It’s time to discuss some clutter trends I’ve noticed popping up.
Note I said clutter, not declutter. It’s patterns where people add more stuff to their lives, when they should do the opposite.
The first has to do with parents dying. Morbid, I know. But we need to talk about it.
Instead of selling and donating their parents’ stuff, (because parents are not getting rid of it before they die) their grown children are moving the entire contents of mom and dad’s home to their garage…
Into the attic…
Into the basement…
This means they can’t park cars in the garage, enter the attic or walk into the living room because their stuff AND mama’s stuff is in there.
One woman who did this told me she could not bring herself to “throw out her mother’s entire life.” It’s now sitting in boxes in her garage. She’s not even using any of it.
First, the stuff is not mama’s life. Your parents are more than the tea set and the old couch. Your parents did good work here on Earth, including creating you. Their accomplishments are way bigger than the things they accumulated.
Second, they are not in the stuff. When you donate tea cups, you are not donating your mother. She is in your heart. Always. Not in the tea cups.
Third, I wrote last week in “Your Stuff Does Not Appreciate,” everyone thinks their stuff is worth millions. When it comes to mama’s stuff, then people think it’s worth billions — with b — because of nostalgia, and the fact she is no longer here in the physical plane.
Unless mama left you a Monet, her stuff is worth diddly squat, so stop your delusions that you can sell it and be on Bill Gates’ financial level.
One more thing: your kids don’t want it, so don’t try to play the game “I am keeping it for them.”
For these reasons, people are afraid to make decisions, so they SPEND MONEY to pay a moving company to move stuff that is worth $0.00 to their garage. Do you see how insane this is?
As I tell clients, remember you will not die by making a decision to donate or sell your parents’ stuff. I know you are in deep grief. But the decision needs to be made.
Because putting off the decision will only cause you more anxiety, stress and possibly marriage problems. Do you think your husband wants his in-laws’ stuff in the garage, forcing him to park his luxury car out in the elements?
And two, if you put off the decision long enough, guess what? Your children will not only have to deal with your stuff, but also they will have to deal with their grandparents’ stuff. Please, don’t do that to your kids. You of all people know how much pain this decision has caused and how much time it has taken you to deal with it.
And instead of selling, I always encourage clients to donate to a charity, so they can help someone who needs it. Donating is way faster than selling piece by piece for pennies on the dollar. Yes, you may make a few hundred dollars, but — and everyone always conveniently forgets this part — you have to subtract your hourly rate at work from the money you made. So if you make $75 an hour, and it took you 20 hours to sell everything for $500 (when you could have been at work) it ends up being a loss. Take the tax deduction.
Don’t know a charity? We can help. We have relationships with many charities and an auction house.
Growth occurs when we get uncomfortable. Get uncomfortable and make the decision. Don’t bring it to your house to sit in the garage. Your parents want you to get rid of their things because their souls have no need for them. Souls only know love, not stuff.
Tune in Friday for the second clutter trend.