Senior Women Reminisce About Spring Housecleaning

Feb 17th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

Remember when you were a child and your mother spent a week doing ‘spring housecleaning’?  She turned everything inside out and upside down.  She emptied all the closets, rearranged and then put everything back.  She emptied all the drawers, rearranged and then put everything back.  She scrubbed, vacuumed, hung bedding on the line outside in the sun, washed windows and cabinet fronts… and she probably did a lot more that I do not now remember.

I began thinking about this a few days ago when I began trying to get my senior citizen mind and body around the fact that I needed to do some serious cleaning in our primary home, and decide what needed to go to Goodwill.  I enjoyed 24 hours of reminiscing, and then still had the job of sorting what to keep and what to donate.

With Jerry’s help, the job is now almost done.  A friend recently suggested a way to decide what to keep and what to give away.  She said she went through her home, picked up every single item and asked herself, “Do I want to pay to move this across the country?”  She was able to divest herself of a lot of ‘things’ that she no longer needed nor wanted to move.  We did something similar.

We got about a dozen boxes and began filling them with ‘things’ we no longer needed nor used; we are pack rats so we want to keep everything… We slowly began the task of deciding we just can’t keep everything when we leave this beautiful home.  We need to live with less and now is the time to make that happen. 

Then a paradigm shift occurred, and I began to feel like I was doing something good and worthwhile, as much for others as for myself.  I began saying, “Goodbye” outloud to each item I put in the box, enjoying the fond memories I have about each.  And I shed a few tears, feeling like I was saying goodbye to dear friends.  Within a couple of hours, the boxes were full and loaded in the car.

Hey, Friends… it worked!  We headed in to town with the car full of those dear little things that we would make available to someone else to love and enjoy.  The books all go to the local library so others can enjoy them like we did. The dishes, decorator items, Christmas wreath, wall hangings and pictures will find a new home with the Goodwill shoppers.  We hope they love and enjoy those pieces like we did.

We still have several more trips to make to town, but it is now somehow easier because we aren’t just ‘getting rid of stuff”, we are offering treasures from our home to others to love and enjoy.  Giving to others is definitely a good thing!



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