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planning for the future

janissews | Posted in General Discussion on

I thought I’d share an idea for fellow sewers regarding what will happen to your sewing and craft items when you’re gone.  My mom lost my dad and her mother within 2 weeks of each other.  Both were unexpected. There was so much to do and so many decisions to make that she hardly had time to grieve.  You may find this a little morbid, but I think she was smart.  She soon after picked out and paid for her own casket.  She created a document for us kids with who was to officiate at her funeral, songs she wanted sung, what outfit to bury her in, and so on.  It was an enormous load off our shoulders when she passed away, especially knowing we were doing exactly what she wanted done.

My husband was executor of his mother’s estate more recently and we went through a lot due to her not having gotten around to putting everything in her trust.  What I’ve done since is to create a notebook for my oldest son who is our executor with all our accounts, a copy of our will, insurance info, and on and on.  I try to keep it as up to date as I can.

I recently responded to an ad by a gal who was trying to get rid of her recently deceased mom’s sewing items.  There were machines, patterns, etc, 14 or 15 boxes worth.  When I go, there will be much more than that.  I have no sewers in my family to leave it all too.  What I’m doing to address that is to add the necessary information inside the notebook for my son.  I’m listing the best sites to advertise sewing items on, giving good descriptions of the items for him to use to describe them, and as much info as I can to make it as painless as possible to find a good home for my mountain of sewing and knitting stuff. 

I thought I’d share that idea as I know it’s going to make it so much easier on my kids someday.  Most of us probably do not have kids that know what we have, much less how to describe it or bundle it for selling.  I will also give an idea of what to charge and the date of that estimate so they can judge from there what it might be worth at the time they’re disposing of it.

Not a fun topic I know but maybe some of you hadn’t thought to take time to do something like this for the sake of whomever will find themselves dealing with what to do with your sewing or craft items someday.  Many of us set goals at the start of the year and maybe a few of you will want to give this idea some thought as a project for 2009.



  1. Josefly | | #1

    Good ideas. Thank you.

  2. zuwena | | #2

    This was great info.  I have "decluttering" on my list of to-dos for 2009.  I shall add to it info about the sewing "stuff" in my list of instructions.  Z

    1. janissews | | #3

      Oh my...decluttering is a biggy for me too, Z.  I tend to be a pack rat.  Tossing anything is difficult.  I always see another use for everything even though I'll never get around to actually using it. If hubby could pipe in he'd tell you about the boxes and boxes of magazines he's moved from house to house over the years that are taking up space in his garage.  But clutter does scatter our attention I think, and makes it harder to focus in on what we really want or need to be doing.  Paper pile up is one of my biggest clutter issues.

      I'm moving my sewing room out of a downstairs bedroom this weekend into a larger room upstairs.  I'm in the process of boxing up my sewing room and trying my best to let go of at least some of it.  It's stressful. 

      Good luck with your goal, it's a good one!


      1. JeanM | | #4

        You took the words right out of my mouth.  I could have written that first paragraph.  I am in the process now of clearing out/cleaning up my sewing room.  I keep a lot of notes and newspaper clippings about sewing.  I found some receipts from the 80s.

        Clearing out is difficult for me because I have an uncanny ability to throw out the wrong thing.  My filing system consists of throwing things in a bag then in a box.

        I have left one box for Things That Had Nowhere Else to Go, but at least there will be only one or two boxes behind my cutting table rather than a mountain of them.

  3. Teaf5 | | #5

    In addition to making decisions about one's sewing treasures, it's extremely important to make one's legal and financial decisions.

    After losing our four parents within eight years, we realized the complexity of even well-planned estates and worked with an estate lawyer to set one for ourselves.  We hope that Murphy's Law will ensure that we won't need it for many, many years; meanwhile, we know we have done our best for our children.

    Taking your suggestion a bit further, it's not a bad idea to periodically assess our sewing and crafts stashes to prevent them from becoming burdens to our own creativity and lives!

    1. janissews | | #6

      All excellent points!  Thanks Tea

      1. Ceeayche | | #7

        You have no idea what good advice this is!  As a daughter I applaud your steps to inform your children of your wishes.  It sounds maudlin, but I have an aunt who had a file with her entire services planned out-- down to the hymns.  It was a blessing not to have to make decisions while the grief was so fresh. 

        My mother passed in March.  She did do the Five Wishes (http://www.agingwithdignity.org/5wishes.pdf) which was a blessing during her long illness, but she always was so secretive about other stuff-- not wanting the "worry the girls". 

        We had no clue what type of service and we agonized over decisions and weighed input of friends and family.  Where she was buried was another painful decision:  with her mama or near us girls?  (we chose her mother).  Would have been great to end some of those discussions with an emphatic/empowered THIS is what SHE wanted.  And, I will tell you trying to figure out simple things like the location of all of her bank accounts was a nightmare (so many bank mergers in the last 5 years) and hard things, like where is Cozy her graduate school buddy is she listed in Mom's phone book as Mrs. David or Mrs. John.  it has been a rough 9 months.  My sister and I are still struggling.

        Candidly, her fantasic treasure trove of a stash has been a blessing.  I giggle at some of the projects she had planned.  I could soooo see her pulling the elements together.  I'm not at the point where I can part with any of it yet.... I do have a plan (fantasy) to make a couple of small items for her special friends and send them to them around the anniversary of her death.  I plan to start that in March.  I'm hoping it will be cathargic for me, and a blessing for her friends.


        1. janissews | | #8

          I'm sorry to hear of your loss, and I think what you and your sister have gone through since is more the norm than not.  None of us like to think about our death but it is the one thing we can be certain will occur unlike a million other things we do spend time planning for.

          I can't imagine anyone ever has all their ducks in a row when they go, but for the sake of our kids, I think it's wise to take as much decisionmaking on our behalf off their shoulders as possible.

          I love your idea to make something for her close friends to give to them on the anniversary of her death.  I'm sure they would be touched by your thougtfulness.


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