Life Advice



Ask Amy: Family struggles with extremes over holidays

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My problem is that there are so many things that have such strong memories for me. I'm overwhelmed about what to do with all of it.

I live in a small one-bedroom apartment, so honestly, I would be cramming stuff in.

I really don't know what to do.

I feel guilty if I just call someone in to sell it all off.

The memories these things bring up really make this hard.

Can you help?


– Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed: This sad task would be made much easier for you if you had even one person who would do it with you.

It is important that you feel supported; you also deserve to have a compassionate witness to your memories. If you can’t find a friend to help, you should call in a professional.

People who do this sort of elder “clean out” for a living often understand the complicated emotions that are brought up. Call your local Office on Aging for a referral.


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