Getting Rid of Other People's Stuff

July 23, 2012

We did it. WE MOVED. Insert big sigh here _________.

I was gearing up to post more packing tips, but my head is TOTALLY not there right now. I’m EXHAUSTED and my stuff is all in boxes sitting in a Pod in the driveway at the new place. Did we discuss how we’re buying the house I grew up in?  My parents built this house almost 36 years ago which means there’s 36 years worth of stuff to get rid of. Oh boy. My parents haven’t lived in this house full time for awhile so a lot of things haven’t been touched in a looooong time.

The task has been challenging to say the least.  I just cleared out my OWN house and now I’m doing another house, but this time it’s not MY STUFF!   My mom is trying to go through everything and figure what to hold onto and what to get rid of…there’s SO MUCH STUFF!  And right now I’m just an impatient High Straightenence gal who wants to get the house clean and completely EMPTY so I can paint, organize & make a home for my family. I also really want to see this house empty. It’s never been empty since I’ve been on this planet!

I really need to consider that this house stores a lot of memories for both my parents. I also have to remember that it can be really hard to get rid of stuff that you have emotional attachment to. I need to be more patient with my mom & her process and help wherever I can!

I could tell my mom was getting overwhelmed yesterday so I decided to make an organizing system so we can sort through the clutter.

We set aside the living room to be the sorting area. Different piles go to different places. I used pieces of paper to mark what each pile was for. When we were going through rooms, I asked my mom where things belong and then I immediately put them to the pile. Things went really fast this way and we made a HUGE dent in a few hours. It’s good because now someone else can come in and see a pile and help because the information is not just hanging out in one of our heads.

There are many more rooms to go through, a dumpster to arrive and loads of stuff to be taken away for donation. This is where I’m at right now…..getting rid of other people’s stuff.

Wish me luck!

13 comments on “Getting Rid of Other People's Stuff

  1. It’s super emotional to clear out a house that has been in the family for so long! I just helped my parents move out of the house that my dad has live in his ENTIRE life. Almost 70 years! He bought it from his parents when they retired and moved to the summer home full time, and now my parents have built a new place on the summer property and are making the big move there. Unfortunately real estate prices being what they are, none of us kids can afford to buy the house, so away it goes. We’ve been binning stuff that has been in the house since my dad was a teenager, all kinds of my grandparents things. It’s a HUGE job! Good luck with it, and try to take it easy when you can :)

  2. Tracy! I feel you. My parents house has sooooo many stuff too. I can’t imagine if one day they have to move. There’s just too many things. On my last visit I found my books from early high school! I totally didn’t remember all that history stuff they taught in school, ha! I should’ve got rid of them as soon as I passed the class… which is like… a decade ago…
    Lists and organizing system always help — your system is brilliant! Hang in there and I look forward to the next posts too because I might be packing overseas soon (my 3rd one in my life)!

  3. Wow that must be overwhelming for all parties involved! Sounds like you guys have a great system though. Good luck and keep us updated!

  4. You’re so sweet and thoughtful to balance your own desire to GET SETTLED NOWWWWWW with your parents’ feelings about cleaning out their home and all the emotion and baggage that comes with it.

    Good luck, Tracy!

  5. Tracy, I just want to give you a gigantic hug and just a slightly smaller adult beverage (or 2). My parents are moving/retiring from the house they’ve spent 35+ years in too. My favorite phrase is “when in doubt throw it out” and they may smack me if I say it more than 5 times a day. Our living room looks the same and felt SO MUCH better once we made piles and labels.

    I trully do look forward to you sharing this process with all of us. It will help keep me motivated and I know I’ll pick up some tips along the way. WE CAN DO THIS!!

  6. Emily May 23, 2012

    Oh man, best of luck to you Tracy! That sounds like quite the adventure. It also reminded me of why I really need to take the time to clean out my old bedroom at my parents’ house, which I haven’t lived in for 10 years but looks the same! Only dusty.

  7. I can’t even imagine!!!! I’ve thought about what it would be like to take over one of the parent’s houses and it seems REALLY daunting. “Hang in there, baby” seems like a pretty lame sentiment given the scale of this project, but… HANG IN THERE, BABY!!!

  8. I feel your pain! After my dad passed away my mom moved across the country with a tiny storage cube and I was left in charge of getting their house ready to sell. So. Much. Stuff. Just thinking about it sends my blood pressure skyrocketing. Just remember to take some breaks to breathe and it will eventually get done.

  9. Mariel May 23, 2012

    You’re a rockstar period for doing all of that! My parents recently came to the realization that if anything happens to them, my sis and I are the ones who’ll have to go through all their STUFF, so thank goodness they’ve started sifting through it. I struggle enough with maintaining my own household! If anyone can get the job done, it’s you, Tracy! Can’t wait to watch as your childhood home becomes your new home!

  10. Kristen May 23, 2012

    My parents have been in their home for 36 years and they have so much stuff. I could only imagine the stress your mom is going through as well as you. I am more of a high straightenance kind of girl so it would be so hard for me to find patience with my mom. It can probably get very emotional. Your story reminded me of Jeff Lewis’ new show on Bravo, Interior Therapy. Now I see why the “therapy” is in the title. Best of luck to you and your family Tracy!

    • Tracy May 23, 2012

      I really want to watch that show! I can’t wait until there’s a marathon. I’m totally binging. I love Jeff Lewis.

  11. So, I just helped a friend of mine prep and move into a new house. This house was also full of stuff…We’re talking CRAZY. All kinds of furniture, tools,odds/ends, letters (a trunk full, and just random), books, old planners, canned goods (home canned, some dating back to the late 80’s), old freezers, and the list could go on. I honestly think it was more work going through that guys stuff than painting, packing, unpacking combined!

  12. Holly May 24, 2012

    I’m cleaning out our storage facility this summer so I feel for you. At least it is full of only MY family’s things and not my parents’ stuff, so I have a much easier job. However, I’ve been married for 25 years so there’s a lot to sort through. I’m so grateful for eBay and Craig’s list because I hate having garage sales.

займ на карту