We tend to have one drawer in our house that collects things. Broken items that could one day be fixed. Miscellaneous parts that may one day find their way back to the original piece. I am guilty of having a few of these drawers. Some of them are so full that they are hard to close.
One of my friends recently emptied her junk drawer and took a picture of it. She sent it to her adult children, all living in their own homes, with their own junk drawers. Her email simply said, “you’re welcome.”
If they got it, they did not let on. I believe one of the kids even sent back a question mark, probably wondering if Mom was starting to lose it.
I understood it all too well, having emptied my Dad’s home where he lived for over thirty years. There were so many junk drawers. So much unfinished business. It took my husband and I a full month of hard work to assign each item a new place.
I applauded my friend. I told her how much her kids will thank her if they are not left to make these decisions after she is gone.
My father was so ill during the last year of his life, that he was held up in a hospital bed. Eventually he had to make the hard choice of not returning to his home, as he waited for long term care in a public venue. So I took pictures of every item in his home. I catalogued his whole life and together we sat and went through the important things and he decided where he wanted everything of value to go.
That was a bit of a relief but I still had go through all of the junk drawers which, actually held old family photos and antiques. My job was to empty the house and get it on the market. Most people would have simply pulled up a dumpster and thrown it all out but Peter and I went through every item and dealt with it on my Dad’s behalf, the way we felt he would do it, if he were there beside us.
In the end, we found a place for everything. Very little went to a landfill. We had a garage sale and gave most of the furniture to stores that could sell it for a small profit. I brought home papers that needed further consideration.
Dad passed away 4 months after we sold his home. I stared at those boxes of paper for years until last summer. In taking my time, I found many treasures related to our family history that could have been lost forever.
Perhaps these will now end up in my junk drawer. My hope is to put them in order and give them a place. I guess in the end, these drawers that we all have, are really drawers of “hope.” We hope to get back to them one day and deal with the items properly.
Can you imagine asking someone else to go through every item in your home and then asking them to decide whether it is worth keeping or not?
When we leave our house each day, we may never return. When my dad called 911 that night, he had no idea he would never see his house again.
I guess the message is “do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today,” and celebrate those empty drawers!
If you will not do it for yourself, clean out a drawer this week for your family and for your own piece of mind.
Have a great day everyone.