Friday, November 09, 2012
Cleaning out my Dad's place(s) has given me a renewed sense of getting rid of things. I think we amass STUFF and most of it stays unused. Why??
The clean out has been a big deal. I won't say my Dad was a hoarder but his place(s) needed work. We took back two overflowing shopping carts full of things he bought but didn't use to the store yesterday. He probably had more clothes than my sister and I. The paperwork clutter was tremendous. We still have to do the garage. That will take a while.
I feel bad in saying this - I want to be clear he was not a bad person - and it wasn't as bad as some of what I have seen on TV.
My grandmother though IS a hoarder, it is kind of sad. But it makes it hard to clean out where my Dad was living at her house (he was mostly living there, taking care of her). She moves things and insists things are hers so they won't be taken away or donated, some rooms are so cluttered we can't tell what item belongs to who. She used to be neat, years ago.
My Mom holds on to things as well. She could open a food bank with all she has in her garage, many times we have to watch things because they are long since expired (not fresh food, but canned/packaged). She liked a salad dressing, couldn't find it, so when she did - she bought 14 bottles, for example. She has taken so many things from my Dad's house - sometimes she has multiple items of the same thing yet you often can't find them because her garage has so much stuff. My brother also took carloads full, and his three car garage is so full, they can't park cars in it.
My sister says it makes her want to go home and donate most of what she owns! I want to go through things I have already packed for my move when I get back and MAKE SURE I am using all of them.
Why do you think people hold on to so much stuff? I have watched the TV show, "Hoarders", and it seems many times people do it after some sort of tragedy (sometimes there is no root cause), or sometimes growing up "without" can make people also feel like they need to hold on to everything. I am somewhat paranoid of becoming this way, too, since I have relatives that were at least borderline like this.
Several years ago, I quit my job and sold all I owned to travel the world. Driving away after that, I felt so free. I've read that holding on to things is more than material - it's also a symbol of emotional clutter. I feel - I hope anyway - I'm getting to the point where I am ready to just let it all go, and start things anew.