Over 30 years in one house

by Laura

When my grandfather moved to assisted living, he'd been in his house over 40 years.

It was a circus, with family members and others close to him taking stuff out. My brother wanted a desk in the basement. We had to lever letters out of the drawers with a knife; they'd been there since the Depression. Also, the house must have been built over the desk as the basement door had to be removed to get it out!

We've been in our house for 32 years this spring. We, who used to move by loading our car and truck. My husband is a fix-it genius but the corollary to that is that we never get rid of anything because it either might get fixed or might be used to fix something. So on his side, there are drifts of potential usefulness.

I'm guilty of taking what others give me. I wasn't going to take a lot of the things I got from grandfather's house. I got shipped tons of stuff from my father's wife when she decluttered. And I am slow to get rid of clothing because my size changes constantly up and down and my shape is hard to fit. Still, I have way too much stuff.

The pandemic has killed off consignment stores in my area. The nearest one is an hour and twenty minutes away. The clinic doesn't admit anyone to the waiting room where they give away cold weather gear knitted by donors--I'm one. So my knitting is backed up. Sell it? Etsy and I aren't on the same page yet. I took a truckload to the dump. It cost me $5 to dump the construction debris from about 5 projects in the house. There's more in the basement. Lots more.

I do what I can. I throw away stuff, shred paper, wear out clothing and pitch it, hit up my brother to take what he wants of our family stuff.

My husband bought shelves for his tools, organized the wood he thinks he can make into something, and helped me identify stuff that can be pitched. Just keeping up with the boxes from Amazon, carrying supplies we use, is a big chore.

My dream is to pick out just what I can't live without, which is mostly wool and tools to turn it into yarn. Not to mention the yarn LOL.

Sell the house, have a cleanout artist deal with the stuff, and buy a much smaller place. After the wool stuff goes in, buy just enough furnishings to live there, and keep decluttering.

Comments for Over 30 years in one house

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clearing out
by: Cindi H, Ohio

Scandinavian folks actually have a special word for clearing out things when you get older so your children do not have the huge job when you're gone. (Don't ask me what it is - I don't remember)

If you have things you think someone might actually use, you can take pictures and post them on Marketplace on Facebook as "free". Other than that, you're probably stuck with trips to the dump.

It is very freeing to empty out stuff. We tend to do a decent job at keeping our place clutter free, but even then after living in our former house for 33 years, it was a challenge to get rid of stuff prior to move out of state.

We also used to be the folks who moved with a car and pick up truck. Hah! No more.

Best of luck. It's great living "lite".

Wendy: OK Cindy, I just HAD to Google this. Yes, the name is Swedish Death Cleaning. It is creepy but it's kinda meant to jar you into action to decrease the burden on your family.

Never give up!
by: Over-stuffed

You are not alone! This is very hard work we do at this stage of life! So many of us are in the same crowded boat!

All I can say is, those of us who are working on it, too, are with you in spirit!

I always thought it would be helpful if people could go to each other's homes and judge what was"junk" because it is so much easier to see that quality in someone else's items!

Best of luck! Take heart, be brave, and never give up!

Declutter NOW!
by: Michael - Sunny and Warm Venice Florida

One item at a time. Three boxes. One box for items to keep. One box for items to donate or sell. One box for items to throw out. And, a local church might be able to accept your knitted goods for the needy.

I was lucky. I sold my condo and moved in with my husband. That gave me the opportunity to throw stuff out. Then, we retired and moved to another state - another opportunity to get rid of stuff.

One day, all the stuff that has meaning to us will mean nothing to someone else. That's the way its always been.

My parents have been in the same home for 50-plus years. When the time comes, as my Mom says "you kids will have to deal with it."

Do your kids a favor. Clean out the clutter now. Or, at least leave them a few extra bucks to rent a dumpster!

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