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Reevaluating Stuff

Monday, November 05, 2018

After getting my Mom's house ready to sell, I came back home and declared war on the extra stuff at my own home. I am not going to put my kids through what I went through. My Mom was neat but had drawers of beautiful antique dishes that she never used. I love dishes, too, but if I don't use them, I refuse to store them for my children, who will probably just sell them in an estate sale. Then there were the clothes and all the other signs of life.
I don't know what there is about things that makes us want to hang onto them. Maybe it's the memories they bring to mind. Maybe it's looking at a dress three sizes smaller and hoping that I can wear it again, even though it has long gone out of style. Maybe we think that things will make us look better or have more status. But the fact is that things have no real value. People have value. Time has value. Love has value. Things only take up space and time.
It's a huge job, but I have given myself a two year deadline and am pretending that I will be moving in two years. My husband is in this with me, so there is no struggle there. We're doing this for our kids. What better inheritance than the gift of time?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for sharing.
    237 days ago
    Dreading having to clean out my parents house. I think they are beyond being able to do this themselves. I've been responding to this frustration by trying to purge things from my own home. I like how you have given yourself a deadline.
    467 days ago
  • no profile photo CD22518161

    I read such an interesting book recently, I believe it was written by a Finnish woman about what they call, "death cleaning". I just love the idea. I don't want to burden my only child with all of my crap. Of course, some things are sentimental to me, but I have even pared that down considerably. I am also making clear commentary about where she can find certain things, like our birth certificates, etc.
    469 days ago
    Thank you for your post! My Mom is 96 and still in her own home. I can see what I'm in for.
    emoticon emoticon
    469 days ago
    I took photos of some of my favorite things that needed to go. A much lighter way to keep things
    473 days ago
    Been there done that when my mom passed. Now I am trying to eliminate "stuff" too as I don't want my kids to have to deal with it either. I also tell my DH that I don't want to leave him with a "mess" if I go first. I have kind of slacked off on it lately but your blog is a reminder that I need to get back into decluttering. My one big problem is that DH does not want to part with anything because, he might "need it" in the future. He has so many power tools that he can't use anymore because of his health but can't let go of them. I'm not going to pressure him. I'll just deal with it when the time comes I suppose. Good luck with your goal. You are doing the right thing.
    474 days ago
    Interestingly, the items that caused the most consternation among me and my siblings as to who would get them were the ones that held the most positive memories. Oftentimes, the physical value of them was not very much. So, I think you are right in that we are holding on to the memories. But...I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing and if holding a picture or an ornament is going to lift one's spirits when a person is down, I say it is okay to hold on to a few things.

    474 days ago
    5 years ago I bought my Dad's house so I just moved my stuff in around his as he stayed living there. We moved in the Spring and getting rid of stuff was a full-time job for 3 months. He still has a locker of stuff to go through and sort because I don't want the new house full to the rafters. I'm am being much more picky about what I bring into the house after that experience.
    474 days ago
  • JOANN25
    I admire you for taking the stand to get rid of the unnecessary things. I have started doing this in a small way but have a long way to go. You are right. Our kids don't need to decide on what of ours they should keep.

    Keep the things you treasure and are useful for you but the other things are just things and don't need to be held on to.
    474 days ago
    Getting rid of extra stuff can be hard...good luck it not easy but so important,,,
    474 days ago
    Both our dad's died 4 years ago, and I had to go through their possessions and sell their homes. Our home flooded soon after, and we lost so much of what we were holding on to. The pictures were saved. We feel better without the weight of possessi
    474 days ago
  • no profile photo IDAEVE
    Very great thoughts! I am sort of going through this as well. Mother is going from an apartment to assisted living. There are things to eliminate, clothes, papers, some furniture , etc. A few years ago she did take care of selling off contents of a large triplex she lived in and owned. That was such a blessing to me and my sisters. I agree, one does not know how we can hang on to possessions we no longer need or use. Especially clothes! Oh my! Good luck to you on your quest! emoticon
    474 days ago
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