Last week I went with my parents to help out at my grandparents’ house. As of last September, both my grandparents on that side are dead, so now the family has to deal with their estate. My dad, as an executor, has been doing a lot of work there, getting the house ready to sell and sorting finances and whatnot. My grandparents had been living in that house for about fifty years, so they had fifty years worth of junk in there. When my dad and I arrived there on Wednesday night, I was led to the basement where my dad had piled boxes and boxes of stuff in the back rooms. He said he had already taken not one, not two, but twelve van loads of junk to Value Village, and that was after the five kids already took a bunch of stuff for themselves. Twelve van loads and there was still so much junk to sort through.
And that boggles my mind because when I go to away University every September, basically everything I own fits into one van. And yet my grandparents had accumulated probably over fifteen van loads of stuff. Stuff ranging from broken furniture to TVs to ancient books to candles to glasses to shaving cream to screwdrivers to scarves to approximately 500 curling pins. It took us two whole days, but we finally managed to sort it all and, with the help of several aunts and uncles, have a successful estate sale on the Saturday.
But it was a lot of work. I’m so glad my dad already took those twelve van loads away because I can’t even fathom having to go through all of that too.
My future kids will be lucky because I am not a hoarder. And I’m not saying my grandparents were hoarders by the technical definition, but there’s really no excuse for having about 15 sets of drinking glasses. My mom, who we put in charge of sorting all the kitchen stuff, was not pleased when we kept unearthing yet another dirty box and bringing it up to her for arranging. When I’m away at school, my mom gave me a few glasses, maybe four, but last year, I only used one. I’d just keep washing and reusing that same one glass. And the same two plates and two spoons and one bowl. I work well on very little.
Though I don’t really identify as one, I guess I am a minimalist. Except with more colours because I really don’t understand why minimalists are scared of colours.
I used to laugh at minimalists. Like, do they really think they’re so much better than the rest of us because they don’t have a bed skirt or any wall art? But it’s not about that. It’s about living a freer life and not having a lifestyle that revolves around material possessions. You don’t need ten pairs of shoes to live a full life. Besides, think of all the money I save by not buying things.
When me and my future attractive husband are dead and my future successful children are left to deal with my house, they’ll be lucky I don’t hoard things or have an excess of belongings. They’ll be lucky that I understand how unnecessary so many things are and do not care for a lot of things (like decorative pillows).
My future successful children will have it fairly easy. I can’t say the same for myself though. While my parents’ eyes have been opened by the recent events with my grandparents’ house and they plan to do a small purge, they are not minimalists at all. My mother is constantly trying to get me to buy more clothes and I’m not sure how someone could need more than one or two screwdrivers, (especially if they have interchangeable bits) but I guarantee my father has several down in his workshop.
I’m not saying everyone has to immediately convert to a minimalist lifestyle or toss out all their favourite things, I’m just suggesting that perhaps you take advantage of spring and do some spring cleaning. Get rid of any old stuff. Sell it online, throw it out, or, better yet, have a garage sale! Tis the season to make dealing with your inevitable death easier on your loved ones!
That’s all for now!