Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HAVING LESS STUFF AND LEAVING LESS FOR OUR KIDS TO DEAL WITH....

As I have sat here listing things to sell on auction sites, it has made me realise the need to own less.  Lately I have listed cookbooks and knitting patterns, some of which belonged to my mum.  My mum had a smallish collection of Australian Womens Weekly Menu Planners and a larger collection of knitting patterns, many of which had been torn from magazines over the years.  When I lived at home I cooked many meals from the little Menu Planners and she gave me a few of them which contained my favourite recipes when I left home.  When Mum had to move into a nursing home almost 3 years ago, 2 of my brothers and I were left to clear out her unit.  My sister in law got in on the act too.  I arrived there that morning after taking my kids to school to find a trailer half filled with "rubbish" (or so it was deemed by my sister in law and one of my brothers).  I was shocked.  Perfectly good woolen blankets were in that trailer.  I got angry and hauled them back out,,,,honestly who would just toss out woolen blankets???  I told them that with 6 kids, I would certainly make use of them!  I headed to the bookcase, knowing that my Mum's old encyclopeadias would be hitting the bin too.  I piled them up to bring home with me, knowing that the kids would enjoy looking through them (and they have!).  At the time I forgot about these little Menu Planners.  It was only when I went to visit my brother the other week that I noticed sitting on top of a box at their front door, a large bundle of Menu Planners.  I said to my Sis in Law "I didn't know you collected those too" and she said "oh I don't they were just some from your Mum's house that I'm giving to the Salvos cuz I don't want them".  I took them out of the box and placed them in my car - she wasn't impressed - even though I said to her how sentimental they were and how much I had used them when I lived at home and how my kids have enjoyed cooking from them too.  She muttered under her breath "you probably got the good ones at your house" lol.  Upon getting them home I realised there were about a dozen that were double ups, I have no idea where those ones came from but I decided to list them and as with anything of mum's that I sell, I put the money aside to buy her some new clothes as the need arises.  (My sister in law doesn't see the point in this either, but Mum gets the pension and by the time nursing home fees chew up that, there isn't much left for any luxuries for her, so to me, every little bit helps)

I guess the moral to my story here is that so many of us have so much "stuff" lying around our houses.  When we get old and if the worst should happen and we have to suddenly go into a nursing home or we die unexpectedly, it is our children who get left to go through all that "stuff".  I am a sentimental person and I have "inherited" boxes of mum's ornaments, suitcases of clothes and shelves of books.  Naturally the clothing she has used, as I rotate clothes around for her taking up new clothes each change of season and bringing home the other stuff she has at the nursing home.  As for the ornaments though, 99% of them are stored in boxes in my carport.  I have taken out a few of the more sentimental items and have displayed them in my house but the rest sits in boxes.  So much stuff did get either tossed out or given to the Salvos as there is only so much that you can keep.  Her furniture had to get sold.  It was a lot to deal with when we were all feeling so stressed out about the whole situation.  Doing this made me decide to get rid of stuff in our house.  I have so much to list and try to sell.  So much stuff has been donated to the Salvos etc it is truly unbelievable. 

While we are striving to live a simpler life and get rid of stuff we don't use, thinking back to my Mum's house makes me just want to get rid of it all NOW.  I don't want my children having to go through our things and feeling guilty at having to get rid of it.  My husband is right when he says we should try and sell stuff first and then if it doesn't sell either Freecycle it or give it to charity.  We have always looked after our things and our kids have mostly done the same.  Very little goes into the bin here, it is pretty much all worthy of earning a place in someone else's home to be given a second chance.  My husband and I have decided this week that any money we make from selling our bits and pieces will go towards a holiday with the kids.  Hopefully a trip to the Gold Coast again.  Since so much of the things we have to sell are actually kids toys, we figure that they too, should benefit from their sale. 

So for the time being, I will be striving to list as many things as I can.  I sure could use that holiday and I know that emptying this house out a bit will make me feel much better too.

3 comments:

Jen R said...

A woman sfter my own heart...I having been trying to downsize my Aunties belongings with her for the last 18mths...she lived with me for 12 mths and is now in a granny flat...but she keeps getting more stuff!!
My new business Now Let It Go is exactly what you have been doing, going in and helping elderly and/or their families sort, sell and store their items.
Im dreading having to sort my Mums stuff when the time comes...she has 4 wardrobes just of clothes, shoes and bags!!!
hope you make lots of $ for your holiday :)

Tania @ Out Back said...

I will treasure your little menu planning books, cant wait for them to arrive :)

Any excess stuff that we no longer need gets put out the front of our house for someone else to make good use of. So far we have gotten rid of all that has been put out there. Clothes etc I just give to the Salvos, although this time I am keeping them and going to make crafty things with...oneday lol!

x

OurGangof7 said...

Lol Tania, I too have thought about keeping the kids clothes for making crafty things,,,,I have to keep telling myself no!
Our house is great for getting rid of bigger stuff as well, anything with a free sign disappears very fast, we got rid of a swing set an a cubby house and also a couple of older beds and bikes. They are gone within an hour normally....we don't even live on a main road lol!