To Keep or Not to Keep

It’s been an interesting week. In one sense I’d like to keep just about everything…just in case. You know the normal way things work. Once you’ve shredded the document somebody comes along to tell you it was vital to something. Then there’s the memorabilia. Is it valuable? Does it have personal meaning?

Difficult Choices: When it comes to “you make the call” I have a tendency to keep everything, mostly because of the above. We can’t do that. For one thing, I have kept everything at home. I don’t have room to keep everything from somebody else’s home. Therefore we have to make difficult choices.

When it comes to paperwork, we’re keeping bills and tax information for the past seven years. If something comes up, we’ll still have the documents. Other files are going by age and which of us knows what to do with them. Each son has a pile to look through. Fortunately they aren’t as huge as those I’m doing.

If I can, we’ll keep all of the plaques, tiles and other smaller items. A lot of it is too big to be called a knickknack, but they basically are. At some point we may have someone tell us which is good and which is junk. However, I would imagine even the junk will stay.

Bits of History: There are photographs of events our elder attended. There are pictures of her with various actors and actresses. There are old coins, old stamps and old letters. There is antique glassware and dinnerware. Who knows what else we’ll find? It’s almost like a scavenger hunt.

Drawing the Line: From where I sit right now there are eight dried or plastic plant arrangements and two sort of alive plants. They are not going with us. There are three old televisions. They aren’t going. Only the things that have meaning to us or some value will ultimately be packed and follow us home. We do have to draw the line somewhere. It’s not an easy line to draw.

Sorting and Storage: Between my work tasks I start sorting. My career is portable and I’m the boss. We have purchased a number of plastic bins with lids. They work a lot better than boxes, especially if it rains on the move. I stack paperwork to one side…I go through the paperwork while I watch (well listen) to the TV in the evenings.

Here is some advice on choosing bins. If you can, get them all the same size and shape. It makes storage easier. However, I have discovered that almost every time I go to buy more bins the stores don’t carry the ones I had been using. Be prepared for this.

It’s also a good idea to get bins that latch onto the lid. The lids aren’t as likely to pop off when you are carrying them and they don’t need duct tape to keep them on when driving them to their final destination.

This isn’t an easy job, but we knew that at the outset. It is a job that needs done and fortunately our elder is still with us to answer questions about the various items we find. That helps the difficult decision and line drawing immensely.

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