Spent the last couple of days hauling away the contents of another estate. This is the third one I’ve helped with this year. There is something profoundly sad about loading someone’s valued possessions, items they picked out with care and thought and passion, and taking them to the landfill.
It feels like an insult. Demeaning.
Many items are taken by relatives and friends. Some items make it to local recycling or are donated to second hand charity stores. The lion’s share of the house contents however ends up getting unceremoniously tossed into the back of the truck and taken to the dump.
You start to think about you own possessions and what will happen to them. The fox statuette and whale milk pitcher. The painting that was Kelly’s retirement gift. The drawer full of watches I’ve been keeping (some even still work!)
Cleaning out someone else’s home can be a great eye opener. It makes you really think about what you want to leave behind for somebody to deal with. We have been downsizing fairly steadily over the past decade or so, quite aggressively at times. We’ve gone from almost 4000 sqft of living and storage space to just under 900 sqft in the process. I like to think that in the end of days most of our belongings will find a second home and not simply tossed out. Live simply and spare someone else the sadness and guilt of destroying the artifacts of a life.