Oh dear, I am sorry to hear of your loss. 3 weeks is not a long time, can you ask your brother in law if you can wait a little while for you to take them, or is is important to him to feel he has carried out her wishes and physically given them to you asap?
When you do take them can you explain to him that you don't want and can't take them all yourself and pick out the ones you want while you are at his house and ask him to donate the rest to charity? So that the whole lot never come into your apartment.
My feeling is that it is important to get them sorted and disposed of as soon as you can once they are in your possession as otherwise they will just hang about your apartment becoming clutter and causing you a lot of stress and guilt which I am sure you sister never intended when making the gift.
Also, I am sure your sister did not intend for you to keep them all when she made her gift. If you give the surplus to a charity she would have supported I am sure that will be in keeping with her intentions.
Last Edit: Aug 20, 2012 2:53:01 GMT -5 by Greenhill
Can you look through the clothes and hats and choose those that are special to you (or useful) and only bring those ones to your place? Maybe donate the rest... I am sure your sister would not want her things to be a burden to you.
I'm sorry for your loss. I've been in the situation where I've inherited furniture. A lot of furniture. My friend who had died basically left a lot of stuff to me. To be honest, I felt burdened. My friend's DH wanted me to take it away. I asked him if it was ok to only take a few things but unfortunately he wanted them out asap. So I had a very cluttered house. My DH was Not Impressed. My solution was to keep only what I wanted and I had my sister over also so she could choose. Now you may ask why do that as they were all left to me. But I had the view that once they were 'mine' then I could dispose of them as I wished. Given that, why don't you ask your brother in law if it's ok to take only a few items; and if it's ok to donate the rest. If he wants them out of his place asap, then ask for help in moving them to a charity place. It will be a hard thing to do because many people feel if they get rid of the item they get rid of the person.
Cleantime, after my mother died, my father & I went through her things. It was very hard to do, but of course it had to be done. We both cried the whole time.
Be prepared to have emotional reactions to this process. If at all possible, perhaps you can offer her husband that you will do that for him (if you are up to it and you think he would appreciate it). Then as you take things from her closet or drawers, you can perhaps start the culling process before it ever comes into your home. Of course you're not going to want it all. Even if it all fit you, it's probably not really your style, but your sister's. And you're not going to want to feel morbid everytime you get dressed, so keeping it all is probably not particularly wise even if you did have room for it all.
During the sorting, you might find one or two things that you find particularly attractrive and give you a fond memory of your sister. If you do and it fits you, then keep it. You don't have to keep it always, by the way. You might only choose to keep a particular item until you are ready to let it (and the physical memories of your sister) go.
With my mom, I kept a couple of her clothing items. A top she wore in a portrait photo that we all had a copy of, which I liked because of the colors and the fabric. I wore it occassionally and it matched well with my color choices. I also kept one set of pj bottoms. I actually still have that one, and barely remember that it was her's most of the time. Eventually I got rid of the top after my brother told me how much he hated the portrait because my mom already had cancer when that portrait was taken and he hated the reminder. He prefered to remember her before that time. Soon after that, I realized I did not feel the same about the top as I had before, and I tossed it.
My mom used to wear hats, too, but her hat style and my hat style just don't match. I couldn't wear her hats, had no desire to wear her hats, so I didn't keep any of them. But if you like her hats and they fit, AND you think you'd wear them, then I'd suggest keeping only one or two favorites. Unless you're a real hat person, then more, I guess, if you really would wear them. You can always toss them out later should you change your mind.
Sometimes after a loss, the bereaved like to wear something that the loved one used to wear, and that is a normal thing to do. Often widows will wear a shirt worn by their deceased husband as it carries their scent and just provides comfort. So you could ask your BIL if he would want a scarf or something in particular of your sister's clothing. I carry my dad's dog tag with me on my key chain, but I also have a sweater that I gave him one Christmas and wear it occassionally. My brother wanted his belt, also because he had given it to him and because our dad had worn it. These momentoes of our shared love with our dad are things that help us cherish our memories of him. Your BIL may have something like that among her things that he would really cherish.
Loving v5, but of course, still getting used to it.
Post by fluffernut - now Jannie on Aug 20, 2012 8:23:15 GMT -5
After my mother in law died (suddenly) her two daughters went through all her clothing, intending to donate it. Every item had either a rip or a stain or several of both. It all had to be thrown out. I was glad I wasn't included. Her taste was awful and she was much bigger (and fatter) than me. They also looked thru her furniture , took what they wanted, and donated the rest. I was offered a rocking chair, which I took and then donated myself.
