Saturday, Feb 11, 2017 – “1-800-GOT-JUNK” for the 2nd time!!
I know this is a year of “firsts” however…this is the first time I had to call 1-800-Got-Junk for the 2nd time!! Those guys are amazing!! In less than 2 hours, for $750, they fully packed another truck load of “stuff” that used to fill a part of my life, but now no longer does.
It has been quite a process of letting go of “stuff”. Two years ago we began cleaning out the house to get it ready for selling. Here we are two years later, the house hasn’t sold, and I had to call the men back to get more stuff out! WHERE DOES THIS STUFF COME FROM?? I am not a materialistic person. I am not a shopper. I am not even a real collector. And yet, my house seems to attract stuff when I am not looking!
When we moved into this house 16 years ago, EVERY THING we owned fit into the dining room. I know this because for one week, we were technically “homeless”. The previous owner was kind enough to let us store everything we owned in the dining room while we stayed at my sister’s house. Over the years, our “stuff” seemed to multiply. People gave us couches (4 to be exact!), dressers showed up on my porch, sets of dishes for all our parties started arriving, and platters came with guests and stayed. Our kids were 12,11,9, and 7. And now they are 27, 26, 24, and 22 and none of them live here anymore. However, bins full of their stuff still live here! Old prom dresses whisper quiet memories of slow dances as they hang in the closets, high heeled shoes sit in quiet rows on the shelves of a closet, and old and well used weights sit idle in the basement. Exactly 12 Rubbermaid tubs are stacked neatly in the corner of the basement holding years of photo albums, old report cards, and Valentine cards from every classmate that the four kids ever sat next to from preschool all the way up through high school.
So this week, we signed with a new realtor and he had the same advice as our first one; “De-clutter and make the rooms look more sparse”. So, with renewed gusto, we piled more stuff in the centers of each room; the end tables no one uses any more, but came from Grandma’s bedroom originally; the heavy duty couch that I had reupholstered to match the other hand-me-down couch a friend gave us; the dresser that Vinnie has had since he was 8 years old. Amidst the piles were 7 wooden dining room chairs that can not be re-glued together one more time, yet they hold the secrets shared over many bottles of wine; the TV stand that held three different TVs over the years, and a broken down white little dresser that used to hold every bottle of nail polish my girls ever bought. Three more bags stuffed with quilts were not in the pile. They were given a special place in the corner of the living room to wait their turn to be dropped off to the church to join the first 7 bags that have already been distributed to the streets of NYC on a Midnight Run.
So on Saturday, as Jason and Ed from 1-800-Got-Junk loaded up the truck with the “stuff” that has appeared over the years, I watched and thought about all the memories that also were loaded up in the truck. Every item had a story. Only Vinnie and I know each of their stories…..who gave each item to us, who brought the item to our home, who once loved the item maybe even more than we did. Jason and Ed will never know the stories, but I am forever grateful that they took our stuff, with reverence and a sense of dignity that the “stuff” deserved for all the years it all served us so well.
PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful Dad, Charlie….who turned 79 on Saturday as well! I called him to wish him a Happy Birthday, just as the canvas lid was being pulled over the dump truck full of my “stuff”. It became very obvious to me as my Dad answered the phone that it is not the material stuff that really mattered to me in the end…it was the fact that I could talk to my Dad as the material stuff left the driveway with Jason and Ed, piled tightly and neatly into a 1-800-Got-Junk truck!