I had to clear out my parents’ apartment earlier this year.
This meant going through every single piece of paper starting with the waste paper basket, every single envelope, every single pocket in every single piece of clothing (coins, hankies, combs), every single pocket in every single bag and purse (coins, hankies, combs) etc, including every single everything.
This also meant figuring out where to take and what to do with posessions accumulated since my parents got married in 1947. There are some older treasures like my maternal grandmother’s song book from 1907 I think, my uncle’s war time letters from the front in 1944, some letters from my great aunts and uncles to my grandmother, old photographs in which I hardly recognize anyone. Luckily I’ve found a second cousin who does recognize many of these people.
Auction houses, charity shops and recycling centres are a blessing. As is the fact that it is more than ok to buy things second hand.
My siblings and their families and I took our share. I think we all would have taken more had we room for more. However, holding on to things for the sake of holding on to things makes no sense. Our parents are not in the paintings, furniture, silver objects, books, beautiful shoes, crystal glasses or tableware.
Our parents are in us, in our memories. Or, actually, we think they are at the cottage. Sometimes I can feel a presence. Nice.
The cottage needed clearing out as well. Mainly clothes but also some things that were kept just in case, like the lid without the kettle, excess amounts of glass jars and bottles, aluminium cooking utensils etc. About three metres of National Geographic magazines no one reads anymore (1960-2000) as we need space for things we brought from the city. Old flip-flops. Wire hangers that are always in a mess.
And now that I’ve been clearing out for so many months I feel I’m still running in that mode. So I’ve started going through my own corners. I did my basement storage area earlier finally donating childhood toys, Donald Ducks from the 70’s (my niece put them in binders and they’re now at the cottage) and… I can’t even remember any more. Which must mean I truly didn’t need them.
I started with my clothes this afternoon. Shapeless t-shirts I wear when cycling – how many do I need? And why can’t I try to look less haphazard when cycling? Floppy shirts from the eighties (yes; but the fabric is good). Skirts that bite into my waist. Shorts that bite into my waist. I even found the dress I wore to the school gradutation ball, eh, some decades ago. All go to the charity shop!
I still have to try on the clothes on hangers but I’ll take a break now. Needless to say, I am so pleased with myself!
After my clothes I will move on into the kitchen. For instance, why do I have two sets of twelve coffee cups when I hardly drink coffee myself? If I ever need more than one set, I can borrow or rent them. And how many bread knives do I need? I wonder how much clutter I manage to clear from my kitchen. Before I lug these to the charity shop, I will ask my nieces and nephews if they need anything I don’t.
I can recommend this. Feng shui at its best.
I'm Piisa and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this and that, maybe even on whatever.