It’s About All Of Our Stuff
During the past week, I’ve made a few trips to Baltimore to try clear out my mother’s house so we can put it on the market.
Now she was never exactly a Zen minimalist. But throughout her life, she systematically got rid of things (most things) that she didn’t need. Her criteria? If it wasn’t beautiful, or if she didn’t need it or love it, it usually went to the needy.
Some of it is fun to look at. There were old photos, letters and post cards from my great aunt Bobbie’s amazing travels. Some was hard to part with, but totally useless, like my father’s college yearbooks (now on my bookshelves) and his papers on the 1951`Kansas floods (not on my bookcases). And there were many items of value that we discovered in old bureau drawers and cabinets. There are antique crystal glasses that my mother’s great aunt gave her as a wedding present.
Some of these things need to stay in the family. Some can go to people we dont’ even know who need whatever we are giving away or selling at below market rates (OK, not the house!)
So, like I advise clients, decide what goes to family members (Great great Aunt Maggie’s crystal), what goes to a consignment shop (most of the furniture), what we send to Good Will (lots of clothes and some great shoes that unfortunately don’t fit any of her daughters), and what gets tossed (reports on the 1951 Kansas floods).
But bottom line?
It’s like we’re all an estate sale waiting to happen. I think my nieces and nephews will like me a whole lot more if, once I’ve finished with my mother’s house, I turn some serious attention to my own.