I’ve been thinking (as always) about how much stuff I have accumulated over the years. Even when I was younger, I always tended to have a messy room and my mother was always on me about cleaning it. As I grew older, the more things I accumulated. Clothing, toys, knick knacks and just -things-. When I went to college, it got to be a little less of a problem, since I was storing things in 2 places. In my college dorm, and at home. The home thing wasn’t so much of problem, as I would only come home a couple times a year, and my parents were paying the ‘storage fees’, ie, they owned the house. Then my mother died in 1989, and my father by then was already well into his Alzheimers. In 1992, when my brother and I finally decided to do something about the living situation, given that our father was likely going to end up in a nursing home (it wasn’t the most graceful of solution, and even today I think it was more due to my brother wanting to get the family fortune) we were faced with what seemed like an insurmountable problem.
For better or worse, my parents were terrible pack rats. Hoarders, if you want a more modern term. We both knew that our mother liked to store things, and when you have a house that has a little under 2,000 sq ft (185.8 sq m), that’s a lot of space to store things in. And boy, did my parents know how to make ample use of that space. When we were starting to go through the house and rented one of those dumpsters that people put construction waste in, we got a 10 cu yard thinking we’d be ok. Were we ever wrong! Managed to fill that one in less than a day. After having that one picked up, we ended up having to rent THREE more of the 20 yard dumpsters before we were all through. And actually even that wasn’t sufficient as there were still items in the basement that we weren’t able to figure out what to do with. If I recall correctly (it has been 26 years since we sold our parent’s house) we ended up auctioning off the antiques in the basement. The remainder of the things were left where they were, for the new owners to decide what to do with them.
Even so, there was a lot of stuff that was saved, some of which my brother took with him to his new home (and eventually sold off for one reason or another he informed me last year) but as for my stuff, it’s been in storage for the most part. The table that was in my parent’s kitchen is now in my dining room, the dining room rug is now in the front parlor and so on. Some things are repurposed, others have been stored. My wife on her own has done the same thing with the items from her parent’s house, she has her own storage space about the same size as mine with a lot of items that neither of us seem to have a use for. But we can’t seem to bear to part with them, even though for the most part we don’t have any logical use for them.
I was talking to my pet a month or so ago, and when I talk/text I tend to doodle on a piece of paper that sits on my closed laptop here at my computer desk. One of the doodles involved storage fees that I’ve spent over the years. In the 26 years of storage, I’ve moved the items four times. In all that time, storage fees have racked up to about $22,000 USD. Yep, that’s a lot of money. Could well have been spent on a lot of other things, vacations, home improvements, the works. But I can’t bear to part with my stuff. Maybe that’s nonsense, maybe it isn’t. But I’ve resolved to start doing some paring down this summer. I’m getting older, and there’s a good amount of things there that could be rehomed, and needs to be dealt with. I need to work on my future, not just concentrate on the past.
We’ll see how it goes.