I think that you should see which items you like and then donate them. There are some special organizations that donate to battered women or women who need clothing for job interviews. That would be a way to know that her items are really being appreciated.
Just remember that your sister doesn't care about all those clothes, she just loves you. Wherever she is and whatever you believe in the clothes are nothing. Its all about your relationship. Take whatever amnesty you need, its just some fabric and thread, its not her.
The gift of life is living life.
Support what you love
Post by joyinvirginia on Aug 20, 2012 10:59:05 GMT -5
Condolences on the loss of your sister. When my dad died, my mother and I just shut the closet with his clothes in ir, and looked at the stuff a year later. My advice: take a very few special things that have meaning to you, if you want to take anything. Donate the rest. It is ok to not take anything. If you have any friends her size, you can offer things to them if you want. Once you are given a gift, or a bequest, it is YOURS to do with as you see fit. You can discard it all if you want, burn it, or throw it all away. Without guilt, because it is juststuff, just things. It is not your sister.discarding the clothing does not mean you didn't love you're sister.
cleantine, I am so so sorry! This must be so hard for you! HUGS!
I agree with what others have said; if he will allow you to sort through the clothes there, do so. It will be harder to do if they enter your home.
I have the same issue with clothes, and when I was a teen, I was given so many clothes (I was the most shortest of my friends so they all passed clothes to me as they grew out of them) that my Mom made a rule...for every clothing item I was given, I had to get rid of one. I still try to do that for me and my girls.
How often did you see your sister? Do you have an idea of the kind of clothes she wore? Do you like her style and does it suit you? Are you the same size? If so, you may have a better idea of how much stuff you will be bringing home that you will wear. If it wont be much, great, but if you figure you will be bringing a fair amount home, maybe go through your stuff before you go see hers. If you can empty out some space before bringing her things home, then the things you keep can simply be put away.
I know if two of my sis-in-laws (all three of my siblings are brothers :S) donated stuff to me, it wouldn't fit, but the vast majority of the third would, and we like very similar things, so I would end up keeping a fair amount of her things.
Post by ClutterBlind on Aug 20, 2012 14:05:11 GMT -5
My deepest condolences for your loss.
Since you like to hoard clothes, obviously your sister knew how much you like clothing and had wonderful intentions bestowing them onto you. Yet, she probably also wouldn't want you to be buried or burdened by her stuff. that wasn't part of her intentions or wishes.
What if you donated her clothing in her name? Knowing they'd go to many, many people who could benefit from her items and her having been here.
Post by howardsgirlfriend on Aug 20, 2012 14:13:21 GMT -5
I expect that your sister wanted you to have "first dibs" on her clothing rather than keeping everything. Perhaps she also expected that you would be a good steward of the clothing you didn't want to keep, donating it to the most appropriate place. She probably knew you had a studio apartment, and wouldn't want her clothing to be a persistent burden to you.
Maybe your BIL would be satisfied if you identified a charity that would come pick up everything you didn't want to keep, and scheduled the pick-up when you would be there?
Cleantine, I actually bought a bunch of hats from a woman who had her mothers collection at a yard sale, I ended up selling a few for $99 each and the rest on average around $40-$60.
We inherited my husbands grandmothers clothing, she had a lot of her clothing 40s-50s still. I took all that stuff to a local Vintage Clothing Store in town. They split the sale 60-40(there take)
And the stuff has been really popular. And they would take the hats also but they were worth more for me to sell them on my own as I had the time and sell online for a living.
Vintage clothing stores love this stuff depending on the age of what your sister saved. If its more recent, like 80s onward, theres less interest in vintage clothing(unless its teen style 80s clothing thats making a comeback now in vintage stores)
Some places have regular consignment clothing stores also depending on the type of clothing your sis had.
Just some options you might want to look into.
This way the clothing lives on, and you earn some extra cash and it doesnt end up wasted or in the trash.
Then you can pick out a few of your faves to keep for yourself.
Can you keep the nice stuff and maybe display it? I have a few items that I inherited, like an old fly fishing rod from my grandfather. I have it hanging up in my office at home. It doesn't match the decor but it's an interesting item that people ask about.
Vintage clothing can earn some $$. When I was cleaning I ran across my old concert tshirts. One I sold on ebay for 77.00! Ended up selling 3 for 132 bucks, selling the rest this week. I realized that (a) they'd never fit again and (b) I had no attachment to them other than "they might be work something". I can do something useful with that money.