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Old 05-16-2016, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,853,288 times
Reputation: 47263

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A long story. Our 33 year old single (unemployed for now) daughter lives about 4 hours away. She came down to help us go through some things but mostly her stuff she had here for a long time.
She came to us from Korea at 3 months old and I have always cherished the ugly but beloved jammies she was dressed in. I had put them in a bag along with her Baby Book in the closet. She told me she took digital photos of every page of the baby book and the outfit and that was all she needed. The jammies and babybook were in the trash. It crushed my heart.

I imagined her one day showing these things to her own children. No photo can replace these cherished items. A huge argument/drama ensued.

She told me there was something wrong with me for placing such importance on "things" and that we would never be able to move in a few (8-10) months if I was going to get all sentimental over every single thing that has to be decided on. She , her Daddy, and I all sat down to discuss the situation. We aired some feelings and frustrations. I assured her I was not going to get sentimental over every plate, book and item I handled but that these particular items were very special. I assured her we need her help,appreciated her help and would make great progress with her help. The original plan was for her to take a much needed break from her boyfriend. But she said she would rather avoid all the drama and stress she sees coming and she just won't help. And then she left a few hours later.

While she was talking I suddenly become my mother and she became me a few decades ago. I remember being impatient with my mother's inability to let go of things we both knew she would never use. But I toughed it out and helped my mother move several states OVER and then took her into my own home with two teenagers. I learned to let her reminisce and take her time and didn't go barging in declaring YOU HAVE GOT TO GET RID OF ALL THIS CRAP OR I'M NOT GOING TO HELP.

So now we sit with a 77 year old man in relatively good health but not strong, a 69 year old wife in poor health with no strength or ability to even stand for very long much less carry anything. (and did I tell you we have two 14 year old daughters in the mix?)

Is this where we hire a professional organizer? How much do they charge - by the job or by the hour? We have a huge amount of space to cover,(5000sf house to a 3000sf house) not much stamina but a true degree of determination. Time is on our side and we are spending 2 hours 3 days a week at least dedicated to this purge.

Suggestions- thoughts?
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:20 AM
 
7,824 posts, read 4,412,856 times
Reputation: 11640
I seriously need help selling my stuff... I'm not "mercenary" by nature and just can't get motivated to sell this. Whereas I notice most people will expend all kinds of time and energy trying to get a buck for a free glass vase (free with bought flowers) that you'd find at a thrift shop for a quarter. I'll probably end up just giving it all away again, which just kills me.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,853,288 times
Reputation: 47263
I can relate. But I would feel better at least giving it away to somebody who might get some use out of it than tossing it in the garbage to languish in a landfill for a hundred years.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:26 AM
 
7,824 posts, read 4,412,856 times
Reputation: 11640
Just give it to a thrift shop; who gets it if anyone becomes their problem. Getting it there is sometimes a challenge, however. Intentional "gifting" of particular items to individuals is rewarding, but exhausting!
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:45 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 5,085,406 times
Reputation: 12907
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
A long story. Our 33 year old single (unemployed for now) daughter lives about 4 hours away. She came down to help us go through some things but mostly her stuff she had here for a long time.
She came to us from Korea at 3 months old and I have always cherished the ugly but beloved jammies she was dressed in. I had put them in a bag along with her Baby Book in the closet. She told me she took digital photos of every page of the baby book and the outfit and that was all she needed. The jammies and babybook were in the trash. It crushed my heart.

I imagined her one day showing these things to her own children. No photo can replace these cherished items. A huge argument/drama ensued.

She told me there was something wrong with me for placing such importance on "things" and that we would never be able to move in a few (8-10) months if I was going to get all sentimental over every single thing that has to be decided on. She , her Daddy, and I all sat down to discuss the situation. We aired some feelings and frustrations. I assured her I was not going to get sentimental over every plate, book and item I handled but that these particular items were very special. I assured her we need her help,appreciated her help and would make great progress with her help. The original plan was for her to take a much needed break from her boyfriend. But she said she would rather avoid all the drama and stress she sees coming and she just won't help. And then she left a few hours later.

While she was talking I suddenly become my mother and she became me a few decades ago. I remember being impatient with my mother's inability to let go of things we both knew she would never use. But I toughed it out and helped my mother move several states OVER and then took her into my own home with two teenagers. I learned to let her reminisce and take her time and didn't go barging in declaring YOU HAVE GOT TO GET RID OF ALL THIS CRAP OR I'M NOT GOING TO HELP.

So now we sit with a 77 year old man in relatively good health but not strong, a 69 year old wife in poor health with no strength or ability to even stand for very long much less carry anything. (and did I tell you we have two 14 year old daughters in the mix?)

Is this where we hire a professional organizer? How much do they charge - by the job or by the hour? We have a huge amount of space to cover,(5000sf house to a 3000sf house) not much stamina but a true degree of determination. Time is on our side and we are spending 2 hours 3 days a week at least dedicated to this purge.

Suggestions- thoughts?
I can see why you would think she should want those jammies - I know I would, but maybe they mean something else to her. The birth parents she never knew. Does she think of that? Does she tell you?

