In a four year period when our parents were both ill, my sister and I packed up their house to move them to a house closer to where we both live. Their house was bigger than either of ours with a storage room over the packed garage. Our mom kept EVERYTHING of our grandmother's when she died down to her socks. The house my sister found had a perfect layout for their safety but was smaller. Mom was forced to have to get rid of things as there was no garage and storage room, just a small shed. She was angry with us for some time. We both accepted items to make it easier (just a little anyway) for her to part with things. Most of these we both regifted, sent to goodwill and kept a few items.
After mom died, dad wanted to go to an assisted living home. We had two yard sales since they lived in town, listed furniture on Craigslist and gave a lot away to friends and goodwill. Mom had good (expensive) taste in some areas so we both upgraded some things from our kitchens with hers. Some "toys" we played with (like the pasta maker) and then rehomed. I did fall in love with her panini maker 😀 We set some items aside we thought family might want and just mailed it to them.
We went through the house together. We set aside items we each wanted and a seperate pile of things we both were interested in. We agreed to be honest with each other and it ended up being a good evening. We took turns picking from the stuff we both wanted. Although after the pizza and beer evening, I don't recommend deciding to hold a yard sale beginning 8 hours later. Our husbands thought we were insane. Her boys thought it would be fun.
There were some items we decided to sell. Mom had chosen that other than the house, her stuff was to go to us at her death. She had some nice jewelry that neither of us had any attachment to or desire to wear. From the proceeds we divided the money for both of us and a portion for us to go together on a getaway. We rented a lake cabin with no tv or Internet. We just hung out together and relaxed. We spent some time telling the boys stories about the grandparents and our past. They pretty much only knew them as sickly. Our parents used to love to travel so we hope they would have approved.
Since dads death was lingering, we had it prearranged as to what would be done with the remaining furniture and such. While sitting with him, we spent time going through pictures and telling stories out loud hoping he could hear and kept only what really meant something to us. By this time we both felt hardened and ruthless with items. Pictures with people we didn't know were trashed. No other family of his came that we offered things to. A friend whose mom is sick wanted his lift chair. Most remaining clothing and such went directly to goodwill.
The good thing about this exhausting experience is my sister and I have gotten closer. Not the way we would have chosen, but at least there WAS a benefit.
And then my husband and I had to do the same for his mom...the last year and a half has definitely been "interesting" on so many levels...I need a nap just remembering all this!