Monday, July 20, 2009

It's All Just a Pile of Junk!

I spent most of today consolidating two of my storage sheds into one. It was a long, hot, grueling, tiring and dirty job - not fun at all but it had to be done. I can't keep paying money to store stuff that needs to be sorted through and donated/thrown out.

The trouble with all of this started when I was planning to move with husband #2 and put items in storage in anticipation of that. But then my Mom died and my parent's house was sold. Because my Dad was also very sick, there wasn't time to go through the contents of their house before it sold (we only had two weeks) and I ended up taking boxes of items from their house and just putting it all into storage. But out of sight, out of mind. Everything has continued to sit in a 10 x 20 shed until now when I just can't put off going through my stuff, my parent's stuff and husband #1's stuff any longer. I can't afford it and with the prospect of moving, it has to be eliminated in case I need to store furniture or items that won't fit into an apartment.

Problem #2 - I just don't have much time to go through everything, which is why it has sat for the two years my Mom has been gone. Hopping on over to a storage facility to work on clearing out your parent's old belongings is not up there on the fun parade of things to do. It is depressing and sad to do so. Time consuming and grimy besides. And because the storage site is some miles away, it is another factor preventing much progress on the task.

One of my close girlfriends called me last night having just returned from a trip to her parent's home. She had spent a week there of vacation trying to clean up/clear out the home in preparation of selling it. Her dad is now in an assisted living facility and her mom passed away a few years back. She claimed to have not made much progress in her week there. I laughed as she described how her dad hoarded everything and collected pencils, pens, rubber bands, flashlights, pads of paper and the like. The same with my Dad! In my cleanup of their home, I found a paper bag with probably 500, if not more, book marks! But my parents were not as organized as my friend's parents. There were boxes in my parent's home with papers in them ranging from 1972 - 2002 in no particular order. That made going through things more difficult because I needed to look at all the contents of a box - couldn't just assume it was all from the early disco era!

In talking with my friend, I mentioned that what made me so sad is that the fact that my Dad now lives in an assisted living facility and has no trace of the former life he used to live around him. No need for his extensive pen, pencil and bookmark collection. It is like everything in my parent's home ended up not amounting to very much in the end. My girlfriend understood exactly what I meant - she felt the same way too as she visited her father in his assisted living facility.

In the end, the vast array of stuff we accumulate and surround ourselves with is just junk! Worthless and taking up unnecessary space in the storage sheds or garages of unfortunate relatives left to the task of sorting through all of it. My girlfriend who was divorced in March also has her home on the market to downsize. I commiserated with her that here we are trying to get through the junk in our own lives and also stuck with the task of dealing with the mess of our parents.

These observations have given me the impetus to get through the junk as quickly as possible and to not hold on to much - the bare minimum of memories. It is serving a bit as a guide to how I want to move forward from here - with less clutter and unnecessary items accumulating and stagnating my life.

Today I am grateful:

1. For fireflies.
2. For ladybugs.
3. For butterflies.
4. For cottage cheese with pineapple.
5. For raisin toast.


  1. I know that's a lot of work and I hope it goes quickly for you. I've also been working toward the realization that stuff is just stuff. It's not what's important, and a lot of times it holds you back. I bet you will feel a huge burden lifted off your shoulders once you get it done! Now I hope your post will inspire me enough to go tackle my garage. :)

  2. I keep thinking or the concept that once you get rid of unwanted/unneeded clutter, new and good things will start flowing to you because you've freed up the space (emotionally and physically). A good image to hold on to in the face of clearing out garages!