Breland: Sell it, toss it, or decide to give it away?

Published 10:28 am Friday, November 26, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Trying to prepare for the holidays, a little cleanup at the house was deemed necessary. I am not very fast at deep house-cleaning, because I always pause while looking through things I need to toss.

I found some old books, which I quickly tossed — then went back and picked them up again! Still good books; what to do with them? Likely not even the library would want them. Not my books, but some left by the children some years ago. The older kids may want the books. We shall see. I laid them aside while I decided.

I opened a drawer and there was a closed box. I supposed inside were some old items I had kept and could possibly throw in the garbage. Peering curiously, I found greeting cards, which almost stopped my heart.

Nov. 14 would have been our 68th wedding anniversary. We celebrated 65 years together, and had a big occasion on our 60th anniversary. But this box of cards was from our 50th wedding anniversary. Oh the names and feelings on those cards!

There was no way to keep cleaning until I went through the cards. There must have been at least 45 or 50 of them. As I re-read them, the names and greetings brought both tears and also happiness. Tears for many of the beautiful thoughts from dear ones who are no longer here, and joy for those who are here and still send me cards on many occasions.

Since I am definitely a keeper, I will likely find other boxes of cards and even gifts that I will also spend time deciding whether to keep or not. Quite a bit of time spent with this one endeavor. I boxed the cards up and put them back in the drawer. I am not very good at tossing things.

Another area yielded tons of photos saved over the years and more than just of the family. If I had the time, I would sort them and give to those who might want them. But then I wouldn’t get any cleaning done. Put them away for now.

I think of many items stored in my house that mean nothing to anyone but me. I still have school projects my children made in years gone by. Since they are mostly grandparents now, you would think they might want these precious things?

Surely I have asked and received negative answers. Then why are all these things still here? What will happen to those objects when I am gone? Should I toss them now and make the space I need? Will they obviously be seen as the “junk mama kept’? I put them aside.

For many years I enjoyed sewing and accumulated so much sewing stuff. Stuff I will likely not use anymore, but safely stored in drawers and cabinets. Sewing was just one of my hobbies; some I still work with. Not to think about right now. More cleaning to do.

In the past, looking in flea markets, it is obvious many items come from someone’s mother’s storage after she is gone. Times and circumstances have changed and it seems things once considered valuable are no longer deemed necessary for a modern woman’s household.

Beautiful china, so many lovely crocheted and embroidered items and lots of pretty odds and ends. Things a mother likely would never parted with. As they sit for sale, it seems few others wants them either. It is a little sad.

Do I just give some of my stuff away? Can I part with it? Now I’m musing about a yard sale to clear up some of this? Nah! Too much work is involved to even think about it!

So for now, I will continue to clean around it.

Maybe I can decide later.

Bob Ann Breland can be reached by email at