Week 18 – Bonding Over Vegetables

 

 

So I’ve found a bonding point with my mother; vegetables.  Who would have known, right? She planted 9 cucumber plants earlier in the summer and they have been sprouting everywhere!  Unfortunately she isn’t very diligent about picking them immediately, so we’ve had some pretty large cucumbers which are harder to pickle.  Yes, we have so many; I decided to start pickling them.  Why would one person plants 9 cucumber plants you ask?  Well last year she only planted about 2 and she claimed she only got one or two cucumbers out of them, so she didn’t want to be disappointed again this year.  The weather was perfect for growing them this summer, so they took off.  I normally take a walk to the garden with my mother when I first get to the house.  I feel like this breaks the ice a bit and makes my mother ease up a bit more.  That means less tension between us, which is always good!!

I was pleasantly surprised as I walked in my house because my mother actually had two bags of newspapers packed and ready to go.  She also had another bag of papers ready for me.  Unfortunately, this was a bag she took away from me when I was there last week.  She claimed that she “had to go through them”.  I’m not sure what she took out of the bag, but I’m guessing half of the contents are now on one of the piles downstairs.  When walking into the attic room, it’s always hard to actually get into the room because there are a few boxes of papers located behind the door.  I can only open it half way, which makes it harder taking things out since I can barely fit myself through the door.  When I had first looked into some of the boxes behind the door, there seemed to be a lot of bills and old bank statements.  These are too much work to go through and my mom is really touchy with throwing these sorts of things away.  Therefore I had put them aside for another day.

Well, today is that day!  I decided to go through one of the larger boxes which was sitting on the side.  I really had no clue what I might find but was happy that most of it ended up being junk mail.  Why would someone save junk mail you ask?  I have no clue, but the mail was still in their envelopes and she wrote on each envelope to identify what they were.  These were mostly for museum memberships, auto insurance, and other random offers.  Obviously the whole box was easy to throw away since everything was from about 20 yrs ago.  Of course my mother freaked out when she saw that I was throwing them away.  She tried to make some excuse about needing them.  I smiled at her, nodded, and continued to throw the envelopes away.

After going through the junk mail, I decided to tackle one more box before I left.  I ended up finding my school papers from 5th grade.  Yup, 5th grade, that was almost 20 years ago.  Most people would probably love to find some of their old papers from school.  I could see this, but trust me, it gets old quickly.  I have to say it was actually fun going through some of my old papers.  Then there are more papers and more papers.  It’s nice to see one or two book reports, but it gets old quick after you go thorough every paper you ever submitted from the entire school year.  It was time for them to go!  I was never a good student anyways.  Therefore there is no need to re-live my sub-par work more than once!!

In addition to the papers, I was able to pick up an old car vacuum.  My mother though it might still work.  There is always an excuse for hoarders, so I had her take it out to the cars and test it.  Thank goodness it didn’t work because she wouldn’t have used it anyways.  There was also an old children’s shopping cart of mine that had been sitting in the hallway since I started this process.  The plastic is so old it’s pretty much fallen to pieces.  My mother had put it aside for my dad to fix, but that obviously never happened.  I finally looked at it today and convinced her it was time to go.  She was happy because we have pictures of me using it when I was younger and that seemed suitable enough.  Was that my mother using a bit of common sense?  Shocking!!

*The additional toys and items were from my mother’s classroom when she was a kindergarten teacher.

This week:

1 box papers
2 bags newspapers from mom
1 bag papers
1 telephone
1 car vacuum
1 children’s shopping cart
3 metal cookie tins
8 cardboard boxes
2 bags dolls
1 bag garbage
8 batteries
1 little tikes house
1 little tikes pirate ship
1 tea kettle
1 box clothes
Advertisements

Week 16 – Clothing, boxes, and coupons.. Oh my!!

