Monday, February 5, 2018

When Your Daughter Is A Minimalist....This Could Happen

My parents began decluttering their massive home, and the initial results filled up an entire moving truck. No, they are not physically moving; but rather, they are moving things that no longer provide a purpose or joy to their lives. Being in Missouri for two weeks during the holidays allowed me to help my parents with moving items down three flights of stairs in some instances. As a person that avoids upper body exercise, I met my quota of strengthening for the whole year. Also, my parents stated that it was encouraging and motivating to have me there to assist them delving into truly what items add value to their lives.

So how did my parents execute the daunting task of sorting through years of accumulating and storing items that belong to themselves and others (including their granddaughter, children, grandparents, great grandparents, and other relatives)? That is over FIVE generations of stuff taking up space, collecting dust, and being unused! My parents still have the goal of downsizing to a smaller house, so they realize the reality of taking everything with them is unrealistic, and thus begins their journey towards their new goal.

My parents were initially thinking of participating in the city-wide garage sale that occurs in the spring, but after evaluating the time and effort to do so, they decided that donating the items was the most practical option for them. Their local Goodwill will come and pick up donations if there are at least three big items (usually furniture). My parents donated seven large items; therefore, Goodwill also took their boxes and containers of unwanted stuff.  The truck was emptied when it arrived, and was full when it left. After the truck departed, we came across a few more items that were meant to be donated, so we dropped them off to the store ourselves. It was fulfilling to see many of the items from our home were already out in the store for purchase; things that we were no longer using were finding new homes and not ending up in the salvage yard. Remember to find ways of reusing and repurposing when decluttering when possible and appropriate!

Decluttering the House

  • Games/Puzzles: there are so many games/puzzles we no longer play or have outgrown; in addition, there were many card games that were missing cards.
  • Books/Magazines: there were so many childhood books that were donated; some were recycled, such as the collection of TV Guides and Disney Adventures.
  • Furniture: there are many pieces of furniture that are not utilized in my parent's; the ones that were donated were those that have been deemed uncomfortable.
  • Kitchen items: my parents use to own a restaurant, and they have kept many shelving units and dishes that were utilized there. My parents also had many dish sets, and so they ended up donated all sets except for one; which freed up a lot of kitchen cabinet space.
  • Baskets: I couldn't believe the number of baskets (various sizes) that my parents possessed.
  • Children clothes: my mother kept almost all my baby clothes; although it was immensely nostalgic to go through them, I decluttered many of them.
  • Holiday decorations: my mother loves to decorate for the holidays, but she is expending less energy and time into this tradition, so there were many items she was able to donate.
  • Pictures and frames: my parents have accumulated many framed pictures that no longer pertains to their tastes and removed them from the walls and storage.
  • Niece's toys and belongs: My niece is now a teenager and no longer plays or utilizes many of her things at my parent's house. She went through her things, and kept those that she was unable to get rid of yet.
Dish sets and random dishes

This shows about 60% that was donated

Old luggage, stuffed animals, games, and the couch were donated

Puzzles, games, stuffed animals, books, and videos

Dish sets that are not used and wedding crystal

The items that my niece donated
Figurines that I had received over the years of my childhood.

Stuffed animals that were donated
We recycled this box of old TV guide books

We filled up this entire truck of things that we decluttered.

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