This week I got to my parent’s house and was surprised to see my mother wasn’t home. My father said she was up at my brother’s house feeding the cats. I am happy to hear this because I can take some time to get some cleaning done downstairs. I quickly walk around and take a handful of newspapers from each pile. I was easily able to fill two paper bags and I don’t feel like you could notice that I took anything from the piles (obviously this is bad because I didn’t even make a dent, but good because my mom won’t notice). I wasn’t sure when my mother would be home and if she would look into my car, so I hid the bags in the recycling bin outside. I then looked around and realized that my mother hadn’t even taken the presents that we had gotten them for mothers and fathers day out of the bag. I put the “too big” compost bin on the counter and threw away the milk cartons she had been using for that purpose. I then took out the new phone we bought them and set that up. It all took about 10 minutes and made a bit of space in the front hallway. My father was very eager to help me which was nice. Unfortunately my mom was upset I hadn’t gone through the messages on the old answering machine. I told her the old phone was upstairs if she would like to grab the old messages. I don’t think she’s even thought twice about it since.
I finished downstairs and proceeded to go back to the attic where I have been slaving away for a few weeks now. I came upon a box of old children’s clothes and decided to start by finding all the pants where the elastic had gone bad. This normally eliminates half the box. We have found a few recycling centers for clothes nearby so we won’t have to throw these away. This makes me feel a bit better because we have a LOT of old clothes that don’t seem to be suitable for donation because they are ripped, soiled or the elastic has gone bad. I find some boxes from my father again. I still can’t believe how much my father loves to jumble lots of random things into boxes. These seemed to be from 1981 and contained items from his old job as a computer programmer and random items that have been sitting there since 1980. Overall, there are a lot of magazines that will ultimately go to recycling.
I finally condense 4 boxes down to 2 and I’m happy with this. I have finally cleared my way to another closet that is off the far side of the room. This leads into another area under the easement of the roof towards the front of the house. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was greeted by more boxes as I opened the door. These were filled with kitchen supplies and personal things from my grandmother’s house. I let out a big sigh. I try to do my best getting some stuff out of this back room, but I still have piles of crap at my own house so most of these things will stay for now. I have been adamant about not bringing anything else into my home unless I can either post it on ebay immediately or I actually want it. I take a few things out of the boxes for myself and try to get as much garbage out as I can. Overall, it was a successful night, but extremely frustrating. Every time I feel like I am making a tiny bit of progress, I am faced with another wall of boxes.
My mother still managed to make me angry because she didn’t have any newspapers for me. Her excuse for this is because I came on a Monday instead of Tuesday and she “wasn’t expecting me.” She left me alone for most of the night, but zeroed in on a bag of my father’s old papers that I had bagged up. I looked out into the hallway and there were literally papers everywhere as she was taking everything out of the bag. I got quite upset that she was going through every single paper after I had already done this. I made the point that she didn’t have any newspapers for me this week. She could be helping me by packing newspapers but instead she is wasting her time on double checking something I have already done. I’m not sure if it got through to her, but I have been thinking of putting up a white board up so she has tasks to complete every week. I really feel like I am dealing with a child, but I don’t know what else to do or how to motivate her. I made the point that if she actually bagged a bunch of newspapers up every week, I wouldn’t have room in my car to take anything else. Therefore she wouldn’t have to worry about me going through her stuff. Wishful thinking!
This week I went to my mother’s house and she didn’t have any newspapers for me. I am not happy about this and now she will owe me 5 bags next week. (2 for this week, 2 for next week and 1 extra bag since she didn’t have any for me.) I also told her she would owe me $100 if she didn’t have them since this seemed to work last week. It’s frustrating because my mom is doing the bare minimum to help clean up her own house. I thought that since she had done so well some other weeks, she would try to achieve for more. But instead she is practically giving up and it seems like she is almost trying to defy me. It is frustrating because I show up and work my butt off every week. I have a full time job and a busy social schedule outside of all of this, but I still find time to clean up their house, list items on ebay, and keep up with my blog. Meanwhile, she spends two days a week at my brother’s house and takes my dad to the doctor once or twice a week. Even though she has a significant amount of time on her hands compared to me, she can’t seem to find ten minutes to pack two bags of newspapers. I have always known that my mother is horrible at time management, but maybe having too much time on her hands isn’t the best thing after all??
I let it go and head upstairs to the attic to continue digging away. I was really excited leaving last week. I felt like I actually accomplished something for once as I could actually see my progress. Today my goal is to dig a path leading to a door that opens into a room under the eaves of the roof. I had organized this area years ago so I am excited to have a nice organized space to work with. I dig my way through and open door. I am shocked to find the room to be filled to the brim and completely blocked! I look in the boxes that are blocking the entrance of the doorway and they are filled with items from my grandmother’s house. I start to dig around the boxes and find lots and lots of presents from when my mother was a teacher. Now you might think your favorite teacher really wants that pretty wood apple pencil holder or an apple picture frame, but please don’t do it!
A slight roadblock..
I must have uncovered about 4 shopping bags full of gifts, all still in their boxes. I put these aside for now and asked my mom to choose one item I could sell on ebay. I started going through everything else in the back room of the attic. I found a lot of plastic microwave containers that my mother was probably saving for school projects (this was always an excuse when I would try to get her to throw things away.) Otherwise, I found lots of old clothes from the WHOLE family. These are clothes from when my brother and I were smaller, clothes from my mom and dad, and my grandmothers and great aunt. I was able to get a bag out this week for goodwill, so I’m happy with that. It was a bit hard to get rid of some of my paternal grandmother’s clothes, she has been gone for 16 years and seeing some of the clothes brings back such nice memories of her. I put them aside for now because I want to hold onto them for a little longer. I know this isn’t helping the problem, but it’s only 1 or 2 items.
And more plastic!!
Going through the attic I also find an old computer and printer. Mind you this is the same printer that I urged my mother to get rid of years ago when we bought them a new one. My mother and I got into one of the biggest arguments about the printer because she seemed to think she would need it again in case the new one broke. I also was able to throw away styrofoam from two old computer boxes that they hadn’t thrown away. I have learned from prior weeks that I need to hide certain bags of paper and plastic from my mom so she won’t go through them before I remove them from the house. I doubt there is anything in the bags that she would want. It is so frustrating to watch her wasting time going through bags I spent so much time packing, it’s just easier if she doesn’t go through them. She normally ends up taking out stupid things like coloring books or other papers that add to the mess downstairs. In reality, she doesn’t need them and she will never use these papers she takes out. If I take that step out of the process, it saves me time in the long run. I let her go through the clothes for goodwill before I take them out and I leave. I feel like I got pretty far, but I can’t believe how packed the back room is. What a disappointment!!