If you read my post yesterday you'll 'get' the post title today !!
On Friday we headed off up the motorway for a weekend with my Mum, it wasn't for a nice social time, of talking and enjoying ourselves, it was for a weekend of work, hard work. Mum kept us fed and watered and helped in every way she possibly could, but it was a weekend of lifting and shifting. Of blood, sweat and tears, a sobering weekend that left us all drained both physically and emotionally.
The top picture of this post is of my Dad's garage, it's not even a 'Before' shot, my brother had already taken at least 26 large black bin bags to the tip and Mum has been constantly filling her wheelie bin each and every week since my Dad's death in March. But it is a 'Before' shot of this weekend. The one immediately above this, is what's left that was worth keeping to sell, not all 'good' stuff but stuff that will be interesting to some folks at car boot sales and should make us some money.
Over the course of two days we filled one medium sized skip to capacity and took a truck completely full to the top and back with broken up furniture and wood, my brother drove backwards and forwards to the tip with more bin bags and smaller items in his car.
This is the same view 'After', when our large truck is full to the roof and back with the things to sell. There are still things tucked in the cupboards and drawers at the back which we will be picking up soon. We have never once left Mum's house with an empty car after a visit since Dad's death.
Another view towards the garage door before we started sorting on Friday afternoon.
Almost the same angle at the end of the weekends work.
Lovely Hubby did some minor repairs to the garage door when we had almost finished, this was after all the first time we had been able to open it in twenty years, yes you did read that right 20 years of the garage being inaccessible from this end. And why did I call it Dad's garage earlier on, because in the whole of this space the only bit that was ever Mum's was a tiny corner of the top of a cupboard near the side door where she stored a a handful of gardening things, oh and the freezer that she used to store their harvest in from the allotment, but when that broke down a couple of years ago it couldn't be taken out and disposed of because there was no way of getting it out of the space it occupied, so instead it was used as a cupboard and more 'things' were stored in there.
Do I sound slightly bitter here, yes I guess I do, someone asked in the comments after Saturdays blog post about 'Things' how I could 'get in the mindset to get rid of things' and said that they would keep things 'just in case'. I get in the mindset very easily, I have seen and felt the pain my Mum has been through over the last 20 years because of 'things'.
It started gradually with my Dad, worked it's way into their lives almost imperceptibly when I left home to be married at eighteen. There was suddenly a spare bedroom, he filled it with 'things' gradually over the course of a few years. When they moved house his things and the others that he had added to them suddenly had more space, a loft, a garage, a shed, and then came the allotment where 'things' are almost expected, after all you had to hold on to useful things there for re-using, re-purposing and re-cycling. He moved things from the garage to the allotment to make himself more space for more things in the garage.
What you have to be aware of though, so very aware of, is that 'things' can take over.......and in my Dad's case they did.
This problem is now widespread, my Dad was of the age when he and countless others like him saw their mothers scrimp and save and have to make use of every morsel of food, every inch of ground to cultivate and every item of household goods over the war years and after. That is understandably hard to shake off, now however, the problem is different, we live in an age where it is almost a national past time to go shopping at the weekend, for food, for clothes, for things to possess. Why .....do things make us happy? I know from personal experience they do not.
A jokey photo, but we were shattered!!
So why do I find it easy to get rid of things.....because I never want or need to own more than I can use. I do see the pretty things I have and I use them. Nothing lurks in my cupboards that needs sorting out and deciding over. I have what I need and I like it that way. When something breaks I fix it, if I can't I will replace it, I don't mind where from, it can be secondhand or new, I do buy what I need and I occasionally I buy what I want, but what I want are usually things that I need so there is never a conflict.
I will not depart this earth leaving work for others, yes, there will be some sorting, there always is, both financial and physical but it will take a couple of days not a couple of months.
My name is Sue, my Dad was a hoarder, my Mum loved him dearly and helped keep his secret, but now it's out and almost sorted through and we are all absolved from the guilt and the pain it caused.
I loved my Dad dearly and I still do, he loved us all too and this was his illness.
Don't let it be yours.