Sometimes I think the younger generation doesn't want us baby boomers to exist.
First of all, we are blamed for having thrown all decent houses and preventing millennials from climbing on the property ladder. Then we get fit because we are the richest old people in history and make endless cruises around the world, while young people barely make ends meet.
We are also an old nuisance to our health and paralyze healthcare with our hip replacements, heart bypasses and other expensive treatments.
And now – last insult – we leave homes that are full of possessions from a long, surviving life.
But it seems that our children have had enough. For now, we are told to empty our homes while we are still alive so that our families do not have the horrible task of getting rid of our accumulated junk once we are gone.
Liz Hodgkinson, 75, (photo) admits she is shocked by the best-selling book The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson
I think it was Rod Stewart who gave them the idea when he announced that he was auctioning 60 luxury items to make him contract now that he's in the 70s.
That, and a new book with the hair-raising title The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning, which encourages the elderly and their families to get rid of all their surplus stuff in their homes to clear up their last years.
The author, Margareta Magnusson, has cleansed herself & # 39; with death & # 39; and has helped many other older people to do the same. Needless to say that the book has become a bestseller, following the heels of Marie Kondo & # 39; s advice that everything in someone's house should be perfectly neat and folded and that to provide a living room for more than 12 books , you are a non-constructed hoarder.
We may think that discouragement is new, but Shakespeare had a few words to say about constantly getting rid of property. King Lear expressed the wish to relieve & # 39; crawl to death – and see where that led.
We baby boomers today may not have kingdoms to give away to warring children, but for me the idea is to clean our homes & # 39; to make them as stripped and soulless as an Ikea showroom, immeasurably humiliating. .
Although I don't like junk and junk, I do find my home a home, surrounded by all the artifacts that make it unique. I am far from minimalistic for Kondo, I have at least 3,000 books and I always buy more.
Liz, who has stuffed an attic with things, says that although everything is arranged in boxes, she has no intention of losing the content (file image)
I keep calling on my carpenter to build more boards. Each of my books is part of my life history and it is not only the content, but also the covers, the size and the shape of the volumes that give pleasure.
It is true that I try to organize my home library into themes, so that I know where I can find a book on a certain subject, and for me they are not messy but decorative. It's the same with my art collection.
Although the space in the wall runs out quickly, I enjoy buying art, often from friends, and I don't worry if a certain painting becomes an investment. If I like to look at it, that is enough investment.
But again, the art in my house is carefully hung and not scottish and crooked.
£ 750 million
the annual turnover of the storage industry in the UK
Many older people, including myself – I'm 75 – have attics full of stuff. A few years ago my attic was a messy jumble, but I had my carpenter clean up and everything is now arranged in labeled, transparent, stackable boxes, neat and organized.
But when it comes to getting rid of the content – absolutely not! I have old school reports, school magazines, school exercise books, primary school signature books, diaries that I have kept since I was 13. If I had to put all this stuff away in a van to the nearest garbage dump, I would have felt that my whole life had been skipped worthless. I certainly would not want a busy person coming to my house and cleaning it up for me, while, as one of my sons says, I am not completely flattering, & # 39; as fit as a violin & # 39; stay.
My junk, as some people see it, travels with me and when I have to contract and go to a retirement home, it goes to a storage unit. But whatever, it will be preserved.
Liz likes to think that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren get entertainment by looking at her possessions (file image)
I like to think that my grandchildren, and perhaps great-grandchildren, will get some entertainment by looking at these remnants of yesteryear, and they can laugh at their entire collection of my boyfriends – the later husband – love letters.
It is true that they may not be comparable to the great love letters sent between, for example, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, but my grandchildren may be surprised that their grandfather, who they regard as a somewhat foolish old man, was once young and fiery used to be.
Why throw away all these memories? Although they are not of great importance or value to anyone else, they are priceless to me. I can't do much if my family decides to put fate on a bonfire when I'm gone, but they won't do it when I'm alive.
The same applies to clothing. Although I am not as bad as my daughter-in-law fashionista, whose entire house is full of vintage clothing, I love to announce the changes and I always buy new outfits.
I want to stay fashionable and up-to-date for as long as possible, and when I have around 30 pairs of shoes, they are all essential to complete a specific look.
Also my bathroom could find some full of junk. Are all those bottles of nail polish needed? Probably not – but you never know. I might like to paint my toenails deep purple or clear blue.
Liz (photo) says that none of her middle-aged sons have suggested tidying up her house, she wants her to wait until she is dead and buried to sort her things
What I do agree with is that it concerns outdated electrical appliances, collapsed computers and the like. As soon as they no longer work or have been replaced by newer models, they must be discarded. They make no sense, serve no purpose and are nothing but junk. The same with broken furniture.
I'm also pretty relentless about getting rid of old saucepans, cracked porcelain, and so on, and I don't even like yesterday's papers hanging around.
But everything that improves my life can stay. I don't want to spend my days in a surgically sanded environment that used to be my cozy home.
The parents of my daughter-in-law, now in the mid-90s, still live in the house that has been their home for at least 60 years. It is old-fashioned and full of trinkets.
They are war survivors, accustomed to shortages, who never throw anything away, just in case it comes in handy one day & # 39 ;. As soon as they leave, their children will need years to tidy up the house.
It will indeed be a daunting task, but it would be the utmost cruelty to sell their furniture, lose their books and outdated kitchen items while they are still alive. It is that house, really, and all the memories that go with it, that sustain them, as with many old people.
So far, none of my middle-aged sons have ever suggested helping me tidy up my house, but if they do I will do me a favor and wait until I am dead and buried. And if it means that you will be faced with a gigantic job when I'm gone, tough. Is your earned wage!
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