Simplifying someone else's life
You may remember I was recently helping to arrange and shuffle my Dad's home to try and make it a safer place for him. Plans have changed and my siblings and I are acting on his behalf and with his permission to simplify his life even more. He's moving and needs to lighten his load so we are busy planning a Moving Sale. We need to find new homes for furniture, appliances, books, dishes, tools, decor items and more.
Theres no doubt about it, it's a huge undertaking. It's one thing to downsize your own life, but dong it for someone else feels weighted with extra responsibility.
My siblings and I take this responsibility quite seriously. We are like a tag team.
Sister #1 arrived early (we all live out of province) and began the process of sorting through everything to prepare the grounds for a sale. She has a wonderful sensitivity when it comes to dealing with my Dad's belongings without being over-sentimental. She is careful not to overstep and begin discarding items without thoughtful reflection. Some things must be sold to strangers, yes. Yet there are other more meaningful items she's kept aside in case a friend or family member might feel their pull and be delighted and honored to have them in their home.
Sister #2 (that would be me) is in charge of advertising and getting the word out. Can't have a successful sale without customers! I get to practice my poster making skills and help make sure the sale is conducted in a classy and dignified way. I may not want my Dad's stuff but I will work hard to get the word out to those who will not only want his stuff but treasure it, too.
Sister #3, along with her husband, then arrives to run the sale over the course of two days. She's good with money transactions and will excel in the customer service department.
When I was in Tennessee last fall my friend took me to an estate sale. They're very popular in the South. Coincidently, it was run by three sisters! They weren't doing it for a family member; it's what they do professionally. People who are ready to downsize just pick up and move to a new location or smaller digs. They leave everything behind, except the essentials, to be organized, priced and sold to the public by these women. They deal with everything. It's a wonderful service to offer, don't you think?
A friend of mine asked if I felt sad about the Moving Sale. I suppose I could get emotional about it if I wanted to. After all, Dad's belongings can carry sentimental and personal meaning and letting go of them can be painful. Instead, I focus on how lightening Dad's load is a good thing and how downsizing can be a tremendous act of freedom. I can't tell you how many times I've heard about someone who was too sentimental and reluctant to downsize at first, and when they finally do it they can't imagine what took them so long.
Anyway, many of the items for sale are ones my parents bought at an estate sale many many years ago, and now they will go on to be enjoyed by other families, and maybe more families after that. It's kind of wonderful when thought of from this perspective.
If you live on the Miramichi and are interested in some lovely furniture, or if you are a friend or relative, I hope you will pop by.