This probably isn't what you think it's going to be. Parents, want to give your kids a gift? Clean out and de-clutter your home. My sister died in February and then earlier this month my mother died. When she sold the farm and moved into an apartment I thought the hard part was over. Wrong. You can store a lot of stuff in a two bedroom apartment. We spent every weekend making a 5 hour round trip to Wisconsin to haul the stuff out this month.

We had gone through this years ago when my grandpa died. He still lived in his house and been alone for years after losing his wife at a young age. We hauled stuff out by the pickup load.

Our house is currently packed to the ceiling with totes and totes of my mother's stuff. Both of my parents stayed in the same area most of their lives so they wound up with their parent's stuff. The clothes and appliances can be used of course but some of the stuff a person saves. I'm as guilty as anyone else of packing cramming stuff away. The photos are great but items like the 'brother' throw that was on my uncle's coffin. All the wedding cards, the funeral cards, the graduation cards etc.If you stand back and think clearly, what are the odd you'll ever dig them out and look at them again? Oh, great uncle Norval gave me $2 for graduation. What is the purpose of saving that?

I believe it's 7 years you need to save your tax returns. OK, why keep them and all the receipts accumulated over the past 20 or more years ago?

I used to joke that when my time came I'd have a three ringer estate auction spread over two or maybe three weekends. Not anymore. We're planning a monster garage sale this spring and I'm gonna bite the bullet and dispose of some of my stuff as well. It won't be easy but I gotta bite the bullet as it will only get worse since we have just one child who will probably have to clean up after my wife and I punched our time clocks.

Parents try to start cleaning out the clutter and stuff you'll never use now, for the sake of your kids.


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