All four of our children are sprung, but not their stuff. We still store memorabilia, some clothes, and high school papers that one 30 something can’t possibly part with. In their defense two of our children live out of the country, and one has a two room apartment with no storage space. The fourth young adult? Well…it’s complicated. During my first year of purging I implored each of them to tell me what absolutely must be saved and what I could give away. They all answered similarly – almost everything was a treasure. Please don’t give it away.

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Thus, I was delighted when our daughter made a home visit from Afghanistan and said that her birthday present to me would be to sort through her stuff and identify give-aways. Great! I eagerly awaited the results.

True to her word, Heidi did produce a decent sized pile of things she no longer wanted. What I didn’t expect was that she also included in her pile additional items of OURS that she thought cluttered the house and WE no longer needed. Some I agreed with, others I didn’t. It’s interesting how a different pair of eyes appraises what is important or a necessity. For example,

  • Heidi’s give aways
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    She was happy to give away all HER pretty childhood dresses. (I’ve been saving them for when our 3 year old granddaughter gets to be 4-10.)

  • She saw no need for the paperback1989 Desk Encyclopedia or 1992 World Almanac. “That’s what the internet is for!” (Easy for someone with a smart phone to say but OUR computers are rooms away.) In my mind, these are quick dining room reference books to settle dinner debates about what country in Africa is completely surrounded by another country.
  • OK, I agree that the silk flower arrangement does look a little shabby and is a pain to dust. (Wait, I never dust it. Maybe that’s why it looked so disposable.)
  • Meanwhile the boxes of college files and Peace Corps artifacts didn’t count because, “Oh, mom, they’re neatly packed up on that high shelf. It’s hardly a bother to keep them.”

So, as with most things in life we compromised. Actually I compromised since she’s gone again to far off places and I have the final say. 😕

Thoughts to ponder:

  • Are there things that members of your family value differently?
  • Which things are you willing to let go of but they aren’t (and vice versa)?
  • Have you ever been to a friend’s home and thought, “Hey, I could clear out a lot of the clutter here.”
  • What would the friend say if visiting your home?