A free-sale purge to contain(er) clutter

We have been doing a bit of purging on my Homeland Holiday this summer. It’s hard to say that this has been “one of my chores” because it is really one of those things that is part of most of my chores. Indeed, for many years I have been tasked with helping on a project around the house that leads to a bit of light purging.

This time, however, Daddy and I made some real progress in purging things. He has decided that he doesn’t need as much stuff as he has. And that means that, rather than my normal practice of ditching one or two little things here and there, we ditched whole categories of some things – including a lot of containers that Mum saved and collected for her various concoctions.

Oh yes! There were so many containers: jars and bottles and tins and you name it. They were collected each year with an aim to fill them with her homemade liqueurs and infusions, special spice rubs and seasoning mixes, cookies and candies, dried or cured this or that’s, and all her other culinary treats.

And canning jars. Oh, so many canning jars! The basement was filled with canning jars from back when we did lots and lots of canning when I was growing up. Those jars are no longer needed, so I gathered them up to pass them along to my eldest sister who is still quite active in the canning game. It was a day-long process just organising the jars and bringing them up from the basement to the car and then into my sister’s basement (which her husband helped with).

So many canning jars.

We did keep some of the jars – specifically, the jars that Dad will use for cherry juice in future years – but only in the sizes and quantities that he will use. I mean, just because you’re purging doesn’t mean you can’t keep a few things!

We also purged through a great amount of other culinary-related stuff such as old Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers (far more than Daddy can ever use) and various specialty cooking and baking things that were surplus to requirement.

Once we had everything collected, we put photos of things up on our local Facebook groups offering everything up for free – except for the canning jars which went to my sister. Then we placed it all out on the front steps and let people come by and collect what they wanted.

It was great to see people collecting jars, tins, and bottles – and even better when it was people who knew Mum who were excited to use the containers for the same sorts of things she was planning to use them for. It made the idea of “throwing away Mum’s treasures” a little easier.

Because, whilst there is joy in seeing all the extra space we created with the various purge projects, there’s also a little sadness knowing that Mum would not have approved of my large-scale purging – just in case she needed the various things for something else. (But it is more joy than sadness.)

And that’s not to say I don’t understand Mum’s desire/need to hold onto things. I mean, I have a little collection of bottles and jars of my own, and if I wasn’t thinking about luggage constraints, I would have wanted to keep several of the things we purged.

There was more purging that took place this summer, too. And still more to do before I leave. But the other stuff was more “treasure sorting” than “stuff purging” and deserves a post of its own with lots of photos. Not yet though, as there are still more treasures to explore.

But for now, I feel good about our efforts. And I am looking forward to more of it before I return home. Home to my own (much smaller) collection of jars and bottles that I plan to fill with my own homemade concoctions. I am, after all, my mother’s daughter!

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