Minimalist Home: On Helping Others Begin

Parents! Family! Often those held dearest to our hearts. Ideally, our families help mold us, guide us, and support us. Sometimes the tables turn, and you can give back to your biggest supporters by lending them your time, skills, and energy.

My parents, over the last 20 years, have somehow amassed a “junk room”, similar to the average “junk drawer” but on a much larger scale. I think it is the result of life going on, after many household moves, phases of my own growth, and simply a lack of storage space in some of the older houses we’ve lived in (hint: old houses have less storage space, because people used to acquire less belongings!)

Recently, my parents left on vacation. I came home to go through some of my own belongings, and ended up spending 48 hours downsizing their “junk room”. I’ve witnessed so much frustration regarding their ever populating clutter. I empathize. They want to own less and free up valuble space in their already small house, but they don’t know where to start. I know I function better in a neat and tidy space. I told my father that his Father’s Day Gift is a junk room clean out.

Working night and day, I’ve been able to release on their behalf, an entire car load of belongings to our local women’s charity. I also took out a few of my mom’s dusty, strewn around knick knacks (wicker baskets and such) to organize some of her towels in a lovely way.

With their permission, I donated almost 20 trash bags of usable items, created a box full of recyclables which I rinsed and prepped, and unpacked another handful of their boxes.

It feels great, to have found old items from my past and realize I no longer have a use for them, nor the pull to hang on to them arbitrarily. I mentally filed away the memories, and placed the pieces in my donation bag.

My mother seemed giddy (over the phone) as she realized the magnitude of what was accomplished, which in turn, brought me great joy! Helping others with their areas of need is certainly a rewarding gift.

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