Books for donation

Last week was quite fun nearly killing myself in the garage.  So now I’m going back to cleaner pastures back upstairs.  I have decided to start wearing a dust mask since I have gone home feeling absolutely horrible every week after I’m in the house.  My nose starts running immediately when I walk in and I can’t imagine the air I’m breathing is healthy.  I also had a weird musty/woody smell affixed to me that would NOT go away after working in the garage, so I’m avoiding that area for now.  I’m guessing I will also have to wear gloves in the future when working with the dirtier items.

While I was at my parent’s house over the weekend for the hazardous waste drive, I decided to spend a little extra time digging further into the attic room.  As I was rumbling through the room I was shocked when my mom asked if I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.  Um, what?  I thought this could be a ploy to distract me, but in the end it was a nice and welcome surprise.  I guess she doesn’t hate me as much as I thought.  Either way, spending the extra hour or so helped because I was able to organize a bunch of items for later in the week.  I figure it will cut down the amount of time I spend going through things and I can basically go in, load my car up, and leave.  I was surprised to find more bags of coupons and cardboard boxes for almost anything we ever bought as children.  I basically spent most of my time breaking down boxes!

I went back later in the week and as always, as soon as I walked in the attic room, my mother comes upstairs.  She asks “so what are you doing today?”  I respond “same thing as always, mom.”  Surprisingly, she actually helped me carry everything downstairs today.  I think this is more so she can see what I’m taking out than actually wanting to help though.  I have learned to hide certain bags from her and take them out to my car quickly so she can’t go through them.  I got caught this time as she asks “what did you take to the car that you didn’t want me to see?”  I had to laugh a little at the fact that I was caught.  I explained that it was all paper and I didn’t want her to see it because she would have gone through everything and it’s frustrating after I spend so much time going through it to begin with. 

Clothes for Goodwill! I don’t think any of these clothes were actually ours.. Hmm..

As I go through these extra rooms, I am still surprised when I find bags and bags of clothes.  I have come to the realization that we have so many clothes in the house.  Since we were younger, there have always been 3 big boxes of clothes stacked at the top of the steps.  They make it so hard to get stuff out of the attic room, so I decided to take one into the other room and go through it.  Most of the clothes with elastic in them are so old that they are no good.  This is almost a relief as I don’t have to fight about getting rid of them with my mother.  She helped go through the box with me and was happy to separate the  clothes for recycling.  Unfortunately, I don’t think any will be good candidates to sell since they have been sitting in boxes for almost 25 years and smell like cardboard.  I ask her to help me get bags of clothes out for goodwill and she helps me sort two bags, so I’m happy with this.

The boxes of clothes at the top of the stairs. They are frayed at the edges from our cats used to scratch them. And yes, those are bags and bags of napkins sitting on top. Why? I don’t know

A few weeks ago I exclaimed that there is one thing my mother loves more than newspapers.  That is money.  I had made her pinky swear that she would owe me $100 if she didn’t have 4 bags for me the following week.  I was really happy when she kept up with her side of the deal and delivered 4 bags the following week.  Unfortunately, I have had problems getting newspapers consistently from her since then.  I figured I would try the bet once again.  This time she would owe me 6 bags or $100.  I had high hopes since she was able to follow through with this a few weeks ago.  I was quite disappointed when I asked and she only had one bag for me.  She stated that she felt overwhelmed by the thought of 6 bags and said it wasn’t a good way to motivate her.  I guess its back to the drawing board!  Overall, I was happy because I was able to take a box of old books, a bag of misc. papers, a new kids on the block poster, some small rugs, tin cans, a bag of plastic, and a bag of styrofoam out.

This week

Cardboard boxes – (27)

1 bag newspapers (mom)

1 large bag papers

3 bags coupons

1 nkotb poster

1 bag garbage

2 small rugs

1 bag tin cans

1 bag plastic

1 bag styrofoam

For Donation:

1 box books for the library

2 bags clothes for goodwill

Week 14 – On a roll…

Another Week, More piles!!

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??

Plastic…

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!!

This week:

No newspapers

1 bag paper

1 bag plastic

1 box Styrofoam

1 computer monitor

1 printer

1 large bag clothes

Week 13 – Oh hey, there’s a floor under all of this crap!!

