Back in September 2009 I wrote about cleaning out my mother's house after her passing and my frustration with her inability to throw anything away. I actually found a box of clothes in the the garage labeled "clothes that don't fit anybody anymore". Now I've seen the reality show "Hoarders" and it was a revelation to me. To have a name for this.....condition. Mama was a hoarder and she couldn't help it. Just to know how many people there are out there dealing with this has made me feel better.
Now it's almost two years later and I am still trying to get the house cleaned out. Some other family members continued to live in the house because they had nowhere to go. Turned out they were hoarders too. I finally got everyone out in September last year then I broke my wrist and was unable to do anything, now the weather is nice and I'm back at it helped by my wonderful daughter without whom I couldn't do it. Hoping to get the house up for sale (finally) in a month or so.
This whole thing has made me take a long, hard look at myself. I mean I collect things too. But how much is too much and when do you cross the line between collector and hoarder. Do you not realize what's happening? When I was a child Mama was an immaculate housekeeper. At the end you couldn't walk through her house. So I've been destashing and selling tons of interesting little stuff on Etsy and taking tons of ordinary stuff to the thrift store to be recycled. I feel the need for an uncluttered life.
Here's something I found today when we were cleaning.
It's my grandmother's purse. And it's stuffed with ephemera of ordinary life in the 1930s - receipts and driver's licenses and wage statements and here's where Grandpa bought a mule in 1936 for $240 which seems like a lot of money in the thirties seeing as he paid $75 for his car. It's trivial and fascinating at the same time. And now as the eldest I am the keeper of the purse.