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View Diary: Painfully Cleaning out Stuff (130 comments)

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  •  This is a wonderful heartfelt diary (15+ / 0-)

    And I thank you for it.

    I wish every partner/spouse and parent who keeps unnecessary things would read it and ask themselves if they want to do this to their loved ones. As you, Lori, and Dave remind us, we can't predict the future. But we can ensure that we don't make things harder on our families than they have to be.

    Stuf IS just stuff. I've learned this over a career of dealing with natural disasters. I've learned this standing in the ashes of my childhood home, my parents' home of four decades.

    My mom loved her antiques, her collectibles, our childhood art. She was devastated to lose it all.

    And now she says, "it's just stuff. "

    mr grover and I recently moved across several states. We donated, recycled, gave away, left on the curb with "Free" signs, and tossed.  

    In the year since our move, I've only needed one small thing that I had donated. It cost me $3.00 to repurchase.

    The "I might need this" scenario virtually never happens. When we empty our physical spaces, we open ourselves up to life's opportunities.  

    I wish you peace and happy memories as you sort through these things, Lori.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:47:09 PM PST

    •  Thank you for your comment. I guess most people (7+ / 0-)

      (me included) don't think about how much stuff will be left for others to sort through. I certainly wasn't as aware of it as I am now!

      •  I do think of it. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lorikeet, JBL55, grover, foresterbob

        In my career as an investment manager, I worked with trust officers who often served as estate administrators. Many of our clients had NO ONE to clean up after them. As executor, we did it. The trust officers might spend days, even weeks sorting and determining how to deal with "stuff." And each time they went into someone's home in the morning, and came back in the afternoon, they would wash their hands, put on their coats, and say, "I'm going home now to get rid of some things."

        And indeed, having been to all of their homes at one time or another, I can tell you they did not have a lot of extra "stuff" visible.

        •  Wow, talk about an unforeseen occupational (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBL55, Melanie in IA, grover, foresterbob

          consequence. I can see how that could have such an effect.

        •  We don't have children. (5+ / 0-)

          I think about it a lot.

          I think my nieces will want the few family heirlooms that I've  labeled ("great grandma's sewing machine")in an inconspicuous spot and my grandparents' wedding photos as well (also labeled). The wildfires took all my family's homes, so I have the only few family items left. I think they'll want them.

          But I expect that most everything else -- including my lifetime of photographs and slides -- will be tossed.  What will my nieces and nephews do with them?

          So I donate my books to libraries NOW while they're new and can either be put on shelves (some of the expensive histories and biographies find their way there)  or to other charities to be resold for top dollar.  

          I always have a "donate" box in my spare bedroom and I just drop things in as I go through the week.  It's less of an ordeal and it's probably easier on the psyche to always be looking for things to be "giving" away than to have to set aside time to "clean out" a closet or a room.  Whenever I pick up something, I mentally evaluate, do I need this? (Not wan to have it near me, but need it?  And yes, my Native American Pottery undergoes the same scrutiny. Most of the pots have stayed. But I have decided that I don't need a few of the lesser pots, especially if a charity can sell it for decent money). )

          And mostly I just don't buy things, especially clothes and household decorative items, particularly if they're on sale. Getting a good deal on something doesn't mean I need to own it.

          It's not a good deal if it sits in a closet unused.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:22:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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