Friday, April 22, 2011


I really like watching shows like American Pickers, and Storage Wars, and similar. As much as I enjoy seeing all the neat old items and antiques found by the guys on American Pickers, the thing I can't stop thinking is, "Who's going to clean up all that stuff when the homeowner is gone?"

When I started cleaning out my Dad's house, the story that provides the structure to my book, I was weighed down by the sheer scope of the project. There was garbage and paper and furniture and clothes and tools and tons of other stuff (nothing valuable like on Pawn Stars, however!). It was daunting and it took my six months to finish. I know I'm not the only one to have to face this kind of project. Three out of eight people in a writing class I took had already had to clean out one house. It was incredible. My mother-in-law, having just finished my book, told me she had cleaned out four houses in her time!
At what point do we stop acquiring stuff, and encourage our parents to stop acquiring stuff, and in fact, start getting rid of it?

Every time I describe my father's house, I see a peculiar expression cross the face of the person I'm talking to. They usually then start thinking about THEIR parent's houses, and I can see them going from room to room in their minds, looking at the sheer amount of material it will fall to them to clean out. It really made me start looking at MY stuff, and it started me cleaning my closets and rooms out more regularly. I won't be having any kids, but I don't want to leave a bunch of crap for some poor random person to have to clean out.

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