In the process of selling my parents’ house, there is definitely a line between things to keep, things to offer to friends, things to donate and things to just toss. While I have put a master list together on what goes where, there is always that emotional wrench seeing all those bits and pieces that made up a home.
For example, Mom loved big, tall lamps; I don’t. Mom loved vases; I don’t. Mom loved doo-dads; I don’t. Then there are all the pictures and paintings; I’ve taken the ones I liked, but the rest need homes.
There are some things I’ve kept because I can’t quite let them go, but know that someday I can. I think I’ve gotten past the ‘oh, Mom/Dad loved this so I should keep it’ even if I personally don’t care for it.
Does anyone remember the show where experts went to a home and helped people pare down their stuff? They put up three tents; one for keepers, one for donations or give-aways or selling, and one for tossing. When the owners protested over something, the expert asked why they felt they needed it. The conversations went like this:
Expert: “Why do you want to keep this?”
Owner: ” It was my grandmother’s”
Expert: “Yes, but do you like it?”
Owner: “Not really.”
Expert: “Then you don’t need it.”
It sounds simple, but there is a lot of emotion involved. The Crankee Yankee and I already live in what we call our “*blivet.” We periodically go through our stuff, asking ourselves those same “expert” questions. With this in mind, we have to be careful of what we take from my parents’ house.
So there is always going to be stuff to be dealt with; the bigger question is, do we need it, want it or even like it? It’s a hard and often emotional process, but we just can’t keep it all. When it comes right down it, stuff is only stuff. We have to decide what stuff we really need to keep, and what to set free.
*Blivet: colloquial for ‘ten pounds of crap in a five pound container.”