special and why you should be intentional about having conversations with your family about what they may or may not want.

Your family does want something

It can be tempting to believe that your kids and relatives don’t want any of your belongings. But it is important to note that it can be awkward for a close relative to ask for an item you value. So they may have never shown interest out of respect for you. But if you were to breach the topic with them, they might have some surprising answers for you.

gifting family heirloom

Ask your family what they want

Have you ever given someone a gift that you were so excited about, but their reaction was not at all what you had hoped? On the other hand, have you ever parted with something you considered junk, only to find it was someone else’s treasure? As you start to declutter your home, it is a good practice to ask your friends and loved ones if there is anything they would like to keep. Their answers may surprise you.

You might find that the things you love the most are not the things your family wants. For example, you may learn that your daughter wants your garden shovel, instead of your jewelry collection, because it reminds her of the times you spent together in your garden. This is why it’s important to have difficult conversations with your family, even if it feels daunting to discuss the gifting of your precious items, along with your mortality.

What if they reject my gift?

Keep in mind that it isn’t personal when someone declines a gift from you. If you offer something you have an emotional attachment to, but your relative says no, ask them what item they believe would help keep your memory alive. When they answer, ask them why they chose that particular item. Their answer may be something you haven’t thought of or even considered, but it will open up the door to a great conversation. And, you will know the gift you gave is meaningful to your loved one.

If you are passionate about some key items going to certain people, preface your gift by sharing why it is so important to you that they receive this gift. If sharing your jewelry with your daughter is important because you want the pieces to stay in the family line, share that with her. It will mean so much more to her when she knows how important it is to you.

Create something new

Remember that things can be upcycled as well. Upcycling is when an item is transformed, updated, or repurposed. For example, old t-shirts can be used to make blankets or gift wrap, dresser drawers can become flower planters, and books can be used as floating shelves. If you’re creative with your ideas, the list is endless.

And, as always – if you need some support or assistance in this process, please reach out. We’re here to help.