Retirees, boomer friends, golden agers what keeps you awake at night, besides the need to trot to the bathroom? You toss, turn, throw off the covers. Is it because you are too hot or is something else troubling you in the dark hours? Death, illness, finances? Or…how about downsizing and what to do with all your possessions, your lifetime treasures? Yes, worries about decluttering can stress us all.
You can find many an article about downsizing in the sunset years. You may be an empty nester looking for a smaller branch. You may be moving to a senior care facility to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle and to avoid being a burden to your family. But you can’t move an attic and a basement’s worth of boxes. So you learn all the tips of tidying and decluttering your possessions:
You know you can donate items to charity, or have a garage sale but what is really puzzling you at night is the one fact we want to ignore, but can’t- YOUR KIDS DON’T WANT YOUR STUFF! Don’t even ask them- they don’t want your silver sets, your bar glasses, your cosseted containers of their grade school art projects, their old ice skates and snowboards- THEY DON’T WANT IT! I won’t belabor the point with psychological explanations of why we like our stuff and why our kids don’t, because that won’t help you declutter and downsize. Just accept the fact and move on.
Update: Here’s a post from a Millennial who couldn’t give away his couch- even to charity!
Here are two things I have been doing.
First, I was certain that my kids would want my photo albums. I had albums that I had inherited from my grandparents and parents- fascinating photos from the era of Downton Abbey to the Swinging Sixties. The life of my siblings and myself filled several more volumes and then there were the chronicles I had compiled with the Kodachrome memories of my own kids. THEY DIDN’T WANT my photo collections. So, I bought a scanner and digitized every single snapshot. I saved them to my computer and cloud for myself, and gave my kids dvd copies.
Second, my kids don’t want my stuff, but they do want my time and they like to share activities. When they come over, we have big cooking events. They don’t want my gravy bowls, platters, or table cloths, but they do want to try new exotic recipes and talk and eat, and craft and drink interesting cocktails all together. They don’t want my stuff, they don’t even want the leftovers from our team cooking challenges, but they do want smiles and memories.
Update- Author Amanda Uhl reminded me of George Carlin’s classic riff on stuff.
I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I am writing a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement.
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