Cleaning out our garage

My neighbors just moved. They are an older couple and have lived in their house for almost 20 years. They mostly kept to themselves but I knew she was a television shopper due to the UPS guy dropping packages off from QVC.

My neighbors have been attempting to go through an enormous amount of STUFF in order to figure out what to take to their retirement home in New Mexico since OCTOBER. Their house sold this month and they had a deadline to be out of the house. They missed their deadline with the driveway filled with STUFF and the garage still full. They had a new deadline and they missed it by a few hours.

The last day they were here the Realtor's son brought a truck over and filled the back with STUFF for the dump. They also left a large pile of more STUFF.

This whole thing bothered me on several levels.

I was bothered by the accumulation of STUFF. My neighbors filled at least 4 PODS and had to rent a U-HAUL on the last day. None of us need that amount of STUFF. Seriously, we have no idea where they were storing it all.

I was bothered by the amount of waste. When I came home the night after they had left I was saddened to see a couch, numerous bookshelves, and porch furniture sitting out in the rain.

Names of people who I personally know and are in need of some storage and even a couch came to mind. And I began to think of others so much less fortunate who could have actually used some of the STUFF that was sent to the dump.

Sure, we don't all need a lot of STUFF but there was enough STUFF here to help out MANY people.

Yes, I was very bothered by this whole scene playing out before me for months and months. But I was also thankful. Mostly because my husband was equally bothered by it. So much so he took me up on my idea to clean out the garage last Saturday.

He even got started without me! Most of the STUFF was his anyway. After I had finished at the nursery and planting my garden I joined him. He had quite a lot of stuff in the throw out pile. There was nothing of worth to be given away. And only a few things went into the attic.

He was most stuck on cassette tapes. What are those? Don't you remember? He is still keeping quite a few. At one point he looked like he was having a hard time making a decision. He had a handful of tapes, thinking.

He said, "Should I get rid of these?"
I asked, "Do you have them on CD or MP3s?" I was sure he did.
He said, "Yes, I have them on both."
I looked at him like, "duh, do you NEED three copies of one album? Why not throw out the media you NEVER use?"
Case closed.

Now, we are so happy to see our garage these days. I can even walk out there without shoes and not track stuff in!

It is a wonderful, freeing feeling to have our garage cleaned out and it was great to work as a team!

I challenge you to do the same and feel good when it's complete!

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