Whew! It's hot here and only supposed to get hotter! Wish we had central air *sigh* I spent most of yesterday at the other house - packing up 20+ years of junk my beloved (pack rat) hubby has accumulated during his days of bachelordom. Most of his belongings came to my house when we got married 3 years ago, but there is still a lot of crap - that's CRAP with capital "C"! at the old house. He saves everything!
So as he's working outside building a sandbox for grand baby (and future grand babies - hint, hint daughters) I'm inside with strict orders not to throw ANYTHING out without asking first. Ummm....yeah...righty-o pardner. The house is only 700 square feet right now. The new addition entails knocking out the west all of the house which will enlarge those 2 rooms by 6 feet each, and then adding a 24 x 24 great room beyond that with 3 bedrooms and a bath above that. But before they can begin taking that end of the house off - we need to clear those 2 rooms. So he has this one whole wall of junk he calls his "collection". I'm not sure what it's a collection of. I try to wrap and pack things in some semblance of order. There are lanterns. TONS of lanterns. Okay....so maybe we can incorporate a lantern theme in the den. Then there are cigarette cans. The real old kind that I guess they once sold cigarettes in. They're kind of neat. I like antiques. We may be able to display these somewhere. But the rest? Egads! There are these old blue glass insulators that he insists are collectors items. Maybe they are. I'm sure we only have the $3-5 ones. Then he has old old jars - some are okay - most are dumb. Old matchbooks, a monkey toy that pulls his pants down (that's a keeper...), trivets that were probably his mother's (and she can have them back!), a dog collar that has a tuft of fur still on it from his Great Dane that died 8 years ago, a piece of blanket from the same dog's bed, need I go on? We've got the dog's ashes on display for goodness sake's! (Great Dane - lots of ashes!) Suffice to say I got 6 boxes full of stuff. And there's so much more to sort through.
I tried to box things according to "maybe we'll use again...probably won't use again....and "not on your life!" Of course it's not my call. It's his junk. So I'm hoping that after I put a few things on display, he'll forget about the other boxes and they'll sit in the basement for the kids to sort through someday when we're both gone.
And did I mention the cow stuff? His nickname is "Cow" (got it when he was a little boy and had a pair of jammies with cows on them). Needless to say everyone in the world has fobbed onto this and feels the need to give him something cow related at every given opportunity. He has cows everywhere!! Cow flags, cow dishes, cow pictures, cow books, cow t-shirts, a cow tea pot, a cow ice cream scoop, a cow toilet plunger!! The cow thing is not going to be easy. I've slowly started moving some things to the outdoor kitchen area and outdoor lav. Maybe we can keep the herd outside - where it belongs.
Anyhoo - I spent hours in there and I barely made a dent. He now has to go through the magazines I boxed (there are 4 boxes) and make sure he doesn't still "need" any. Some date back to 2000. He needs to purge. Mercilessly. It's not that I don't save. I'm as sentimental as the next person. But I've learned that "things"...while they make evoke memories - are not necessary to hold onto the person (or dog) that's gone. I suggested we get him some old photo boxes and label them. "Grandma"....."Bozworth" etc. And he can store several special items in each that he wants to keep to remember them by. I've done that and it works. The items are at hand - I can open a box at any given time and sift through the contents...shed a few tears and put them back.
The only good thing about spending all day doing that - was that I couldn't eat! The indoor fridge is turned off and the cupboards are empty. So I drank lots of water. When I was done I went out back to see how the sandbox was doing and we shared the remnants of a sub he'd bought for lunch Saturday and never finished. Things taste better when you're really hungry. Even soggy subs.
Oh....and the book above? I've read it. If you suffer from packrat syndrome (like my dear sweet hubby) it's a 'must read!"