Your situation with your mother and hers with you is two different things.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,853,288 times
Reputation: 47263
thank you. from what she tells us she has only positive feelings about being adopted by us and coming to America and she was dressed in the orphanage where she spent her first 3 months from birth so it's not like those jammies came from her birth family. I sincerely think she is so into a minimalization lifestyle she can't see the value in something like this. Who knows, maybe the photo will be enough for me but right now I love looking at her homecoming photos and holding those jammies at the same time and remembering that incredible night when she changed our lives. I also think it is a generational difference. I'm glad my kids are more into experience than things. She and her boyfriend live in a very small studio apartment so that there is plenty of money left for eating out, concerts, vacations. I would rather have a more spacious home and cook at home.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:38 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 5,085,406 times
Reputation: 12907
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
thank you. from what she tells us she has only positive feelings about being adopted by us and coming to America and she was dressed in the orphanage where she spent her first 3 months from birth so it's not like those jammies came from her birth family. I sincerely think she is so into a minimalization lifestyle she can't see the value in something like this. Who knows, maybe the photo will be enough for me but right now I love looking at her homecoming photos and holding those jammies at the same time and remembering that incredible night when she changed our lives. I also think it is a generational difference. I'm glad my kids are more into experience than things. She and her boyfriend live in a very small studio apartment so that there is plenty of money left for eating out, concerts, vacations. I would rather have a more spacious home and cook at home.
Doesn't mean that she thinks the jammies came from her parents, but that they came from wherever she came from.

And that she will never know. Be open minded. There are so many things that could be going on in her head.

Maybe she's also wondering why you waited so long to take care of this.

From reading your other posts I always saw you as a very energetic person/couple, so I'm surprised to read that you have health issues. You should hire someone to help you.

Really those jammies were yours to keep. I'm sure that don't take up much room. Too late to get them out of the trash? She could have done whatever with them after you left this earth.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,853,288 times
Reputation: 47263
oh you betcha I retrieved them and the baby book. They are going to the safety deposit box with all the other treasures in the morning!
I've just come out of a CROW boot I had to wear for the past 11 months so I can't stand too much now. Also had a heart attack early March and recovery is slow. We will definitely be hiring some help. We live in a university town so I'm sure I can find an energetic person or two to work with us.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:35 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 5,085,406 times
Reputation: 12907
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
oh you betcha I retrieved them and the baby book. They are going to the safety deposit box with all the other treasures in the morning!
I've just come out of a CROW boot I had to wear for the past 11 months so I can't stand too much now. Also had a heart attack early March and recovery is slow. We will definitely be hiring some help. We live in a university town so I'm sure I can find an energetic person or two to work with us.
Good! I was feeling so sad for you to have that precious memory tossed out in the trash!!

Keep the things that are really important to you. There is downsizing and then there is downsizing.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,960,476 times
Reputation: 6718
Default Your Kids Don't Want Old Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
oh you betcha I retrieved them and the baby book. They are going to the safety deposit box with all the other treasures in the morning!
I've just come out of a CROW boot I had to wear for the past 11 months so I can't stand too much now. Also had a heart attack early March and recovery is slow. We will definitely be hiring some help. We live in a university town so I'm sure I can find an energetic person or two to work with us.
Are you really serious? Putting old pajamas in a safe deposit box? Safe deposit boxes must be cheap where you live. Ours is about 10"x15"x5" and costs $133/year. And the only things that go in there are very important papers (like the deed to the house and birth certificates) and a few small valuable items (like some jewelry my father asked me to put there).

I think young people tend to be more mobile than older ones. They move around more. They also tend to live in smaller places. They don't need a lot of stuff. They don't want a lot of stuff. And they especially don't need/want most of their parents' old stuff (except perhaps things they can/will actually use and/or things that might be valuable). I know I sure didn't.

I think the psychology that goes on is the parent doesn't want/need something anymore - but can't stand to get rid of it unless he/she can sell it (even for 25 cents) - find a "new home" for it - etc. The idea of it simply going to a thrift store or into the trash (even if it belongs there) isn't acceptable. So the kids who refuse to take the old stuff become the villains.

I don't think it's fair to make the kids the villains. The true villain IMO is the parent who tries to make a child feel guilty. FWIW - I sometimes see the opposite. Which is why we have people in their 40's here whose garages are so full of their parents' junk that they can't park their cars in their garages.

BTW - I saw a great example of this inability to simply get rid of things last week. Our local golf shop had a 150% of value trade-in sale on used golf clubs. We didn't have many clubs to get rid of except my husband's old irons (he just bought a new set). But we had some - in addition to the irons. So we brought all our clubs in - and got enough credit for a new zippy golf GPS (which - unlike the old golf clubs - we will actually use). But there were guys bringing in like 30-40 old clubs. Many so old that they had no trade-in value whatsoever. And when these guys found out their old clubs were worthless - they just took them home again!!! Note that we had a couple of clubs that were also worthless - but just left them at the store (which accepts First Tee donations of used golf equipment).

Finally - I think pictures are perfectly acceptable substitutes for real things someone will never use again. And I love digital photography (you can store thousands of pictures on a thumb drive). When our parents sold their houses - I don't know how many boxes of old pictures they had. Stuff they had obviously never looked at in years. My husband and I took all of those pictures - kept the best 10% or so - organized them in 3 albums (one of us - one for each of our 2 siblings) - and tossed the rest. Note that this type of project is best undertaken when you don't have the time pressure of an imminent move (it can take a while). Robyn
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