Marian walked into the basement looking at all the boxes. Her kids were grown and no longer lived at home, but their stuff still had residence. Not only were there memories galore, but college textbooks, furniture she had saved for their first apartments, and even clothes that her girls had not wanted to part with.
“Ugh! I just want this stuff out of here!” she thought.
She had mentioned to her kids on several occasions that she wanted each to take their belongings with them, but still they lay idle in the basement. She knew there were things her kids would want someday. She also knew that one of her sons might want his things when he returned from overseas. Her one daughter didn’t have enough room for any “extra” non-necessities in her small apartment. On top of all that, she wasn’t sure they would recognize the importance of some of the memories some of the boxes held.
On more than one occasion she had threatened to get rid of it all, but she still hadn’t reconciled it fully in her mind to take the plunge.
However, today she was ready to put her plan into action! Thanks to Linnea’s wisdom, she was ready to start the process.
Sorting the boxes she had a stack for Jimmy, one for Ethan, another for Jared, and finally Eva. Then she had her five boxes for distribution. She decided that she would designate them throw away, give away, give to the kids now, or save for the future. The final one was for “I have no idea what to do with this!”
Before heading into each box, she decided to stack all the furniture in the corner of the basement. Then she sent the text to her kids, “Furniture in the basement has to leave the house by Saturday afternoon. Blue flowered chair, office chair, small desk, two lamps, twin bed with mattress, 2 chests of drawers, small bookcase, coffee table, sofa. Text me if you would like any of these, otherwise they are heading to a new home. If you want something and can’t get it by Saturday, let me know. Love, Mom”
Feeling like she had accomplished enough for her stint in the basement, Marian put a smile on her face as she headed upstairs to fix dinner. She knew she’d pencil in next Thursday on her calendar to tackle the next stage.
Four weeks in a row, Marian had sorted through each kid’s belongings. She couldn’t believe how long it had taken. Tears would come to her eyes as she played through the memories in her mind. Since Jimmy was overseas, she carefully marked each of his boxes and put them on the wired shelves. She’d deal with his when he came home for Christmas.
Armed and ready, she planned a special day for each of her kids to stop by separately for dinner. After dinner, she pulled out their “I have no idea what to do with this” box and went through it with them. Eva came first and quickly assessed what was in her box. Most of its contents would be recycled. After assuring Eva that she had held on to the things that would be precious to her in the future, Maria gave her the box of things that she should have now. “I’ve put some special things away for my grandchildren when you start having children. I know you don’t have space for it now.”
Within the span of six weeks, the basement was clean and organized. Not only that, but she felt at peace that she hadn’t taken it all to the dumpster as she had threatened. She was surprised at how good she felt of not having her children wrestle with going through the boxes on their own. She remembered when Darren’s father has passed away. His mother had given them over twelve boxes of stuff to sort through. “No child should have to do that no matter how old they are,” she chuckled.
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
Dare you to bless yourself and your children by sorting through belongings of the past. One day soon they will thank you and someday you’ll be easily able to bless your children and grandchildren with memories of the past.
“Let go…and let God,”
Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.
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