Garbage crews must dread stopping at our house. My family is moving out of town and into a cul de sac street with some acreage and we’re sorting through the buildup of 15 years’ worth of junk. At least that’s what I call it.
My 13-year-old sister, Julie, has been teasing me all week saying we need to save it for the “memories.” As far as I’m concerned, my memories are good enough.
I spent Monday morning packing up our living room into about eight boxes and found a collection of still life drawings I had saved from an art class I took in the seventh grade. My mom had 20 watercolor paintings saved in the same place when she took a class with the same teacher.
I texted her at work asking if she wanted to keep them and I was surprised when she said no. You realize what you don’t need when it’s been hidden away in the dining room hutch for six years.
I told her she should have kept them to frame them and give them away as Christmas gifts. I don’t know how much of the family she could fool that she took the time to paint them especially with her part-time pharmacy gig and full-time mom gig, but I think that would have been a good use for them.
My older sister Carly and I went through the dining room Monday night and finished packing mom’s cookbooks and the clutter that makes its way to the dining room. My dad helped me with one box that had no rhyme or reason to it. Then again, the stuff we have doesn’t either.
We put some board games in the bottom, then my parents’ wedding silverware, Christmas plates and finished it off with old pictures my dad decided to keep in the dining room. There was a big print that said “Uncle Charley” on the back of a man and his dog.
“See dad, here’s Uncle Charley and here’s a big ass dog book,” I told him as we packed.
“Poor Uncle Charley,” dad laughed. I made sure the picture was placed with a scrapbook my great grandma had put together of black and white pictures. She had cut the edges with scalloped scissors and carefully slid them all into the triangle covers you only see drawn into pages anymore. It was the first time I’d seen something like that in person.
Like my mom’s paintings, a lot of it ended up in the trash. I found some things like emergency numbers for my brother’s classmate’s parents and 3 ½-inch floppy discs that were no use to keep.
I asked my dad about the floppies and he pointed out we didn’t have any computers that would read them. I was able to use the container they were resting in to safely pack up some saint statues, though.
Since our closing date is Aug. 17, my family is feeling the time slip away as we try to pack everything up. I set up a little yard sale Saturday after helping Julie clean out her room. We decided it was the black hole of the house. Whenever you lose something, it ends up in her room.
We only made about $30 selling junk, but we managed to get rid of some lamps and furniture that did not need to move with us. Of course, it wasn’t exactly a picnic to make sales while watching four kids and baby at the same time.
My aunt stopped over to drop off my cousin and some more stuff and I grumpily told her we were having a ball. She chuckled at me and said sounds stressful, welcome to adulthood.
Yes, welcome to adulthood. Moving out with nine people in the family makes me wish I lived alone. Or at least with people who didn’t like to hold onto things for so long. My mom is pretty overwhelmed with the whole situation and doesn’t enjoy the packing process. I’m pretty sure none of us do, but I think it will be worth it when we can enjoy the open floor plan and breathing room at the new house.