Goodbye to this care home room, after...what is it? 3 years?
We spent an exhausting day on Sunday packing up everything in Okaasan's care home room and moving it all back in to our home again to decide whether to keep/sell/throw away/give away.
Yet more downsizing of Okaasan's life. I feel as if I have done this so many times, picking up her clothes and stuff and deciding what to do with it. I know each scarf, each T-shirt.
The actual stripping of the room was fairly easy. Took us an hour. Checking with the staff to remember what was ours: the curtains, the little table, the trash box, the clothes rack, the TV, the TV table, the clothes boxes...all the clothes....scarves....
It seems only recently we were furnishing this room, trying to make it pleasant. Dear Son did all the final documentation at the care home, and we bowed our official thanks. It was an ok place, not great - the first lot of staff were wonderful - but after the company was taken over - and there were all those family meetings about staff changes - it became just a sterile system kind of place. Okaasan was ok there, but it wasn't ideal.
After clearing we came back home. Our hallway and the classroom filled with stuff, and after lunch we set to sorting through it all.
Clothes: how many does she actually need? Will she ever get out of hospital pajamas, in to a wheelchair and outside into sunshine? Does she need her coat, gloves and hat? I'm sure she would LIKE to wear her old red cardigan again, to see her colorful scarves. But do elderly care hospitals allow that kind of thing on or near a bed-living patient?
And ...sometime in the unknown near future...what clothes will we ask a funeral company to dress Okaasan in for the final time? I chose her favorite blouse and some black slacks.
I kept some things, that I know she likes. I kept some nice scarves/shawls for myself. Made a small pile of clothes for the recycle shop. Threw away a whole LOT of clothes that were dirty, tatty, unsellable.
Dear Son did the non-clothes sorting...the photographs, the knickknacks, the clothes hangers, the papers...
The recycle shop refused to take the 12 years old TV, but I found a new home it thru the foreigner's buy/sell mailing system and we drove to the north side of the city to deliver it to a nice Filipino woman. Gave it away, 12 years old and when it dies there will be recycle costs.
The rest of the stuff - furniture and curtains...still downstairs now. I'm cleaning them and then we'll try to get rid of them.
Curtains!! OMG! Now I remember the setting up hassle with this. The care home room window was a strange shape. My sewing service woman did a rushed job to shorten one curtain, and the net curtains. At the time it had to be a rushed job...but the result is that NOW I have one curtain longer than the other!!
So, do I try to sell them like this? Or do I pay her to shorten the other one, and try to get some of the money back on the resale?
Decisions. All of this downsizing is exhausting because it is the physical part or moving the stuff around...but more than that it is the endless decision making.
SO! I'm saying it again. To you, to me. While you still have the energy - SORT THRU YOUR STUFF AND THROW OUT WHAT YOU DON'T USE/NEED!!!!
Because at some point, your family or a stranger will have to do it for you. At some point you won't be able to. Make a plan to spend 30 mins a day looking at the things around you and deciding if you really need to be keeping it!!
Just looking at the bookcase to my right now I can see an old broken bedside light stand. Like, really?? What am I keeping that for? I am going to stand up, pick it up and take it downstairs to the trash box.