As I stood behind two women in our local thrift shop I heard one say, “Oh I will leave everything for my children to dispose of.”
I thought to myself, “Oh no, your realtor will dispose of what you leave behind.” As a realtor with 20 years’ experience I have done this many times.
I spent last fall dismantling a home that was being sold. It did not seem too cluttered until we opened every cabinet, closet and dresser draw. The children only wanted a small handful of items and requested that I donate or sell the remainder. I got to know the owner very well by the time the last item was gone. She had only been a casual acquaintance, but she became much more than that to me, as I dispatched her memories to other locations.
Near the end of that project while moving items in my own crowded closet, I came across a portrait still waiting for a wall to grace. This memory surfaced. Bonwit Teller was closing its Manhattan store when I stopped in on a lunch hour to see what bargains I could uncover. In one of the bedroom displays I spied a reproduction of an eighteenth century child. She was petite with a dark hair and black eyes set in a small oval face. She looked like my daughter, Jenny aged 7.
For a few dollars I captured this prize and it hung in Jenny’s bedroom through two moves for a total of 7 years. When Jenny turned 14, she changed her name to Jenn, with two ns, and the picture was replaced by posters of Madonna and Axle Rose. I blushed when I realized that was 25 years and three houses ago! It has stood in the back of a closet, an attic or basement for all that time.
On the rare occasion when I came upon it in search of a Christmas ornament or odd piece of luggage I would remember finding the picture in the detritus of the store’s closing and lugging it on Metro North to our home in Westchester. It is one of the memories that tie me to a place and time in history. It is one of the many memories that when pulled all together make up “My life”
I asked Jenn, now Jennifer, if she wanted the picture. She said no. Of course, it was my memory not hers. I decided to donate it to someone who would give it new meaning and make it a memory of their own. After all, the picture will always hang in one of the rooms of my memory vault, circa 1980.
As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, I have assisted literally hundreds of people declutter, list, and sell their homes. For a consultation please call 914-924-1887 or email Faye4homes@aol.com.