Packing up grandma’s house

So, I disappeared again for about two weeks. The reason for my absence was that we were busy packing up grandma’s house. The only problem is that grandma used to live seven hours away.

Her untimely demise

I call her grandma, but it’s actually my husband’s grandma. She was such a badass old lady, even if I didn’t know her that well. 

She was a nurse, but also loved gardening. She put her two kids through school and university with the money she made from selling the fruit and vegetables that she grew in her garden.

As I said, she was a badass. I admired how she was a loving mother but also an independent woman.

Our wedding was at the start of May, and my father-in-law drove all the way to the coast to pick her up to attend two weeks in advance. Unfortunately, the Sunday before the wedding, she was so weak that she couldn’t walk on her own.

They took her to the hospital, and she never came out. I was so afraid that she would get COVID-19, but in the end, she died from multiple organ failure. At least we had the opportunity to say goodbye.

At least she was comfortable when she passed, but it’s still sad.

Packing up grandma’s house

We only had the opportunity to pack up all her stuff last week. This was because I’m working and studying and my mother-in-law is a teacher, so we had to wait until the school holidays. My husband also had to put in leave, so we had to plan the trip carefully so that we get everything done.

With all the respect in the world—oh my gosh, grandma had so much crap. She kept everything. It probably had something to do with her growing up during the depression years. 

She kept all kinds of plastic bags, even the plastic bags that you get at the grocery store to put your fruit in. By the end, we had two garbage bags full of just plastic bags.

That’s not even the worst. Not only did she not throw anything away, but she also used nothing that was ‘new’ or in a good condition. For example, we found a lot of gifts that she never used. I’m not talking about things that she never used—these were pots and pans, and cutlery, etc.

I wish we could have taken more

My parents-in-law said that my husband and I are welcome to take anything, but since we’re moving to Australia in a couple of months, we really could not. If we stayed here, we would have had everything we need for our place. It’s sad because now we have to sell her stuff to strangers.

At least we also gave a lot of her things away to good friends of hers, or people who really needed them.


I feel sad that grandma felt the need to hoard so much because I am quick to throw things away that I no longer need or use. Clinging on to things was probably her way of feeling in control.

Have you ever had to clear out the house of a loved one? What was it like?


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