As most of you know, I lost my mother a few months ago and one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with is what to do with all of her stuff. She collected…lots of things. Those things didn’t have the same value to me that they held for my mother.
I put it off as long as I could, choosing to ignore the clutter until it finally drove me crazy. At that point, I just wanted to chuck it all. What I did do was pick out a couple of pieces that meant a lot to her and therefore me and then I chucked the rest. Sold some, gave away a lot more, and finally trashed the stuff that nobody else wanted.
I felt the difference the minute the last thing was gone…the stress of dealing with it, the guilt of not wanting it, and the aggravation of figuring out what to do with it. As I discussed with my friends we all said the same things. Why do our parents tend to think that if they loved it and thought it as valuable so would we?
Your kids love you they really do, but they don’t want your shit. That’s right, I said it. Sorry – not sorry!
We don’t want your Beanie Babies collection from the ’90s. We don’t even want your vintage lunchbox collection.
Aunt Clara’s dining room hutch? Nope. Uncle Paul’s shot glass collection? Nope… wait maybe…nope. Not even your great-great grandmother’s lace doilies. We just don’t want it.
We’re a different generation and we don’t collect things. The depression era created a world of “not enough” that seemed to take a least two generations to finally see that “there’s plenty”. We do collect a few things though:
- Cherished memories of going to dinner at Aunt Clara’s, but we don’t need a 500 lb. behemoth to remind us.
- We might even pick out a favorite among the 199 other shot glasses and send up a toast to Uncle Paul.
- What we collect are memories, experiences, and friends.
After a childhood of excess, we’ve developed a love of minimalism even if we don’t put a name on it. Things are just not important to us. They weigh us down and cause us stress. We just don’t need things to remind of us of who we are, who we know, or even what we did.
What about you? Are you a collector? or are you like me and don’t want to deal with it all.