Most people would consider the massive piles threatening to collapse and smother me every week as my biggest challenge through all of this.  After spending 3 months conquering pile after pile, I have to say that my mother is most definitely my biggest challenge.  She shocks and amazes me with her ridiculous behavior week after week.  I have to say we are working along better now than we have in the past, but old habits die hard.  She constantly drives me crazy and it’s even more annoying that I feel like HER mother.  For example, last week my mother had no newspapers for me.  Did she have an off week?  Maybe, I get it, some weeks you don’t want to do anything.  But if I don’t constantly harass my mother, she would do even less than she does now.  Even though, I am there every week working my butt off every week.  Do I get a thank you?  Ha, yeah right.  So it got to the point that I had to threaten her to get me four bags this week.  I walk into the house and I’m shocked to find three bags filled in the front hall with my mother diligently working to fill the fourth bag.  In addition, the bags were all filled to the brim with newspapers.  This is a big change because the bags are normally half filled or padded with other sorts of papers.  I don’t understand why my mom can’t find this motivation herself.  I am working so hard every week and I feel like she either is wasting my time by going through everything that I have already done, or she is being lazy and making me do all the work.  Obviously the psychology of hoarding makes it all more complicated than this, but it’s frustrating.

How I feel by the end of the day..

I decided to keep working on the attic this week.  The problem is that even though I got some garbage out last week, there is literally no room to move.  I started going through some boxes near the door so maybe I can actually open it next week instead of thrusting my weight onto the door and forcing myself into the room.  Some of the boxes were filled with old bills and others with old papers from when my mom was a teacher.  I decide to leave most of these things aside for now because it will take forever to sort through them.  As I start going through some of the plastic bags piled up near the door, I find lots of bags of garbage I had thrown out years ago while I was living in the house.  I used to get so upset because my mother would go through EVERYTHING I threw away.  It was a huge invasion of privacy then and it’s even more upsetting that all of it was stuffed away in a back room for years.  I’m just happy I can throw this garbage away once and for all!

At one point my mother tries to open the door but it barely opens because it is now blocked by items I’m trying to sort.  She freaks out and literally tries to break down the door with me sitting behind it.  I guess she thinks I’m trying to hide something.  I tell her to give me a minute as I clear a space so the door can open again.  Among some of the items I had found were coupons from 1989 and 1994 as well as old newspapers.  I’m guessing these were stowed away during a last minute Christmas cleanup.  I open another box as my mother is standing on the other side of me and I’m shocked to find that it is also filled with garbage!  My mother literally grabs one of the bags of garbage from the box and runs away with it.  I am hoping she is going through it downstairs to help me, but I never find the bag.  I am beyond frustrated at this!!  I decided to hide the bags she would want the most and put the other bags in the hallway for her to go through.  As I’m getting more bags ready to bring to my car I realize my mom has disappeared downstairs into the living room.  I walk in to find her sorting through a huge garbage bag filled with plastic items for recycling.  She is literally taking everything out and stacking it next to her.  I get upset and start grabbing things back from her and start putting them back in the bag.  She becomes affixed on an instruction booklet that she claims is for the clock in her bedroom.  Mind you she doesn’t even use her bedroom.  I make a point that she was able to live without the booklet for 10 plus years while it was hidden in the attic.  She wouldn’t have known it even existed if I didn’t take it out.  I tell her she still has a lot to get rid of and ask if the booklet is REALLY worth keeping.  In the end, she lets it go.  My father came into the room after hearing the commotion and helped urge her to stop going through everything as well.  Even after all the commotion with my mother, I feel like I made a dent today and I’m excited because I can see more of the floor in the attic!

