There is a New Age belief that whatever you give out comes back to you, not just emotionally but materially. For example, if you give a lot of money to charity the universe will reward you with lots of money. Not really sure about that but over the years I've given away a lot of things to charity. I also seem to be constantly being given things. Or more accurately perhaps, inheriting things.
When my grandmother passed away in the U.S. I'm not entirely sure my mother gave any of her stuff away. Several months after her death large shipping containers full of my grandmother's things arrived on my mother's doorstep. We had great fun looking through it and picking out what we wanted. My mother kept most of it and lived alone in a three bedroom house in which every piece of furniture, nook and cranny was stuffed with things. It's hard to let go of your mother's things, even if that's all they are: things.
After my mother passed away my sister and I spent a day together in her kitchen dividing up her kitchen things. It was like Christmas. Most of what I took wasn't so much because I wanted or needed it; it was because it reminded me of my mother or grandmother and, therefore, created a link to someone no longer in my life. In addition to that, some of the things I took seemed like a good idea at the time...
With Footprints came gratitude and with gratitude came the realisation that I had more than enough material things in my life. Furthermore, no amount of material objects was going to either bring back my mother or grandmother or strengthen the bonds I already had with each of these wonderful women.
That being the case, Husband and I spent the past two days culling in the kitchen. And I mean culling. We have boxes and boxes of things we don't use, need or love to give away to charity. I think there is more stuff in the boxes than in our kitchen cupboards now. The only things I've kept of my mother's or grandmother's are the ones I actually use. The exception is my grandmother's spoon rest which I used to use but kept breaking. The lines where it's been repaired are glaringly obvious. Nevertheless, I intend to buy a plate stand and proudly display it on my now bare kitchen counter. I just love that spoon rest and every time I look at it I think of happy times in my grandmother's kitchen which was the hub of her house. Oh, and her coffee cup is on the counter too, holding chopsticks. (We eat a lot of Asian cuisine. Not sure what she would think of her cup's current use but I rarely drink coffee and tea doesn't taste good in her coffee cup.)
Husband and I feel tired but liberated. The feeling after de-cluttering is akin to having a weight lifted off your shoulders. Furthermore, I feel great that our unwanted stuff may find homes where it's loved and help a charity at the same time. I just hope that the so-called laws of the universe don't give me lots of new stuff to fill the gaps. I like the gaps.