So, my exciting day was spent de-cluttering. Emptied out two “junk drawers”, one “junk basket”, the top shelves in my closet (all 25 feet of them), and the top of my bedroom bookshelf. My bedroom still looks disgusting, but there IS a significant improvement in the storage space.

I think that something “clicked” this month that never really had made sense before. I started thinking “What would my kids do if hubs and I died and left all this crap in the house?” I mean, seriously, we have the key to the garage of the house that we sold in 2004. I meant to send it to the new owners. Yeah, uh, 8 years ago . . . .

There’s a lot of junk left that was my mom’s stuff, too, stuff that makes no sense for me to keep since it’s neither sentimental nor fashionable. Some of it is crudely-made wooden shelves and clocks, done in an outdated “country” style that was really big in the ’80’s. There’s also a bunch of mutilated looking “antique” stuff that she either found in an old fallen-down barn or picked up in a yard sale . . . none of it really has any value since it’s in such poor shape. If there’s anything I’ve learned from “American Pickers”, it’s that stuff has to be in good shape to be worth anything. Sitting in my garage for 22 years has probably not helped their condition, but they were pretty junky when she picked them up.

I’ve picked up a lot of junk along the way, myself, stuff that isn’t valuable at all, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to let it swallow me alive. So I’ve begun trying to make our house a home that has “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

When I lose motivation, I watch an episode of “Hoarders” and suddenly I feel inspired.

Some things, I’ve decided to USE instead of simply letting it rot in a box somewhere. My great grandmother left me her collection of milk glass dishes. A couple of them didn’t make it through all our moves cross-country, but I probably have complete settings for 10 of  little coffee-cups and little plates suitable to have a slice of coffee cake or a couple hors d’oeuvres. Milk glass isn’t terribly valuable, especially the Depression-era stuff that my Mamaw collected, but it’s pretty and useful for . . . parties. I am finally done with buying cheesy paper plates and cups for birthday parties, saint’s days, and holidays. All I had to do was to bring out the white dishes I’d had stashed in my china cabinet for a couple decades and start using it.

The little boys love it. They call it “our party cups.”

Now, that  was worth hauling all that stuff around all these years.

But I’m trying to be serious about what I’m leaving to my kids. You never know when your number is up. So it makes sense to have all your ducks in a row (figuratively speaking. Ducks are never that orderly.)

I don’t have a single valuable item to pass down to my kids, so I don’t have to worry too much about making an elaborate will. In this economy, you have to make a choice between having lots of things or having lots of kids, and since I like kids, that was kind of a no-brainer. But families will hold grudges for CENTURIES over heirlooms that have no monetary value. My mom fought viciously with her sister over a turkey platter. I’m stuck with the darn thing now, since I can’t figure out how to safely ship it from here to Arizona. If I can find a way to pack it right, it’s headed your way Aunt S. I just would hate for UPS to shatter the thing NOW . . . after all these years of lugging it around the country.

What will my kids remember about me? That I loved rabbit figurines and little pretty boxes? That my Walt Disney World mugs were my favorite souvenirs? Who will want the milk glass and who would rather have the rocking chair? Who’s going to get stuck with making all the old pictures digital and then sending them to everyone? Is everything going to be cluttered and impossible and frustrating? Is it going to be moldy?

I’m going to give them a head start and make some of that dreadful work more bearable. It’s going to hurt . . . books will have to be disposed of, and I hate getting rid of books. But 20 boxes? Who are we kidding, here? No one’s going to read them all and the popular series books will be in all the libraries for years to come. Do I want my legacy to my children to be more misery when they’re wading through my junk?

I don’t want that. If they remember anything about me, I want them to remember love . . . not possessions.

That’s a legacy worth handing down.





About endurancemom

Writer of fantasy and historical fantasy fiction, mother of 6, former nurse, Catholic convert, wife of 25 years, and general all-around geek. Warning: Do not attempt this at home. View all posts by endurancemom

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