During these holidays my main goal is to get a lot of decluttering done. We just have too much stuff that we've accumulated over the last 35 years that we no longer need.
I come from a family who kept everything, 'waste not, want not' was almost a family motto. My grandad was a second hand dealer and my mum was a hoarder in the years that she became ill with Alzheimers. She grew up during WWII and keeping 'stuff' just in case was part of life for many of her generation. When she died I inherited all her 'stuff' along with lots of family history memorabilia. I did sort through and dispose of a lot at the time, but quite a bit of it was still here - up until yesterday.
Over the last week I've been through all of our clothes, wardrobes and drawers and our bedroom is now completely decluttered. The last two days I've spent in the spare room decluttering my sons things and more of mums stuff that I had stored there.
The room was filled to the doorway when I started with the floor and bed piled high with boxes and bags and wardrobe full with stuff stacked on top. After two full days working on the room it's now useable as a guest room.
DD and I had an enjoyable time looking through lots of their childhood things, notes, artwork, school awards - a lot of good memories of school days - we laughed a lot and then tossed 99.9% of it out. We texted DS pictures of some of my mums things to see what he would like to keep and he chose a few items, as did DD.
There are no grandkids to pass things on to and at this point it looks unlikely there ever will be with both my kids in their 30's and no partners on the scene. I would love to have grandchildren but have accepted that it just may not happen for me. So DD, DS and I were able to make decisions together about some of the family memorabilia - which really helped with feeling a bit guilty I wasn't keeping everything. This was much better than me storing things for years that no one wants and would just be tossed out once I died.
So yesterday, (in this awful heatwave we're having) DH filled his van up and made a trip to the dump and this morning I'm about to fill it up again and make a trip to the op shop - all with stuff decluttered from the spare room. Now I can leave the door open and see a nice clean room with a freshly made bed which the cat has claimed - she's always been curious about what was behind that closed door!
I still have a LOT more decluttering to do, I've started on the linen cupboard and the sewing room is coming up next. It will be so much easier to keep the house clean with less in it.
While I've been decluttering I've been watching some you tubes videos and I came across this interesting one which is where some researchers documented the contents of middle class US homes. It reminded me of an essay I did back in uni for sociology on the meaning of items we keep and how women are the keepers of family history.