Follow up: My Packrat Parents Are Moved!
I posted back in July that my parents decided to move out of the 4000 sq ft house they had lived in for 30 years. I am happy to report that they sold the house, moved out and are now settled (somewhat) into the new home. It was an extremely difficult move due to (1) the amount of stuff they had accumulated; (2) the amount of stuff they were unwilling to let go of; and (3) complications due to Hurricane Rita Â thereÂs nothing like packing up a house when there is no electricity and temps are at 100+.
Lessons I learned from all of this:
1. Keep your home decluttered. I believe this should be a continual, daily work in progress.
2. DonÂt keep stuff around just because someone gave it to you Â if you donÂt love it or itÂs not useful, get rid of it. Your memory of a loved one or your friendship with someone is not dependent on some object.
3. Have a garage sale BEFORE you list your home for sale. We were not able to do this due to timing of the sale and the Houston heat, but we are planning a heckuva garage sale for next month.
4. My parents will probably always be packrats. I spent many long hours alone in the car with my grandmother during Hurricane Rita and I realize that almost anyone that went through the Great Depression or grew up extremely poor, will place a lot of value on the stuff they have surrounding them. ItÂs a comfort to them and itÂs difficult to let go. I have a friend that adopted a 12 year old boy that had been in the foster care system most of his life. Because he never had anything of his own, this child cannot let go of "things" that belong to him Â even if itÂs something he has outgrown or is broken Â itÂs psychological. I now realize that no matter how hard I try, IÂm not going to be able to change my parentÂs behavior.
Thanks for your advice on dealing with the move, I am so glad this process is over!!