Out of sight, out of mind

This lamp is not only heavy and hideous, it could be a fire hazard. I can't in good conscious donate it to Savers, can I?

This lamp is not only heavy and hideous, it could be a fire hazard. I can’t in good conscience donate it to Savers, can I?

This post was inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt.

Is there junk in my life? Oh hell yes! I have a basement full of old, broken, unused crap. But guess what? It’s not mine.

I suppose the ethical question is do I let it keep gathering dust until Grandma passes? Or do I start getting rid of stuff now? Her advancing dementia and the countdown to my daughter’s May high school graduation have convinced me to tackle the problem now. There are boxes Grandma insisted she had to have that I moved up here only to remain taped up seven years later; there’s an entire room she never goes in.  You can’t miss something you don’t know you have, but you can tackle getting an entire house in shape for a pending move in phases. I christen phase one Jettisoning Grandma’s Junk.

The ceramic owl lamp that weighs at least 30 pounds and flickers so excessively Grandma insisted it be unplugged before it started a fire: Gone.

The two enormous antique bookshelves full of dusty old westerns and romances that were probably read sometime in the ’70s: Outta here.

The nine unopened mystery boxes that could contain some priceless family heirlooms but in reality only hold more bizarre junk that Grandma couldn’t part with but has no practical purpose: Adios.

If I’m honest with myself, I know it’s not only Grandma who has junk lying around. When I moved here after my divorce seven years ago, I vowed to stay downsized. But little by little, crap snuck in. I have an office full of desks and computers my children and I abandoned for laptops at the kitchen table. I have electronics that are probably worth something on Craig’s List, but the thought of shady people calling me looking for components for their “projects” kind of creeps me out. I have a living room full of furniture we sit on approximately 3 times a year.

I read the other day the floating island of trash in the Pacific Ocean is now twice the size of France. Facts like that make me reaffirm my pledge to live simply. But what do I do with the junk I already have? Maybe I’ll haul it around for another 40 years and let my kids sort it out. Nah, seeing Grandma to the finish line has made me aware of many things, but most important among them is do what you can to minimize the burden you put on your family. My kids might not be as accommodating as me. 🙂


10 thoughts on “Out of sight, out of mind

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