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The past few years I would ask Mom if she would like to donate items to a local yearly rummage sale that benefits the hospital, etc. and she would hand over one item. Guess one could say she is downsizing, one knick knack at a time.

Dad has a ton of notebooks with a lot of newspaper articles, wouldn't be surprised if he still has his first paycheck stub. And a workshop filled with things that he can no longer can use safely with his now poor eyesight, etc. Last year he finally got rid of an 1955 electric free standing saw that he was sure someone would want.... took many years to convince Dad that carpenters now use saws that have laser guides, etc.

I've been hinting about a really nice retirement village that has super large condos but not large enough to accommodate everything they have in their large home. Their home is very neat, not hoarders. But I dread the time when I would have to go in and sort through everything. But Dad says they are too busy to sort through all the paperwork.... too busy??? Maybe at their age, just getting dress is busy work :)

After seeing how slow they are in downsizing, it made me start to downsize myself.... to try to live simpler without all this stuff.

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They never did while alive. We've now spent 3 weeks and barely emptied half the house. Truly amazing.
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Oh--I thought about calling a prop house (for movies, t.v., etc), to see if they want some items. Specifically 2 huge portraits of my father's parents, which always scared me as a kid! They're Edwardian-era, and very spooky! Ghostly white faces, scowling (not my grandmother, she was actually very beautiful--but my grandfather, YIKES!), on a completely black background. Any takers???? Hee hee ;)
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I wish my mother would downsize, but she's not doing a thing. I'll have to deal with it when she finally moves to AL (or whatever comes next). My father didn't get rid of any of his things before he died.
It has made me even more of a minimalist. I've never been terribly sentimentaI about keeping objects either. Things break, things get lost or stolen, what are you gonna do. And I don't have kids, so keeping things "in the family" isn't an issue.
I do resent how they seem completely unaware, or how they assume these items will be wanted. I truly don't want ANYthing of theirs.
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You move them with the things they want to take with them and they leave the rest behind. We did this when MIL went to ALF. Then we called the cousins in to see what mementos or furniture they wanted. That was huge help, and cousins also took items to the 8'x12'x4' dumpster in the driveway. This took a month to complete. Then the painter came in, stripped wallpaper, painted walls and painted trim and refinished floors; two more weeks. Done.
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