Listen now (9 mins) | The Sunday Edition
This one hits differently for me. When my father passed away from Covid two years ago, all he had was house full of things for me and my siblings to go through--and little to no memories of him because he wasn’t a present father in our lives.
Since then, it’s always been less things and more people for me. 💚✨
You’ve hit one of the things I’m constantly trying to improve in my life. I have 4 kids which means they have TONS of clothes and TONS of toys. My wife is a bargain shopper so she finds things at phenomenal prices, but my thought it when we get new things let’s part with some of the old things. It doesn’t happen much and makes me looney! 😆 So I get rid of items when my wife isn’t home so there can be a bit of balance.
I would love to live a much simpler life. I’ll keep trying! Thanks for sharing! Maybe I’ll have her give it a listen :)
"I've never seen a hearse pulling a uHaul."
My fiancé and I live in a one bedroom apartment. We do a lot of traveling, so it's difficult for us to find space to store things. Fishing poles, tent, inflatable boat, air mattress, our camping tote filled with all the things you "need" in the great outdoors. Things are organized, away, and everything has a place, but sometimes it feels like we just have too much stuff!! 🤯
And I ask myself often, do we really NEED this?
Granny, I love you, but I don’t want the family fine China.
I lovingly, and gently repeated these words for years up until the passing of my dear sweet packrat of a grandmother. Born of a certain era, my Granny was not one to throw things away easily. Pantyhose from the 50s? They may come in handy one day. Giant pickle jars filled with dryer lint? Oh that is for making fire starters for the Girl Guides. Along with the those 10 years worth of tuna and spam cans. (Actually a really great DIY fire starter for camping.)
Living in rural Guatemala, I don’t have much space or use for fine china. Just the logistics of getting it here would have been daunting. But every time I was home or we talked on the phone in the years before her passing, my Granny would bring up the fact that it was to me that this honour of the family china was to be bestowed.
I love you Granny, but I don’t want the family fine China.
When she passed, I went home for her funeral and it was understood that I wasn’t taking the China with me. I’m sure my Aunt Irene ended up with it and her daughter will get it in turn. They have beautiful homes with cabinets filled with knick knacks and different dinnerware for multiple special occasions. The family fine China fits in well.
Sometimes as I peruse the accessories section of my local secondhand shop, I come across a full set of someone’s Granny’s fine china and I imagine its journey to reach these Guatemalan shelves. Donated to charity only to be resold and exported to far off lands where they will find a new life in the home of some Guatemalan family who sees the beauty in the delicate flower print and gold rimmed saucers and cups.
There is an endless stream of every possible piece of kitchenware and clothing you could imagine in any of the dozens of second hand shops here in my small town along the Rio Dulce. I’m amazed at the treasures I find. I make a point to only shop secondhand (bras and undies aside). It makes the things I buy more special and limits my collecting of things I don’t really need. I’ve always got my eyes open for some kind of treasure that will get me “Antique Roadshow Rich”. I hope it comes in the form of somebody’s Granny’s family fine China.
This sunday edition feels timely as i prep for moving. It's got me thinking about the things that bring my joy & delight, and the things that make me feel weighed down....it also makes me think of my grandmother, who was a master of having only the useful and joy-giving objects in her home. Between growing up with very little and being a pastor's wife who was forced to move across counties and states every few years for the next pastorate, she never clung to things. She never traveled outside the US, though she dreamed of it often. But she had many friends who did travel. When she passed, the only things in her apartment that served no purpose beyond beauty, was her collection of fine china teacups. Less than a dozen of them in all, each one had been sent to her by friends who purchased them in far off places on their travels. Each one carried a story and the memory of the loved one who found it and carefully packed and shipped it to whatever parsonage or rented apartment she was living in at the time. I am trying to practice letting go of things, not because I'm forced to (as she often was) but because I want to curate my life in such a way that most of the things in it bring me joy or make my home a comforting place to be. I want to practice to surounding myself only with things that light my eyes, the way my grandmother's eyes lit up when she told me the stories held in each of those teacups.
Boy do I feel this one so much today!! A thought that seems to be resonating with many as I read the comments....When we decided to move in together we needed more space due to almost-grown children living with us off and on. Now they are all out of the house but one who is away at school for most of the year, and all this space feels... daunting! As I was folding laundry wondering why I have so many of this and that, why do we have so much stuff, stuff that we really don't NEED?? My husband was never like this before we started dating so I "blame" this recent thing on maybe his comfort level, knowing that he has the time and space to collect things because neither of us is going anywhere anytime soon. Still, the downsizing of stuff is hard and emotional and scary and I struggle with it while at the same time frustrated with all the stuff.
This is so relatable. My parents have been storing so much stuff from my grandparents (on my mother's side). Even though they moved out of their house many years ago and into assisted living, the process of sorting, claiming, and giving away things has been long and grueling. Both of my grandparents are gone now, but still the mountains remain. There are many things that are treasured and have been split amongst the family, but there are also so many things that haven't been decided on. Things that we don't necessarily want to keep, but can't part with. Such a strange thing it is to feel that these belongings are the last thing we have left when loved ones die. It's definitely a process trying to discern what things mean the most and allow ourselves the freedom to let go of all that we no longer need to carry.
You've been in my house the last month, haven't you? / You've seen my daughter and I going through not one but two people's stuff. Most of the stuff from my father I got rid of years ago … the papers and documents that no one on earth needed anymore. All that's left from him are some records [including 78s] and some of the memorabilia that he received in his time as a district court judge [including his robe and gavel]. And photographs. / The other stuff was from my brother after he died suddenly of a heart rupture. His heart strings broke. Telling, so soon after my father had died [my mother died in the mid 1980s] / So much stuff that I was encouraged to take from everyone who helped me clean out his apartment [talk about stuff! I was in charge of trying to find a will … through SO much garbage paperwork.] No will was found. I inherited, among other things, the family photos and some memorabilia from two sides of our family. / My daughter and I finally went through it ALL and threw a lot of things away [even duplicates and triplicates of photos.] It was hard in some cases. Old photographs of people I had no idea who they were with no identification written on the back. One of my grandmothers did write some things, but not on my father's side. So many generations hit the garbage. / We also kept a lot. But not so much that we can't go through it all with much less rigor and will be able to make up parcels to go to my other brother and my family ancestry hunting cousin. / Then we hit our own drawers and closets and much of it went to charity … for people who really need the stuff. [There is another pickup on Saturday. Mostly our own things.] We cleaned out a lot. We can see the basement and front porch floors now. The only boxes left are of books and books, carefully weeded through. We still have many. / What we are left with is space and the vow not to accumulate without letting go of as well. / My daughter says she will inherit the photos, my mother and great uncle's artwork, my art books, and bric-a-brac, when my husband and I are departed. / All in all, it has been both melancholy and greatly freeing of excess weight. But you've been here. You've seen it …
Listened to this a second time with my son and he decided it was time to give a closet full of clothes away that had been his dad’s, who passed away. It was a good feeling to pack it all up and know the homeless shelters in the city will appreciate it all!
I am so ready to unload the excess and unnecessary shit around the house!