Category Archives: Grief

Declutter to help yourself and others!

I am sorting through boxes from my mom’s that are now at my house. I had a rice cooker. Mom had five rice cookers. Three were new, never-used, and in boxes.

I’m also sorting through the stuff that we have accumulated. I had garage sales the past two weekends. It’s a lot of work with very little money to be made. Consider the time involved with sorting through boxes, moving shelves, pricing items, making/putting out signs. I am guessing that I would be lucky to make 50 cents per hour for all the time involved.


By coincidence, a segment on Dr. Oz’s show today discussed clutter and stress. The guests discussed organizing tips and reasons why clutter is bad.

Some people eat when they are upset. Well, supposedly, the kitchen reflects that. Oddly enough, there is nothing on our kitchen island and the counters are not too bad. I concede it could use a little more work.

Clutter in the bathroom makes getting ready more difficult because you have to look through stuff. Less stuff simplifies your routine.

Easy tip: remove expired items and get rid of duplicate items.

The closet. Get rid of clothes that you no longer wear, don’t fit, are in bad condition, etc.

Donate things like clothing, appliances, etc. to help others. You’re helping yourself and others!

See tips from the show  The 40-day plan to declutter.

By the way, I spent the afternoon organizing the garage. He was excited that the cars could be parked in the garage.

Coincidence that today’s mail had a card from the Disabled Vets with the pickup date?  Because there’s still a lot of work to be done in the house.


Remembering lives well-lived

This past year, my husband and I both lost our mothers. Both mothers lived full and happy lives. They were humble women.

As a child that is left to take care of her mom’s affairs, I find myself in awe of the lives that she touched. While going through mom’s things, I would find notes with addresses and lots of small items to give as gifts. When I went to access her safety deposit box, the banker gave me a hug and said she would miss seeing my mom.

Mom was an avid football fan. It’s hard to believe that I’m her daughter because I’m not really a football fan. But I have read the story about Sam Foltz. I almost didn’t read this article. It’s about grief, healing, and remembering someone who lived a life well-lived: The kicker and his holder: Drew Brown’s journey after the death of Nebraska punter Sam Foltz.

Life is short. Live your life well.

The Journey of Life

With the passing of my mom, it has been difficult to pack up mom’s house and handle her affairs. My sister and I have spent a lot of time at mom’s house boxing up things to keep or donate.


While two estate liquidators said they didn’t think she had a lot, it did not make the task any easier. She had been sorting through things, but I wish we had helped her because she kept so many unnecessary documents. And we found souvenirs and documents that most likely had interesting stories.

Mom loved travel and dogs. When she wasn’t traveling, she looked forward to visiting my dogs. After she passed away, I was so sad for my dogs. I knew they would miss her. I found myself following the journey of a man and his dog with cancer on Instagram. It was an adventure of a lifetime and I was jealous of it. Read about Robert Kugler and Bella’s epic road trip.

And then I read an article about a Lincoln family’s adventure to take a year off and travel. Mom’s love of travel again combined with something that I wanted to do. In dealing with work and mom’s affairs, the past few months had consisted of anxiety and stress. I felt overwhelmed until I read the three steps to simplifying life in Escaping the Hamster Wheel of Life.

Mom always taught us to save our money for a rainy day. While mom didn’t think I was listening, I was. I realized that except for food, I should not buy anything for at least a year. Now with boxes of mom’s things in my home, I don’t need more things. Things don’t make people happy.

I have taken time off to handle some things, but the work doesn’t stop and still has to get done upon return. After several months of trying to make it all work, I looked at my priorities. I talked to my husband who was also handling his mother’s affairs (she passed away on the day of my mother’s service). He said “do what you need to do.”

I found two suitcases and a trunk that mom brought with her to America, the weekend after I submitted my two-week notice. Perhaps mom was confirming that it was time for me to move on.

My Facebook post the day following my last day at work: Yesterday was my last day at LES. I celebrated with a few former co-workers after work, take-out Chinese and an evening on the deck with friends. This morning on my way to mom’s house, the U2 song “beautiful day” came on the radio. Thanks, mom.



Blue Bears Are Not Always Sad — Mad Man Knitting

My mom passed away a few days before Christmas. I have been busy going through her things. Years ago, she was an avid knitter. I recently found several of sweaters and hats that she made. I dabbled with knitting, but haven’t done it in years.

Mom saw an article about these teddy bears and the man who creates them. She had thought about ordering a bear. As I was looking at my reader, I saw this photo and article about knitting. I think she’s telling me to keep her knitting supplies and work on my knitting skills.

So, I got up this morning with this plan in my head. 3am. No time to waste. First half of the day, work up a bear to sell to pay off my taxes, second half of the day, knit up a bear on order. I got off to a good start! And I was enjoying […]

via Blue Bears Are Not Always Sad — Mad Man Knitting

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