Save your kids the effort

Crap at My Parents' HouseI love Urban Outfitters. My sister introduced me to the store when she lived in Chicago. They have a collection of eclectic clothes and weird stuff that I occasionally spend money on.

So this book on their shelves caught my eye. My wife Heather spent the better part of six months dealing with this very issue at her parents’ house. They were pretty much too old to deal with getting rid of a house full of stuff before they moved into a much smaller home, so that joy fell to Heather. I helped some, but she did the vast majority of filling the shelves at the local charity shop.

My dad was a huge collector. After he died, it took my mom more than six years to clear out all the stuff that he collected, before she was able to move into a 1-bedroom apartment. (She didn’t want to buy a condo, as she felt like it would be a burden on her kids to have to sell the place!)

So I guess my only point is that if you don’t buy that junky thing that catches your eye, your kids won’t have to give it away later.

Footnotes:

1. Special thanks to my friend James Taylor (not the musician), who inspired this post.

2. Here are some related posts I wrote: Not going to buy it, Let it goRecapturing that lost childhood and That collector gene.

3. I did not buy the book. And I was amused to see that as of this writing, it was selling for just $1.48, used. Apparently several people decided they didn’t want their kids to have to give it away, much later.

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2 Replies to “Save your kids the effort”

  1. I packed my folks for their move to the US in 1994, after 34 years in Colombia including 22 in that house. I crated up what seemed most important. The rest just stayed in the house for the next owner (another missionary) to deal with.

    Now I’m looking at moving to Tampa this fall, which means clearing the clutter out of my house, fixing it up, and selling it. It’s overwhelming. I’ve got a garage and a spare bedroom full of junk

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