Monday, June 24, 2013


My parents accumulated a lot of stuff.
The stuff is pretty neat- but there is a lot of it.
My mother moved into an independent living care center 18 months ago.
She is spry in her early 80's.
To say that it was a good move would be an understatement.
She is happier then she has been in fifteen years.
We really thought we would lose her when Dad passed- for all the years of caring for him.


We split up their house when she moved. I journeyed to my childhood home and spent a month going through, inventorying, going through "picking" by sibs and then dispersing the rest.
It was loads of work, but worth it.  I cannot imagine if we were dealing with that stuff and grief.

And now, we are going through the vacation cabin.
If you live in Phoenix, you know that many people have "cabins" in the North.
They were inexpensive years ago (wasn't everything).
You filled them up with stuff. A sand painting here, a piece of furniture there.

Stuff, you know, good stuff.

I assigned myself to the task of clearing. It is so much easier to do this while mom is alive!  She doesn't go North anymore so she never sees the stuff.
When dispersed she will see much of it often in my siblings houses. It is a win/ win.
Of course there is always a catch.
Someone does not want to do "it" on a certain day. Shall we delay---maybe a few months?
Others want to do it ASAP since they do NOT want to deal with the stuff and the grief at the same time.
And so it goes. Like good politicians, we figure it out and move forward. Of course it helps that we have the President of the company still on the Earth directing it to be done and off her plate!

The real point of this writing is the disposal of stuff.  My walls are filled with my own treasures. The floors as well. Our "children" have had the gumption to gather their own tastes.

I am thinking THIS is why so many people in the East have 300 yr old family homes. No one can bare to get rid of the stuff.

 How much stuff do you keep for your next generation?


RAnn said...

As much as they want to store at their house? This is just my opinion, and YMMV etc. but using that sand painting as an example, either you like it and want it in your house, or you don't (and the same for your sibs). If you and your sibs don't like it and want it in your house, then do your kids? If not, I say get rid of it, either by selling it if it valuable or tossing or donating it if it isn't. As far as keeping it for the grandkids, if this isn't part of anyone's life now, there are no memories attached to it for them; therefore if it is valuable, sell it; if it isn't, donate or toss.

Bonnie said...

Janette, I've been taking pictures of stuff, writing a blog post about them and then getting rid of them. I call the blog "This Was My Life". I still have "evidence" of the memory but I no longer have it taking up space. And best of all, I have more room for more memories, looking forward, rather than back. You can check out my blog, its listed on the Rooms With Windows blog.

Janette said...

The down side of doing this while mom is with us? She wants to see everyone love the stuff. Donating "important pieces" is heartbreaking for her.

Linda Myers said...

I'm not much of a collector. If I look at something and have an emotional attachment to it, I keep it. Otherwise, off to Goodwill it goes.

My husband, on the other hand, is a different story. 90 percent of what we have in our house belongs to him.

Kimberly said...

We got rid of a lot of 'stuff' when we moved abroad. Some is still in storage though. It was hard going through my in-laws 'stuff' and I dread doing it with my parents.