Nobody wants your junk

This is Harvey.


He has guarded my box garden for years, through bunny invasions, liquid summers and pesky deer.

I’ve liked Harvey ever since I saw him in the Walmart garden center. I’m always happy to see him when I’m checking on the tomatoes. He hides behind them when the plants are full of leaves.

But we’re moving into a 32-foot motor home and Harvey, and all the other little things I’ve collected over the years won’t fit. They have to go.

The teapots I got as Christmas presents, the antique furniture, the books I had to have hard copies of, the fancy Christmas dishes and the Pampered Chef I bought out of guilt at my girlfriends’ parties, all has to go.

Here’s a hard truth. No one wants your crap.

In some countries it’s considered rude to die and leave your junk around for other people to ditch. Old people get rid of stuff before they die. In Sweden it’s called “death cleaning.”

So far, my daughters have passed on taking my childhood solid maple bedroom furniture, the child’s rocker Aunt Frankie gave me, the tea cups collected by my grandmother, the baseball signed by the Pirates who won the 1960 World Series.

They either don’t want the stuff because it’s not their style or they don’t have room to store it. They have their own junk.

A friend advised calling an auctioneer to sell the stuff off.

On the phone the auctioneer said he would be happy to come over to see what we had. When he came over he barely glanced at our stuff before trying to get us to sell the house through an auction, where we would pay for all the advertising up front and he would take a cut of the proceeds.

We said no thanks. We just want you to auction off our junk. He told us he couldn’t sell our stuff. There wasn’t enough of it to make it worth his while. I guess we should have been hoarders. Then he told a racist joke and left.

I’ve found homes for some things.

One daughter took her grandmother’s pedal sewing machine. I donated two other electric sewing machines. Another person has said she’ll take the piano for her church youth center.

And the rest of the stuff is gradually going to our local Rescue Mission. Maybe they’ll make some money off my junk.

What I’m finding is that I can do without. I don’t need fancy Christmas dishes to enjoy the holiday with my family. I don’t need heavy Pampered Chef cookware to make a meal. And I don’t need a blanket from World War II just because my mom got it as a wedding present.

So I’m saying goodbye to things including Harvey.

I ‘ll miss ya Harve. But I’m sure someone will pick you off the Rescue Mission shelf and put you in their garden. The tomatoes should be good this year.


6 thoughts on “Nobody wants your junk

  1. congratulations on liberating yourselves from your “stuff”…..having an adventure to look forward to sure makes it easier to decide what to take and therefore what must go. i hope you write a travel journal and share it as you go along….i’m particularly interested when you mention volunteering as you go… happy travels, Charley. I remember you well from our conversations when I was with the Chamber’s Small Business Council. Glad to see you’ve moved on!


  2. I hope you are donating and rehoming this stuff you don’t need. Maybe your relatives don’t want something, but it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be good for someone else. #Reduce #Reuse #Recycle If you list something on Ebay that is for charity and benefits a 501C3 charity, such as Mainstream Green, Inc., the listing is free and Ebay passes along the proceeds to the charity.


    1. I do! My Uncle Debbie Lee George is still alive. My Aunt Frankie Delcambre died years ago. They were my mother’s siblings. The story is my grandmother promised her best friend she would name the baby after her no matter the gender. This is Louisiana, by the way.


  3. Joe and Charley,
    I stopped up to see you the other day to say good bye and wish you good luck but you weren’t home. Enjoy and I will be following your blog!
    I will miss seeing you in Wegmans!!
    Safe travels,
    Mary Ann


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