Keeping Cremated Remains at Home

There is nothing weird, harmful, or unsafe about keeping cremated remains in your home. Cremated ashes are clean and sanitary. The process of cremation has eliminated any potential contamination.

Additionally, the remains are kept separate and secure in a plastic bag inside of the cremation urn. This means that no one can easily tamper with the ashes, and you don’t have to worry about spills.

However, even with these assurances, not everyone wants to keep the cremains in their home. Some do, some don’t, and some are unsure. Often, people have personal or spiritual preferences that cause them to lean towards keeping, burying, or scattering the ashes. But for others, the choice may not be so clear.

Thankfully there are plenty of options available to you, whether the remains are kept at home or elsewhere.

Continue reading, and you just might find the perfect answer to your question: Is it okay to keep cremated remains at home?

Keeping Cremated Remains at Home

Is it bad luck to keep ashes in the house?

The short answer is “no.” It is not bad luck to keep cremated remains in your house. 

Certain religions or belief systems may have a moral or theological take on whether the practice is right or wrong, but that has little to do with luck.

Some superstitious people feel cremated remains will bring a specific “energy” into the home. Most people don’t find anything wrong with keeping your loved one with you.

Is it illegal to keep ashes at home?

It is not illegal to keep cremated remains or ashes. There are no laws against keeping your loved one’s ashes at home, or scattering or burying the remains on your own property.

What does the Bible say about keeping the ashes of a loved one?

The contemporary cremation process is much different than the “burning by fire” mentioned in Scripture. The Bible neither advocates nor condemns the act of cremation or keeping your loved one’s cremated remains in your home.

The closest biblical reference to cremation, when King Saul’s valiant men rescued his and his sons’ bodies from the enemy Philistines and burned them, was a cleansing ritual and a sign of respect.

Is there energy in cremated ashes?

We, as humans, have energy flowing through our bodies. According to the law of thermodynamics, energy cannot be destroyed, nor can it be created — just changed from one form to another form.

During cremation, the stored energy in the human body is released thermally as a result of the application of extreme heat. The cellular energy is thus released into the atmosphere.

If you keep a loved one’s cremains in your home, it is a way of keeping them close to you. Not the full energy of their living, physical presence, but rather what remains after their soul has departed.

Related: Is There Energy In Cremated Ashes?

How long can ashes be kept after cremation?

You can keep cremated remains with you for as long as you like. There are no laws or regulations to stop you.

The remains are both sterile and static. They will not further decompose; the ashes themselves are quite sanitary, having been through fire.

What to do with unwanted cremated remains?

If you don’t want the deceased’s cremated remains, you have two options. The best option would be to find a family member who would like to keep, bury, or scatter the remains.

If no other family member wishes to do so, the next best option is to leave the ashes at the funeral home or crematory. Eventually, the funeral home will dispose of the remains in an ethical and law-abiding way.

Learn more about what happens to unclaimed ashes.

Can the funeral home dispose of the ashes for me?

You must let the funeral home know how you want to dispose of the cremated remains. The funeral home will assist you in any way legally that they can.

10 Ways to Keep Cremated Remains at Home

Now that we’ve addressed some of the most common questions about keeping or disposing of ashes, let’s talk about your options for keeping remains in the home.

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn a commission when you click through the affiliate links on our website. See our privacy policy & disclosures for more information.

1. Keep the remains in a beautiful cremation urn

There are so many choices when it comes to urns – from tiny to very large, from minimalist and simple to ornate and decorative. Take a look at some of the beautiful cremation urns from Urns Northwest, and you can see exactly what I am talking about.

2. Keep the remains in a closet

I know of many people that will simply place the urn on a closet shelf. Sometimes it might be hard to display the urn. Keeping the urn put away in a dark hidey-hole is just fine. Everyone has the right to keep or display as they will.

Related: How to Grieve Well for the Loss of a Loved One

3. Tactfully display the urn as a memorial shelf

There are many beautiful and discreet ways to display your loved one’s urn. Hidden in a shelf is just one of many methods. With this unique memorial, you can have your loved one displayed without anyone being the wiser.

4. Plant the remains to grow a tree

Planting and growing something with cremated remains is a relatively new way to take care of cremated remains.

This urn is natural and biodegradable, and, when planted, grows into a beautiful tree. It’s a wonderful memorial to your loved one. And will grow and last for years and years to come. The company you purchase from will assist you in picking a tree that will be most suited to the area you want to plant it.

5. Personalize this memorial plaque, which is also an urn

Making a memorial plaque dedicated to your loved one is a beautiful way to immortalize their memory.

Our memorial plaque is creative and unique because it is also an urn. The additional depth of the plaque provides space for all of the ashes, not just some. You can keep your loved one’s remains stored securely and discreetly.

6. Keep your loved one close with cremation jewelry

How do you keep your loved one close to your heart without making it too weird? Try some beautiful jewelry. The jewelry has a small chamber built in to hold a tiny portion of cremations.

There are so many choices when it comes to cremation jewelry. You can choose from pendants, rings, charms, and more. You can wear your jewelry and honor your loved one’s memory. 

Learn more: Everything You Need to Know About Cremation Jewelry

7. Hide the remains in a cuddly teddy bear

An adorable teddy bear urn is the perfect way to keep up to twenty pounds of cremated remains. Included is a small heart keepsake urn that will hold a smaller amount of cremains. 

Your sweet teddy can be used to keep your loved one snuggled in with you. 

Related: 25 Cremation Urns That Don’t Look Like Urns

8. Create a portrait with cremated remains mixed into the paint

Painting with cremated remains is not a new idea, but it might be a new concept for you to consider. An artist can mix gels, oils, acrylics, or watercolors with your loved one’s cremated remains and produce a beautiful work of art.

Do a web search to find an artist that meets the requirements that you are looking for. Read some reviews, and you will be able to make an educated decision on your sentimental purchase.

9. Infuse the remains into glass art

Looking for a beautiful piece of art? This handmade paperweight is created by encapsulating a small amount of cremains between layers of melted glass.

You can choose from various colors to enhance the beauty of your tribute. A perfect remembrance to take to your office and always have your loved one near.

Related: 15 Memorial Ideas Made from Ashes

10. Commission a glass art cremation urn

If you want something unique, you’ve found it with these astonishing hand-blown glass urns. Each urn is individually blown by hand, so no two will ever be the same.

Our urns are made especially for you. These urns are true works of art that you will treasure as you honor your loved one.

Where to Put Ashes from Cremation

You’ve taken the time to read all about cremated remains and how to store them. Now comes the hard part: What will you do with all of this information?

Will you look for a beautiful urn to display in your home, or go with a simple box to keep in a closet along with other meaningful memorial keepsakes? Will you bury or scatter the ashes, or place an urn in a columbarium niche?

Take your time and make the decision that will truly honor your loved one and the precious memories you carry of them.

Read next: Creating a Memorial Space in Your Home

Keeping Cremated Remains at Home: Pin It Image
Photo of author


Karen Roldan

Karen Roldan has been in the funeral industry since 2006, and a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 2008. She is currently licensed in the states of Indiana and Pennsylvania. She attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, IL,...

Leave a Comment