Three Huge Boxes and a Cedar Chest Down

Slowly, we are clearing the clutter

Dale and I took advantage of the great December weather (in the mid-upper 70s) this past weekend by staying on the continuous journey of cleaning the storage building of all of the stuff that was once part of our lives in the city, as well as the stuff that was part of my mother’s.

It was clothing boxes this past weekend. Unfortunately, some of the clothing was ruined from almost 5 years sitting in boxes. Mice and mildew got one box. Fortunately, I got some great stuff I had been wanting back and it almost feels as if I have a new wardrobe.

What else I didn’t want was bagged to give to charity.

While we only got through three huge boxes, it is a start and we began to make a plan for the rest that needs to go to free up our physical lives of the clutter, as well as freeing our minds of it.

Last month, we attended a wedding of a dear friend of the family. He is my Godmother’s grandson. His father and I grew up together and Dale and I also went to school with his mother.

When I heard that Quinn loved retro mid-century blonde wood, I had the perfect gift in mind. It was a cedar chest of my mother’s, a top of the line Lane with the original paperwork (and an ad for rollers for it) stapled to the inside of the top.

The cedar chest was a little scratched and discolored from years of sitting in a heavy smoker’s home, but otherwise in very good condition.

Dale asked if I was sure I wanted to part with it when I told him my idea.

This has been mostly my issue with getting rid of my mother’s things. But I knew from spending time with Quinn’s parents that he appreciated antiques as much as my mother did, and I thought he would like something connected to his “granny” if only indirectly through one of her best friends.

We emptied it out (sans original keys, which weren’t in the chest, to my disappointment), cleaned it as best we could and wrapped it in a tarp for the 300 mile journey to Kansas City.

The day after the wedding reception, we delivered the cedar chest to Quinn’s house and he was absolutely ecstatic over the gift. He said he remembered meeting my mother a couple of times when he was at his granny’s house.

I told him that I imagined when the chest was either purchased or given to my mother in 1959 (according to the paperwork); his granny was present to oh-and-ah over the new piece of stylish furniture.

Quinn’s house indeed looks like a magazine centerfold spread from the 1950s and they were already mentally placing it in a prime spot in the living room.

I was very happy to see someone who not only had a close family connection getting the piece of my mom’s, but was very satisfied in knowing it will be appreciated for years more, which is more than I can say it would be if it were still sitting in our storage building.

A couple of weeks later, Quinn’s mom told me how he had cleaned it up just like new (as he said he would) and the chest fits perfectly in their living room.

A fine parting and perfect pairing, I only wish I could find such homes with connections to my mom for the rest of it.

Have you ever thought of giving something away, especially if it has sentimental value or is an antique, as a gift?

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7 Responses

  1. Sheryl says:

    We have been packing to move, and it feels so, so good to declutter. It feels like a huge weight is lifted, doesn’t it? Sorry some of your things got ruined, but happy you were able to salvage some others.

  2. V Schoenwald says:

    I am doing this exact house chore now…cleaning out and donating things that were my mother’s and two grandmother’s. It is very hard, as I grew up with beautiful hand made linens, tatted, and stitched with love, so I am packing things that will go to blogging friends for Christmas gifts as I have gotten to know them through their blogs that they love things like this. It gives me peace knowing that they will love it like I did, and it has a new home. The rest is junk and I am chucking, and some is going to the thrift/recycle places. I have to close my eyes too. If I am not real sure, I place it in a box marked with a question mark and will go back to it several times before I make my decision.
    I am getting ready to move to a different, smaller community in the next few months and a different home, so it is time.

  3. This is a lovely story. I completely understand your desire to place your belongings with people who will love and care for them. When my grandmother passed away, my mom said she felt very strongly that my grandmother’s things should be distributed in the same way, since she cherished the things she accumulated. I think it is lovely to receive a gift like this and I’ll bet your mom would approve!

  4. Lyndsay says:

    found any family or friends who want to hold it for us. So I am forced to part with it. It makes me very sad.

  5. Lyndsay says:

    Just stumbled onto your blog today.
    It is funny you should post about this today. We have recently decided to downsize and are building a tiny house. We have three young children, so it wont be as tiny as some of the tiny houses. lol It will be roughly 840 sq ft.
    If things go according to plan we should be in the new house by this coming Fall.
    We have already started to pare down our belongings in preparation for the move. I have very few attachments to our physical possessions, except one. My piano…my father bought it for my mother when they were newly married. He gave it to me about 6 years ago, I love to play and learned to play on that piano and used to play for him. He passed away from cancer 5 years ago. It breaks my heart to get rid of it. I have these dreams of watching my own children learn to play on it.:( I have asked around and havent