As I have mentioned in the past, my parents own a few other properties in addition to their house.  This week I also made a visit to my family’s rental property.  This was bought about 20 years ago because my grandma was getting older and was living alone in the middle of nowhere.  My parents helped her sell that house and bought a two family house so my grandma could live closer to us.  She passed away 6 years ago and the lower rental unit has been sitting vacant ever since.  My mother still hasn’t cleaned out all of my grandmother’s old things and has also filled the house with items from my great aunt.  The house needs some big repairs after being left neglected for more than a few years.  I am here today because I had stopped by the day before to see how the house is doing and noticed a window broken on the garage door.  In addition the back door to our vacant rental unit was ajar.  This made me completely nervous and I was so happy my boyfriend was there to go through the house with me.  I don’t know how long the door has been open for or who has been going through the house, but I don’t think anything is missing.

The fact that people are going through this house makes it more imminent to get the house repaired and rented immediately.  I had a friend meet me there today to give me an estimate for new siding for the garage and new windows for the house (which have rotting sills and need to be replaced.)  The yard needs a lot of work and grandmother’s apartment needs a new kitchen.  Of course my mother wants to put next to no money into the place though they have the potential to make most of the money back within a year or two.  I am so frustrated with this situation and with my mother in general at this point.  I need to be careful or I am going to get burnt out very quickly.

This week

4 bags of newspapers from mom (2 from last week)

2 bags old coupons

1 bag old newspapers

1 large bag papers

1 large bag plastic

1 bag garbage

1 dustbuster

Misc. tins

Week 12 – Pickled and back to the grind

Pickles and relish and pickles, oh my!!

I’m back!!  After picking over 100 cucumbers from the garden and subsequently pickling 14 jars of pickles and 9 jars of relish, I think the cucumbers are almost gone.  I swear if I see another cucumber or pickle, I may scream.  Even though, I arrived at my parents house on Monday ready to go..  Unfortunately, my mother was ready for ME to go as soon as I walked in the door. Seeing I didn’t come by the house last week, I was hoping there would be at least two bags of newspapers waiting for me.  And as I have said before, there is always an excuse.  This week it was the fact that she had just arrived home from babysitting for my brother’s kids.  Yes, she does go twice a week and the kids are exhausting, but she definitely can find time to pack the newspapers throughout the week.  I said fine, but stated that she would owe me 4 bags the next week.  In addition, they would have to be filled with ALL newspaper (she likes to pad the bags with cardboard and other papers.)  My mother responded “FINE!!”  She had a defiant look on her face.  I responded “really??  really??  you are going to get me 4 bags of newspapers by next week?”  She responded “YES!  I will.”  Hmmm.. I don’t really trust my mom, but I know one thing she loves more than newspapers, money.  I told her that if she doesn’t get me the 4 bags of newspapers by next week, she would owe me $100.  Once again, she repeats “FINE!”  I still don’t believe her so I decide to make her pinky swear.  Mind you, this is the first time I have ever had to pinky swear my mother, but she was a kindergarten teacher, so she knows the power of a pinky swear.  Right??  We shall see how this works out..

After already getting down and dirty negotiating with my mother, I decided I didn’t want to get my hands dirty as well.  I avoided the garage and back patio and headed to the spare bedroom (aka. the attic.)  A few weeks ago I had mentioned to my mother that I sold a video set we got for free on ebay.  She also had a copy that I was hoping to sell.  I had seen it one of the previous times I was in the house, but it has now disappeared.  I’m a bit annoyed that my mother may have moved it, but there is more work to be done.  I ended up finding more items from my grandmother and great aunts houses.  I’m not even touching these boxes since I still have a pile of stuff in my own house to get rid of.  While standing in the attic, I am overwhelmed by piles teetering over me.  It’s hard to sort anything because I’m forced to put the items I’m sorting onto other piles.  I finally decide to clear off a dresser that has lots of random oddities piled on top from over the years.  Records, clothes, baby bottles, papers..  You name it!  I even found a book of real estate listings from the 1980’s that had my current apartment listed.

The Attic – View straight ahead

After clearing a small amount of space, I attempt to start organizing.  But it is very difficult as I am literally working with a 4×4 foot area directly behind the door.  I decided to work on getting as much garbage out as possible so I could have more room to work with next time I go in there.  As I am exiting the room, I am excited to find a few bags of coupons piled outside the door. These are easy to throw away but as I grab the plastic bags, I notice one of them is actually filled with old photos from my grandmother.  For someone who values the past so much, it’s ridiculous that my mother stores pictures and old coupons in the same manner.

