I've been busy helping put to rest a family estate. Nothing big, just the home of my mother-in-law with about 3 queen sized couch beds, a library full of books, and more sewing and knitting patterns in books and magazine pages than I think I've ever seen in one spot before. My sister-in-law and I have cleaned out three rooms in the last three weeks and sorted through so many memories.
It's funny how much is left after a family member dies, especially one who collected things. Not anything like salt shakers or normal collectible items of course. She was a knitter and in every place possible there were knitting needles, and scraps of patterns for scarves, sweaters, mittens and so much more. We've found every size of knitting needle you could imagine - straight, double ended, and circular in boxes, bags and plastic cases and lots of plastic totes filled with fabric and yarns.
I've done this before when my own mother died, but this was a different undertaking. My sister-in-law had already spent weeks going through and organizing, and donating some of the contents of the condo before I joined in the process, but just the rooms I helped with were almost totally filled to the ceiling, and sometimes on metal shelving units.
My mother-in-law was a person who was very frugal and kept so much for that proverbial, "rainy day" (and those, "just in case I need an item," times.). Going through all the sewing items, knitting paraphernalia, papers, notes, music and music books has helped me see the need to begin to empty my own house. It's interesting how much she had accumulated (I know I don't know how much I've saved, that's for sure!). But I have to admit that unlike many who lived through the Depression (like my Mom-in-law!) I haven't had that huge urge to compulsively save all kinds of things, for which I'm extremely glad for since I've so enjoyed going through all that my Mom-in-law accumulated. I've actually had 2 LARGE garage sales through this past summer!