When I moved from Pacific Grove 14 months ago, we spent several weeks sorting, packing and purging the debris that results from an 11-year marriage and a ten-year old son. It took mulitple garage sales, truckloads of donations and dump-runs to scale back enough to make the move.
I thought it was hard to thin out the lives of three people after a decade together. Now I am faced with liquidating the lives of my parents who were together for more than five decades. My sister and I are attacking the job with the best of intentions… but to be honest, it’s overwhelming.
I had already cleared out two bedrooms a decade ago, and re-emptied a room and half the garage a year ago. Over the past year, I’ve thinned out the toe-jam from closets, drawers and corners, but I am far from done. There is a mountain of fabric, yarn, linens, clothing, dishes, glassware, collectables, paperwork and chachkies to sort through.
We have to determine what is keepable, sellable, donatable and what is trash as we prepare for a huge estate sale. It’s like working a huge slide-puzzle… remember those little games where you had to slide the pieces in just the right order to make the puzzle makes sense. I can’t empty the china cabinet until I move a bookshelf in place for the dishes. I can’t put the bookshelves until I move the sewing stuff into the closet, and I can’t do that until I empty the closet. (Insert scream here).
I know I have to accept that this job is going to take time. Repeat to self: one thing at a time.
The good news is, this experience (and my sister) has given me the idea of becoming a professional organizer and estate liquidator. Hmm…