This morning junk haulers came to my parents house. They trashed about 90% of what was in the house. The things that were left were momentos, things that we will keep with the house when it goes up for sale, and smaller things that we could manage to get rid of ourselves.

My family had struggled with the thought of doing this. It was like we were getting rid of two peoples entire lives. Even so, there really wasn’t an alternative that we could come up with that made sense. Both parents recently moved into an assisted living facility. They went with a few pieces of furniture, photographs of the family, their TV, and clothing. Its not a big space. And they just had way too much stuff anyhow. Now they have just what they need.

Its amazing how much we cary with us throughout our lives. Things that just add weight, but no real value. Medical bills from the 1980s, dollar store toys for kids that aren’t around, more pairs of shoes than two people could ever practically wear. Seriously. Why so many shoes?

But still. These things - even though they were never used and just took up space - they were residue of people’s lives Throwing that history away - even though thats not really what was happening - didn’t feel the best.

We have been cleaning up what was left behind for months now. It hasn’t been fun. But there is a lesson here. Get rid of the cruft in your life that doesn’t have value. Doesn’t have use. Doesn’t bring you joy. Give it away. Sell it. Toss it in the garbage bin. But don’t hold on to it longer than is needed. It will just weigh you and your loved ones down.