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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Charmion De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020 (1850* d) RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020 17 Oct 20

My mother died of cancer when I was 26 and my father was 61. At the time, I thought he was surprisingly brisk and calm, at times a little too brisk and calm. Now, I realize that he was working through a private checklist that the cool, intellectual part of his mind had compiled during the ugly last months of my mother's life.

So, a day or two after the funeral, he brought a big box into the kitchen and filled it with every warped pan and busted implement in the room, quite a haul as my mother was no cook and very hard on her equipment. He put me to work emptying my mother's chest of drawers and her side of the closet, and sent me out around town to give various keepsakes to a long list of her friends. Mum had compiled that list and designated the items herself, and it kept me busy for at least a month.

My husband was a collector and, under certain circumstances, he could have developed into a hoarder. Thanks to a decent salary, he could afford to indulge his taste for fine clothes, books about everything under the sun, camping and athletic equipment, electronic gadgets, and doohickeys of all kinds. Now I'm looking at it with a mental checklist: launder or dry-clean the clothes and rehome them, especially the valuable ones (hello, Canada Goose parka), as quickly as possible; start looking for book dealers; clear the kitchen of cast-iron cookware that he loved but is too heavy for me; stow all but one of the way too many coffeepots of various types and most of the coffee mugs in the Glory Hole for the next church bazaar, whenever that might be.

Likewise, several pieces of furniture will leave the house as soon as I can arrange their departure: a futon sofa that unfolds into a queen-sized bed (Edmund's napping sofa); a green leather La-Z-Boy settee that the cats savaged; two pine chests of drawers; and Edmund's office furniture, to wit: office chair, computer desk, writing table, full-height Billy bookcase from IKEA, and two two-drawer filing cabinets.

The bedroom we shared since we moved into this house is enormous, being as wide and about three-quarters as deep as the two-car garage upon which it was built. My voice echoes off the wall when I talk to the cat. So within the next couple of days I shall move into the guest room and my grandparents' Victorian bed, which I inherited from Dad and used after I divorced Mr Wrong, until Edmund and I got married. At more than six feet tall and solid with muscle, Edmund was a bit big to share an old-fashioned double bed.

The original master bedroom in this house is currently the study, with six bookcases and a filing cabinet, plus my computer desk, printer and my old drop-front writing desk. I will move my desk and computer into Edmund's office, along with the filing cabinet; with any luck, it will be a bit warmer in winter than the study, which is on the windward side of the house. That room will become the new guest room, with the queen-sized bed I shared with Edmund, and the huge bedroom will become a library-cum-family room, with all the bookcases, the TV and the sofa.

That should keep me running around until at least Easter.

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