Dividing and conquering was the name of the game after my mom passed away. Like a lot of families, logistics and a time frame came in to play for getting a house of 50 years emptied.

Most of the stuff in the house that our parents used in their daily life was pretty easy to go through. To no fault of our parents, there were also totes and more totes in the basement. We just felt the timing wasn’t right for going through those and trying to decide what to throw out and what to keep. So, we put that type of stuff in my basement.

It was the right decision at the time because it just took making any more decisions off my plate at an emotional and stressful time. The stuff was out of sight, out of mind.

Fast forward a few years and it was time to go through the totes of stuff and memories. The day before I planned to do this task I’d been dreading, I was getting my tires changed and thumbing through a magazine.

Sitting there in the waiting area of a tire store, I came across an article that really hit home and made me feel better about what I needed to do the next day.

It went something like this: “Remind yourself, that you’re not casting memories and heirlooms aside. You’re creating breathing room in your current life, freeing yourself of extra weight (a lot of mental weight for me) and recognizing that what’s most important is happening right now, not what’s in a box in your basement.” 

What perfect timing for this message!

The day I’d dreaded for about four years ended up being a pretty good day. I didn’t feel bad about getting rid of some things. I also realized the memories spent in totes in the basement these few years was time well spent. I had new appreciation for things I may have gotten rid of in the moment.

My take away? When that time comes – and it comes for all of us – you might feel different. This tie in a person’s life is different for everyone. For me, I’ve been able to free myself of the guilt of letting things go. The things I’ve kept, I love and enjoy having in our home.

And, for heaven’s sake – buy see-through plastic totes if you store things! Duh. The not see-through totes we used made going through stuff a lot harder. When they’re see through, you can quickly find the stuff you want to go through and know what’s in the boxes!

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