The Attic – View to the right

In addition to my mother’s items, I have been coming across some of my dad’s boxes.  These are normally filled with the most random items ever.  Magazines, weird lists, pencils, pens, tools, shells, rocks, pieces of model cars, you name it.  You think I’m kidding, but these were all items found in one box!  It seems he was also very involved in the finances of his volleyball league as I found lots of checkbooks from almost 30 years ago!  I have to mention that while I was going through everything, my mother kept popping in to talk to me.  I’m guessing this was more to see what I was taking out of the house than the fact that she had pressing things she just HAD to tell me.  I made sure to run the bags she would be most interested in out of the house first and leave the other bags for her to survey.

The Attic – View to the left

Total for this week:
3 Bags coupons

1 bag paper

1 bag plastic

2 bags magazines

1 box egg cartons (containing about 20 egg cartons)

Week 5 – Stayin’ Alive.. Well, just barely.

Close up of some discolored/chipped plates from this week

So this week I brought my lovely and amazing boyfriend along for the ride.  Before we got to work, I stopped at the hardware store to pick up goggles and a respiratory mask.  I’m surprised that he didn’t run away at this point!  We got to my parents house (which he wouldn’t be allowed to enter) and I snuck him across the street to my grandmother’s old house.  I gave him a quick tour (it’s a very small house) and sent him up the creaky steps to the attic to move boxes.  The goggles and mask were because the insulation is falling everywhere and it can’t be healthy to breathe in.  He is such a good sport, he really didn’t know what he was getting into.

Meanwhile, I hesitantly ventured back to my parents house.  I happy to say that I’ve found a tactic that works with my mom!  I walked in and asked for potting materials to use for growing seeds.  She was so excited to show me all of the pots that she cleaned and organized.  My favorite quote from her was “You wouldn’t believe what a disorganized mess this all was.”  NO WAY!!  Like the rest of this house??  In the end she was actually excited to give me the potting supplies.  Score!

We then headed back upstairs.  As I walked towards the front door I noticed phone books.  Lots of them.  It doesn’t help that we have two houses that get about 5 phone books EACH every year.  I start throwing older editions into a box as she hesitantly thumbs through one while eying me at the same time.  I leave the 2011 to 2012 editions and mention something about a 2010 to 2011 copy.  My mother shrieks “WHAT!  That one is 2011?”  I reply “yes mom, 2011, as in last year” as I immediately bury it under an old phone book in the bag.  In the end, I pack up 4 bags of phone books.  I grab a few boxes I had put together last week along with two bags of newspapers my mother has left and go  to check on the boy.

Lots of Phone Books!!

Phone Books – 32 to be exact..

My wonderful, amazing boyfriend is NOT happy.  I tell him he did a great job and get him out of the house immediately so he can get home and wash up.  He states that the next time he goes over there he wants garbage bags and people to help move things.  I’m happy I’m not the only one who sees this stuff and wants to do something about it!  We get home and unload everything.  I am disappointed as it seems like there are mostly cracked and/or stained dishes.  There is a set of corelle dishes in good condition that can be sold and a set of 3 elephant statues that look like they may be ivory.  Everything else seems to be garbage.  Surprisingly, my mother gave me the go-ahead to get rid of the worn plates.  She then stated that we could keep the corelle dishes for my 6 year old niece.  Sure, let’s just pack them away for 20 years.  Ugh!!  I immediately take the worn items to Goodwill before she changes her mind!

An underwhelming turnout

This week – 2 Bags of newspapers

32 Phone Books

Corelle dishes, random plates, glasses, tea cups, ivory statues

2 plant-starting trays

Total – 8 Bags of Newspapers

Week 4 – Trying to keep control..

