Last night I stopped by my sister’s house (formerly my Dad’s) to pick up more boxes that needed to be shredded. My Dad used to rave about how he was a walking vacuum and hated clutter. Well, as I am learning he was more like someone who stuck things in a box, put it in the garage verse a walking vacuum. I remember shredding things for him when I did office work for him and he was on top of shredding junk mail, but the man had boxes and boxes of work and personal documents dating back to the 70’s.
It’s neat to bump into my Dad’s Nicaraguan grades, immigration paperwork, Grandma’s immigration paperwork, his high school graduation B&W photos and mine and my sister’s first work application with our Dad’s company. It was eerie to read through divorce paperwork, my Grandma’s funeral arrangements and how the airlines lost my Grandmother’s body while in transit from the US to Nicaragua for final burial. Don’t worry they eventually found her body and casket in FL. How do you lose something as precious and important as that? And it was cool to run across paperwork and certified letters when his company sued the Navy over some construction work. I see where I get my fight from! What was not cool is seeing the old rat poop that our old garage invader left behind back in my high school days. I still remember finding the dead rodent in some electrical wires. I know… Ew!
Today I went through 12 boxes and 2 are still in my car. Since his death I probably have gone through an additional 30+.
So the life lesson in this? Just because you have a 2 car garage or space in your house, doesn’t mean you have to fill it and save everything. Being a pack rat may serve as an emotional bandage for you, but after you are gone there are people that have to clean it all up for you. Maybe it’s time for me to take my own advice and get rid of some stuff…