Mom's Stuff

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Posted on November 25, 2014

'Mom's Stuff'- Another 'Big Story' by a Big Box Storage Customer.

I come from a really small family, in fact it’s just me and my mom at this point.  I have no siblings and my parents had divorced years ago and didn’t stay in touch.
Up until about a year ago, my mom was doing fine on her own.  She still lived in the house I grew up in.  Although it’s a big house, over the years she’s managed to fill it with a lot of ‘stuff’ so that it doesn’t seem quite as big as it actually is.  I live in San Francisco, and my mom lives in San Diego so it’s a bit of a jaunt for me, but with flights so expensive these days, I prefer to make the drive every few months just to visit and check in on her.  I’m fortunate enough that I work from home, so I’m able to ‘take my work with me’ whenever I go for a visit.

I’d noticed the last few visits that the amount of ‘stuff’ in the house has grown considerably.  While I wouldn’t call my mom a hoarder, she definitely tends to hang onto things whether she needs them or not.  It had been a concern for me especially in those last few months after she’d twice informed me that she ‘tripped and fallen’ over something in the house.

I’d been trying to gently encourage her to get rid of some of the stuff purely from a safety standpoint.  I offered to come down on a sunny weekend and hold a yard sale – which she declined.  I then offered to hire some home organizers to come in and help her make a decision about what she could let go of, and what could be organized in a more uniform way so as to prevent future trips and falls.  Also declined.
Basically, her attitude was that she didn’t want strangers in the house, taking away things that had personal meaning to her (I had to laugh at that – one of her favorite things to collect is couch cushions and the living room is FULL of them!).  In any case, she was becoming more and more stubborn about the issue and when I’d bring it up, we’d end up having an argument over it.  It just wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, and I was constantly worrying about her.

Well, the inevitable happened – she took a bad spill and broke her hip.  Now keep in mind, my mom is in her late sixties, not exactly old and infirm, but she’d definitely need help when she was released from the hospital.  Since I’m pretty much all she’s got, and knowing that she’d reject having outside help, I really had no choice but to pack up and move south and into the house of ‘stuff’ so I could look after her while she recovered.

I love my mom, and I’d do anything for her, and because of that, I told her in no uncertain terms – in return for me uprooting my entire life in San Francisco to come and take care of her, I was going to figure out a solution for all her ‘junk’ – yes at this point I considered it junk, dangerous junk, and I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
After a lot of complaining, she acquiesced, realizing that there really weren’t any other options short of her having to come and live with me.  In my one bedroom apartment.  In the middle of the city.  With NONE of her precious junk (or her three cats!!!) – if she was going to come and stay with me, my plan was to completely liquidate that house in one fell swoop.  I simply didn’t care to invest the time in trying to sort it all out from a distance.

After several lengthy discussions with her in her hospital room, I made her one promise – that she would be allowed to ‘oversee’ the organization and potentially the disposal, of all that stuff she kept tripping over, and that we’d find a solution for the things she wasn’t willing to let go of.  This is where Big Box Storage comes into play.
I knew that she wouldn’t allow strangers into the house, and to be honest, I don’t blame her.  We all have our reasons for wanting privacy, and for not wanting people to touch our things.  Because I do most of my work from home, if I could find a way to be able to do my work and get this project started, it just might work out.

After searching the internet for a bit, I came across Big Box.  It was almost like an answer to a prayer!  I gave them a call and they explained how simple the entire process could be – not only would they deliver the storage unit right to us, but they’d put together a bundle of all the packing materials I’d need.  How perfect is that?  Then my mom could relax on her pile of a thousand couch cushions and watch while I did the work of packing up the things we decided to put into storage. 

To cut a long story short, I had just enough time to pack up my own apartment (thankfully I do NOT like to collect stuff the way my mom does, so that part was relatively easy) and get it picked up by a moving company.  Here’s the best part…I arranged it so that Big Box would deliver TWO portable units to my mom’s place.  That way I could have the movers simply transfer MY stuff to one of the units, and then get to work on my mom’s house.  This couldn’t have worked out better. 

The ending of this experience is that Big Box Storage provided not one but two ideal solutions to a very unpleasant problem.  My mom and I are living happily ever after, in a tidy uncluttered safe home, the same one I grew up in, and her stuff is just a few miles away safe and sound if she ever needs it.

Final note – we kept all the couch cushions because with her hip problem, she has trouble getting comfy.

If you enjoyed this story, check out another storage story by a satisifed  Big Box Storage customer!