Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cleaning out the clutter ...........

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I've been busy the last week trying to clean out junk at my Dad's. My brother is gradually moving his stuff into the house, so we have to get rid of the clutter to make room. My parents lived in that house for 65 years, so things have been accumulating for that long. My Dad didn't believe in throwing anything away. He believed it might come in handy one day or he might be able to fix it. Mom would try to clean out closets and Dad would rescue his things and put them back.

Then, as Mom got older, she didn't feel like going through and cleaning things out. I would offer to help, but she didn't want the confusion or mess involved. As a result, things kept piling up. Mom often told us she was going to come back as a ghost and laugh at us when we had to clean everything out. I wonder if she did. I listened, but didn't hear her laughing.

My sister came and got most of the valuable family antiques. Some have been in the family for hundreds of years. She has the only children in the family, so everything will eventually go to her two boys. Most of the usable and non-junk items will stay there for my brother to use.

We spent most of our time cleaning out old clothes in closets. We had cleaned out Mom's clothes after she passed away, so all we had to deal with were Dad's. I bet my Dad never threw away any clothes. Some of the suits must have been fifty years old. He had farm work clothes that wouldn't even make decent rags, they were so worn. I know we took at least twenty bags to the dumpster. We still have a pile to take to Goodwill.

While going through closets, we found a box of old curtains that I remember being at the windows when I was little. We also found a doll that I remember. There is a box of letters that my brother and I wrote to Mom and Dad when we were in college. When I get a chance I'm going to read them. I'm sure as we go through other things, we will find lots of memories.

12 comments:

Snippety Gibbet said...

Oh my. Your Dad sounds like my Mom. Anything broken was saved because "it could be repaired." Anything we kids owned during our childhood were "antiques." So her big old Victorian was a junk trap. After she passed on we filled a giant construction dumpster and had multiple yard sales. Those "antiques" and broken items were mostly pitched into the dumpster. That was some hard work. I hope that you and your siblings don't wear yourselves out dealing with all the stuff! jan

Becky Mushko said...

Don't throw too many clothes away. Some folks like to reuse vintage fabrics.

Linda said...

Oh my, I remember doing this kind of work. What amazed me the first time I went back to the house when they were gone was just how little they actually had. All of it was junk. It didn't seem like junk when they were living there. It was home, warm and inviting. With them gone it was junk. Still amazes me.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Sounds like a huge project for you. My mom and dad were not savers so when they passed it was not a huge job. good luck

Arkansas Patti said...

Sounds like a lot of work but also just a treasure chest of memories.
I look around at my "treasures" and am sure they will either make it to Goodwill or the dump when I am gone.

KathyA said...

How bittersweet this all is for you.
Testimony, too, to the fact that I need to clean out my closets!

NitWit1 said...

My siblings and I have done this more than once. It is both nostalgic and sad, and even humourous depending on the memories.

I have cleaned out my house recently for some agency. Since there are few clothes I am hoping for the Humane Society as along with the junk there ae some valuable items like a night telescope, a computer, and many parts.

I still have at least two other places to clean before I make the call.

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

I appreciate that there must be a mixture of emotions doing this job.
I sometimes worry that I mirror what my Dad was like... I now own a box of sturdy tools from the 1940s !!

Sweetflutterbys3 said...

That could not have been an easy job with just having lost your father. Hopefully, you'll have lots of good memories with your brother being so close by now.

CountryDew said...

Wow. Good luck with that. I am sure it is interesting and heartbreaking all at the same time. Take time to cherish the small treasures as you find them.

rachel said...

This is not an easy thing to do, I know. Clutter-clearing is one thing, but resurrecting so many memories at the same time can be emotionally exhausting. I hope you get through it all smoothly and find more childhood treasures along the way! x

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

You're lucky you have all that stuff to clean out. I would have loved to find old curtains I remembered from childhood! My mother threw everything away. Forget family antiques. I don't even have a single item from my childhood--not a rattle, or a school paper or a pair of baby shoes. Hence, I collect other people's old stuff.