I recently read They Left Us Everything, and it appealed to me on many levels.
- It takes place in Oakville, Ontario, which is located between Etobicoke, where I grew up, and Hamilton, where I live now, so it’s familiar territory.
- The author’s description of her relationship with her late mother was compelling. It was different than the relationship I had with my own mother, but there were parts that really hit home. And even though it’s been over 20 years since my mom passed away, the book drew out emotions I’d forgotten about, and even brought tears to my eyes from time to time.
- I found myself looking forward to getting back into the book, days after I’d already finished it.
You may be thinking, “That’s very nice, Janet, but why are you talking about it here on Your Organizing Business?”
In a nutshell, They Left Us Everything is a memoir of the author’s experience packing up her parents’ home after their deaths. They’d lived in the 4000 square-foot, 23-room house for over 50 years and, as you can imagine, they accumulated a lot of stuff, ranging from shopping receipts to valuable antiques.
As she and her siblings emptied out boxes, drawers, cupboards and closets, they learned many facts about their parents and relatives through the many artefacts they discovered, experiencing a wide range of emotions along the way. Hundreds of decisions had to be made, and most of them weren’t easy.
If you work with downsizing and estates, you’ll probably find the story interesting, because it reflects what you face with your clients on a regular basis.
But if this is an area you’d like to get into, I especially encourage you to read this book. It opened my eyes to how complex it can be! Here are a few of the issues it raises:
- Are you equipped to help your clients make decisions while dealing with powerful emotions?
- Considering the amount of work involved, how can you best assist your client in a cost-effective way?
- How can you make the process easier for your client – or can you?
Have you read They Left Us Everything? I’d love to know your thoughts!
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