Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy - Decluttering! Some Wonderful Finds!

This week's Rabbit Holes work was starting to declutter the house.  47 years in this house, and 52 in the marriage.  We collected a lot over time and it's been hard to let any of it go.  Space gradually filled up (four bedrooms (one now the genealogy cave), family room, living room (a dead furniture repository), hallways, bathrooms, and a two-car garage.  Full of stuff.  It's going to be a big job.  The temptation is to let the daughters do it all when we are gone and they want to sell the house (probably a pot of gold for them!).

When my daughter was here last week to see Linda and help me around the house, she started with Linda's jewelry boxes and cases.  There are now boxes for rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, watches, earrings and pins.  She matched many earrings up which were in two different cases.  

I started looking through Linda's filing cabinet in our bedroom.  I knew it had a lot of her personal history, and I wanted to separate the useless stuff from the keepsakes and historical stuff.  I have several grocery bags full of useless stuff for the trash.  

In the process, I found our Wedding Memories book and our 25th wedding anniversary Guests book.  Those are definitely keepers!  Linda did a wonderful job of documenting the first year of our marriage in 1970 - filling pages for How We Met, the Engagement, Showers, Parties, Family Trees (incomplete - should I fill it up?), Notes, Invitation and Announcement, Wedding Gown, Attendants Gowns, Attendants, Ceremony, Marriage Certificate, Newspaper clippings, Reception, News of the World, Guests, Wedding Trip, First Home, and Gifts.  I remember almost all of it!  

I also gathered the two defunct desktop computers, three monitors, one printer and two tube TVs and put them out on the driveway for the e-waste recyclers to pick up (helpfully, I got a flyer in the mail saying it was free pickup on Saturday).  They finally picked it up on Tuesday.

So there's some progress.  

I'm going to go through the genealogy cave and find paper I don't need, and probably notebooks too, since I have almost everything in digital form on my desktop computer and on iDrive.  But there's about 50 linear feet of notebooks, and another 20 linear feet of paper stacks, plus 30 linear feet of periodicals in stacks.  There is also 8 file cabinet drawers of genealogy and personal files that need to be sorted into trash or save, and anything really special needs to be identified and put in a special place.  It's good that the house is built on a slab!  My plan is to grab a stack and sort them into trash or save while watching the baseball games.

There are another 10 linear feet of genealogy books and about 30 linear feet of inherited books, history books, or fiction books all over the house.  They can go to local libraries, genealogy society book sales, etc. 

I need to find all of the photographs (some in albums, some in boxes, some in stacks, some on sheets) and get them all in one place.  The framed photos and artwork can stay on the walls for now.  The daughters will want them (I hope).

Linda has about 10 boxes in closets, in cabinets, or on the floor of greeting cards and bathroom and kitchen supplies that need to be sorted too.  

The clothes, shoes, furniture, kitchen stuff, bed stuff and towel stuff can wait for when the house has to be emptied and sent off to the trash, shelters, charities, or consignment store.  

The daughters can pick through the jewelry, furniture, photos, artwork, and memorabilia when we both are gone.  

At least that's the plan for now.  I have so much work ahead to make it happen.  But I have to start now.  I still feel very mortal.

It's time for this genealogy bunny to find some carrots and salad (and ice cream) to give him energy for the job to come.


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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Marian B. Wood said...

Good for you decluttering and junking the junk so the special items including genealogy materials will be recognized by next generation as the treasures they really are.

Sharon said...

I agree with Marian--"Hats off to you." I keep saying I am going to do it, but somehow find other things to do instead. Procrastination is the death of me. You are a great example for me to follow. You carry on the Seaver tradition. Your folks gave example to us, Linda helped me with some very difficult times and now you are. Thank you.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Good job, Randy. It is best to get started on this now. I've been working through my paper files as well, and either scanning and recycling, or keeping what needs to be kept. It is time consuming but helpful for the next generation!

Dick said...


I was afraid I had an excessive amount of stuff in the house until I read this.

Oh my, I've got a long way to go before I get into this category, thank goodness.

Dick Belz

Susie Q said...

You are great to start this project. Would love to know what you think when you are moving item to trash or save???? That is where I get "stuck". On we go!!!

Unknown said...

Hi, Randy
Me too! 3500 sq ft of house with lots of closets and cabinets plus a storage room under the double garage. When you have space, you fill it (must be part of Murphy's Law.) My stuff, some from my deceased husband, two children, several grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter about to marry and move out. Have been working for months but have just scratched the surface of videotapes, cassette tapes, photos, photo disks, and negatives. Large file cabinet full of paper, mostly useless. Boxes of family memorabilia (the OLD stuff), as it seems I am in charge of that by default as others died.
My decision? Digitize everything, keep a record, and offer it to family members. Then get rid of the actual items. If your kids don't want your silver, china, and crystal, they sure don't want the rest of it!
My motto: God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things, and right now I'm so far behind I'll never die.
Dolores Hansen Nelson, a former member, now living in Centerville UT, age 85.
There must be a pony in there somewhere!