Jefé and I look at a lot of houses where the former resident has died and the house is still full of stuff the kids don’t want, nor do they want to clean it out of the house. It’s decades and decades of accumulated junk.
As we stroll through these houses, I have asked Jefé a hundred times:
- Why did they let it get like this?
- Who lives like this?
- Why did they keep all this crap?
- Why didn’t someone pitch this stuff a long time ago?
For years, my late father told me not to keep things/stuff I didn’t need. “Get rid of it,” he said. “All it does is clutter up your house. If you haven’t used it in six months, pitch it.”
After he died, my brother and I cleaned out the basement and garage, and discovered that Pops didn’t practice what he preached. He never threw away anything. I found 72 screwdrivers in one drawer of his tool box. 72!
Now, sadly, I have discovered that the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I, too, am apparently a hoarder. I have always thought of myself as one who purges and cleans and gets rid of unnecessary clutter.
We moved recently. At one point, the First Lady and I had a large storage unit stuffed with my good stuff and her junk. We also filled a POD in the driveway. We made about 15 trips with the car and SUV filled with small items. I rented a truck and cleaned out the garage of lawn mowers, bicycles, ladders, tools, etc.
And, at that point, you still couldn’t tell we were moving! The movers were coming the next day for the large furniture and appliances.
I told the First Lady, “This is ridiculous. You’ve got to get rid of all your junk.”
“Me!” she said. “Let’s do a little inventory and see who has the most junk, shall we.”
Sadly, she was right. I have become my father. I still had his tool chest with the 72 screwdrivers.
We’re now on a mission to get rid of stuff.
I have nightmares of ending up on one of those hoarding television reality shows, the psychologist asking me why I can’t part with a couple of screwdrivers.
Yes, we’re on a mission, and this time I mean it!