Life in 409

This blog is about my quest to declutter my apartment. It focuses on clutter, decluttering, and the endless quest to separate the junk from the important stuff - at home and in life.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Esther's Stuff

I didn't really do much last night. I cleaned out the little hanging cabinet over the toilet, but that took about 2 minutes and all I really did was shuffle things around and condense a few things.

There was some other stuff going on last night, too.

A few weeks ago, my neighbor Esther died. She was 80 years old but seemed healthy -- lived on her own, volunteered at the senior center, walked in the neighborhood every day. But something went wrong somewhere and she had a massive stroke, and died a few days later on May 17. Her son and daughter-in-law came up from Florida to be with her in the hospital, but returned home after the funeral. They are back in town this week to clear out her apartment. Lewis is like his mother, very friendly and generous, though it's obvious he is very sad about his mom. His wife Regina is very sweet and warm. When we visited with them after the funeral, they gave the kids a few trinkets from Esther's apartment as keepsakes: a crocheted clown, a large doll, some little "toys" like a light-up snowman and a little box that screams "Let me outta here!" when you pick it up (Seriously.) I took these with thanks.

This week, though, they are doing the heavy cleaning and they have offered us a lot of other items (you knew we'd come back around to decluttering, which is the whole point of this blog). They are donating mostly everything to charity but they want to offer us things too. So far they have given us:

  • a small air purifier (which is something I've always wanted to get)
  • a small space heater (which we absolutely don't need, since the heat is usually up so high in the building)
  • an electric menorah (we don't have one, but we don't really need one either)
  • a big stack of writing and drawing paper (great for the kids as they constantly use all my printer paper)
  • a couple of books (a History of Israel for Children, and a Hebrew Alphabet learning book - not bad things to have, I guess)
  • some wrapping paper (can always use that)
  • a pretty big model of one of Columbus' ships (kind of nice, but kind of odd - though the Boy really likes it and brought out one of his toy pirate ships to put next to it - both are on the dining room table right now)

    Lewis also gave the Boy a very cool hologram ruler that shows pictures of traditional Jewish items (dreidel, yarmulke, menorah, etc.) and their Hebrew translations. He was honestly thrilled with this.

    Anyway, now most of this stuff is in my dining room and I have to find places for it. I'm supposed to be bringing stuff OUT, not in. I'm sure there are other people in the building who can use this stuff more than we can. I know Lewis also offered Hubby the television, but we don't need it. I told him to tell them we'd be happy to try to find a home for it, or donate it for him and send him the receipt for his taxes.

    But I feel terrible because I really miss my neighbor and I also know that Lewis and Regina want to be done with this so they can go home. And of course I keep thinking of Flylady's post that she sends around quite often, about "Will you leave clutter as your legacy?" Now I'm not accusing Esther of having clutter - but I do know how hard it's been for her son to go through all her items and it makes me very sad. I remember my Mom going through my Dad's stuff as well - he was not a hoarder but he kept odd things sometimes.

    Well that's all for today, I guess. But surprisingly, I found this after Esther died. I bet she didn't even know it was out there. So have a look and remember her, if you are so inclined.

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