Purge Your Stuff-End-of Life Planning

Are you a hoarder?   Probably not like that TV show that shows people buried in their stuff!

But are you saving all of your stuff for that time in the future when you think you might need it or want it, or perhaps believe that it will somehow come back in style? That's what Nonnie thought.  She was a saver, and definitely a child of the depression. Nonnie always thought that she would once again wear her bright multi-striped mexican "maxi" skirt with its matching sombrero and wear it to some fabulous event! It didn't happen.  I was the one who donated this outfit after she died. The holidays seem like a good time to clean up and start the new year with a lighter load. Nonnie was a pack rat. It seemed like she had a million bottles of "goop samples" that I found (and either distributed or tossed) while helping Boo clean out her stuff after she died. Do you have piles and piles of stuff?  Do you have things that you haven't touched, or perhaps even seen, in what may be several years? It is almost the end of 2012.  The time has come to purge your stuff! 

Why now? Ask yourself....why not now? If you think that it is really fun after someone dies to carefully sift through decades of dusty, unorganized documents, photos, gizmos, tchotchkes, and gadgets that your loved one has kept (or merely tossed up and stored in an attic or basement), think again. It is not fun.  And, it is hard work;  especially if you live on the other side of the country! Nonnie lamented about the many weekends she and Boo spent traveling back and forth from upstate New York to Canada with car loads of stuff from cleaning out her in-laws home after they had both died within a couple of months of each other. It was an enormous task. New Years Eve is coming.  Time to get your house in order! Don't wait.

Last year, Boo and I teamed up and declared our New Year's Resolution for 2012. For 365 days we would each donate one of our own personal belongings to  a charity, give it away to family or friends, or simply throw it out (if completely unusable). We did this every day for 365 days.  That's 365 items. Does that seem like a lot? It does, but realistically it is not. This is an amazing New Years Resolution that we both recommend you try. It's easy and it feels great to lighten your load!  You will be amazed to find all the things that you have "hoarded" that you either don't  need, don't want, or won't miss. You can even make some money by selling on Ebay! Or post it on Craigslist.org. And, when the inevitable happens, you will have saved your grieving family members hours upon hours, perhaps even days and days, of cleaning out  and dealing with all of your stuff! I did, however, need to remind Boo that I did not want him to continue to ship his items to me adding to my pile! I laughed many times when I have received over the course of this year a  funny report card, a teacher's note, a grade school picture of me, or a signed (age 10) promise to my parents to never, ever,  smoke cigarettes! Boo recently sent me an aging brown and crumbling index card that announced the following: "To Chatty's Mother, Somebody forgot to pull the string. Seriously, Barbie has been much better about her talking. I really do see an improvement surprisingly-so quick an improvement.   Thank you, Maxine Bittner" A note to Nonnie about my talking too much in first grade! Ha!  Now you can understand why I like to engage in conversations about planning for the inevitable! Got Junk?  Or any junk stories you would like to share?