|Old Photo Albums|
April 12, 2013
In case you noticed there haven’t been many new posts this week, it’s because I’ve been busy clearing out my mother’s house. She’s in a nursing home, but will soon go to assisted living. It’s been an experience.
So many conflicting emotions appear when clearing out a house of over 50 years’ worth of stuff. While you make a renewed promise to yourself to declutter your own living space, you come across all the items that have memories for you. Which to keep and which to put on the sale? Deciding each item on an individual basis takes time and you get tired of making decisions. Thankfully we took several days to go through everything.
Right away we said that anything one of us had given Mom would go back to the giver unless they didn’t want it. We found a way to divide photos wanted by more than one “kid.” We spread them out on a big table and took turns picking photos. For one-of-a-kind photos we made notes as to who wanted copies. This went so well without anyone getting their feelings hurt, that we were quite pleased with ourselves!
Bigger items went to whoever in the family wanted them at no cost other than to arrange for the transport of the items themselves. A couch went to one of our family’s favorite charities for a group home. Mom will be happy about that. A granddaughter took a bedroom set she will use for her child; a grandson took a piano for his daughter’s future lessons. A granddaughter took a mixer that she remembers using when making chocolate chip cookies with Grandma. A grandson took some tools to remember Grandpa by. I took Mom’s old colander which I remember using so often. I am following my Mom’s sewing footsteps with some of her laces and fabrics. My new granddaughter will be getting some fun clothes from me after a while.
It’s a rite of passage I guess. The end of an era. All those holiday meals and fun times in the same house will exist in memories a long, long time. The few mementos we gather are just our way to try to hold on to some of it.
To close on a less serious note, think about what your family and friends will be saying/thinking when it’s time to clear out your place. Consider decluttering now! Maybe start giving away some things? Have a garage sale? I’m thinking my husband may be right–we need to simplify! So good to be home again even if it’s not perfect.