So it’s week 4 and feel like I need to disclose the fact that we have two houses in addition to my parents house and my house.  Let me also start by saying that hoarders should never have more than one house.  To make it clear, the first “other house” is referred to as across the street for the obvious reason that it’s across the street from my parents house.  This is the house my father grew up in.  It was originally built as a two room war era house, but my grandfather added a living room, additional bedroom, and an attic onto the original structure.  Since then, my parents, paternal grandmother, brother, and myself all lived there at one point or another.  I had intentions to remodel it and move in after college, but part of the house is on a dirt foundation and it needed a lot of work.  I decided that I would rather buy my own place instead.  The house has been vacant since then and the final goal will be to clean the house out and have it knocked down.

Since I hadn’t been across the street in a while, I decided to stop over and assess the situation.  Looking around the downstairs area, there are cobwebs everywhere and bottles, cans, and other recycling left from my brother some 7 or 8 years earlier.  Then I step upstairs into the attic, this is a particular problem area because the 60 year old insulation is falling and has covered everything in a gross brown dust.  I quickly grabbed some pictures, jewelry, and documents, but realized most were from my grandmother’s second husband whom I never met (all of my grandfathers passed away before I was born.)  I took a small box of my grandmother’s things and called it a loss.  There was more work to do at my parents’ house.

So onto our favorite topic.  Newspapers!!  Earlier this week I received a call from my mother telling me that she was going to recycling and that she was bringing the two bags of newspapers she packed up along with her.  I pause and ask hesitantly “not three?”  Now she gets snippy with me, my mother replies “No!  Not three!  I am telling you the truth!  I was only able to get two bags” (as if there just weren’t enough newspapers to ever pack up three bags.)  I try to emphasize the fact that the whole point is for me to come and get them.  She asks if I just wanted her to leave them at the house and I reply yes.

So I head to my parents house and realize that my mother has taken the newspapers to recycling herself “since she was going anyways”.  I don’t know if I believe her or not, so I’m not counting them this week.  I ask about the third bag and she gets snippy again.  I get a response along the lines of “don’t push it.”  I attempt to take a bag of something else.  Clothes maybe?  Surely there aren’t enough of those either.  Only all of the clothes that we have ever worn since we were babies!  Once again she says “don’t push it.”  I go upstairs and start piling up some boxes I went through the week before to take out.  They are mostly pots and pans from my grandmother and great aunt who both passed away a few years ago.  My mother is watching me the whole time and is trying to go through everything I put down.  I tell her I will take everything and lay it out at my place so she can see it.  She points out one contraption she thinks is “antique.”  Ugh!  I finally get everything out and grab two bags of milk cartons to make up for not taking any newspapers. Supposedly she keeps milk cartons so she can store food for the compost before bringing it outside.  She also said she would like to keep a few to make some houses with the grandchildren.  No way whatsoever!!  I practically grab the bags and run. Finally I get home and lay everything from the boxes out on a blanket on my living room floor.  I count about 27 pots and pans.  Most are old and aluminum.  They will probably be going to goodwill.

My first haul from my mothers’ house. Lots and lots of pots and pans.

I decide to sort everything between good and bad piles.  Mixed in are some old kitchen tools and tins that would look pretty cool together on some shelves, so I put those aside.  I doubt they are antiques, but they have some character to them.  Otherwise, I am excited to find some really nice iron clad skillets.  I will definitely be using those!

I have my mother come over the next day to sort through everything with me.   This is important so I can gain her trust and let her know I’m not getting rid of anything valuable. I am also including her in the decision-making process.  I tell her that I’m unsure of what goodwill may do with some of the older pots (some aren’t in the greatest of shape.)  I was going to bring them to recycling, but she insisted that they could be worth some money so she would like to bring them to the metal guy.  Great.  She ends up taking about 10 of the pots.  I put aside some of the nicer pots and bring the rest to good will.

*as a side note, I got a call from my sister in-law about a week later asking why there was a box of pots in my mom’s trunk.  Obviously they haven’t made it to the metal guy yet.  Sigh.

This week:  No newspapers 😦

3 boxes of assorted pots and pans

2 bags of milk cartons.

Total – 6 bags of newspapers