Life has enough Junk, Get rid of it

Junky Storage

More on the never-ending MIL saga. With almost two months approaching, I figured that now would be a good time to tackle the big issue that my MIL has.  Her ridiculous storage account. This is an account that this woman has been paying for since me and my wife met. First of all, it is none of my business what this woman wants to do with her money – when she isn’t in my house- but that is not the case. As you become older, which we all will come to grips with, we will eventually retire or become disabled. When this situation happens, you become dependent on a fixed income. With this fixed income, comes a mind-bending reality. If you haven’t saved in your youth, by opening a Roth I.R.A. account, by time you become a senior-citizen, you are on a budget. With this mindset, it becomes  hard to let go of all the things you have accumulated over time. Husbands/wives become widowed, technology of all the “modern” furniture/electronics become obsolete, and you look like a hoarder. These could be things that make you nostalgic such as: Children toys, who are now adults, old music crates, plates, glassware, blenders, vacuum, chairs, TV’s, computers, tax returns, recreational trophies for children, school awards, electric blankets, pillows, clothes you can’t fit in, and  the list goes on.

As the time passes by, you move around and travel. Some people migrate to different cities. Job promotions and career changes happen. Best friends pass away from malignant illnesses. Vices catch up with your health and you start to experience mortality knocking at your door. I can only imagine that the process of aging, is a hard pill to swallow. For some, this may not be the case. I digress, however, I mentioned all of the things  above because my MIL is not in reality. She has a boatload of junk inside of a storage, from staying at one place and moving to another. Life has been a roller coaster for her. {Make no mistake, I have no empathy for anyone who I feel can make a difference for themselves.} She has been paying for this storage for too long.  Being that I have Saturdays off, I volunteered to help her clean out her storage. This is kind of half-hearted, because the real reason I am helping is to speed up the process. Despite a 15 minute wait of  the MIL not being at her storage, I remain calm and eager to see the storage.


I opened the storage and there was a mountain of complete junk to be sorted out and thrown away. I am not against storages, however, if you have a storage, you need to be using the stuff that is in there within 6 months to a year. If you run a business and you need a storage to keep your equipment there, no problem. If you have a temporary situation where you have to move out of state, and work on a job project for 6 months, no problem. The MIL has shit from the 1970’s that need to be pulled apart and “examined and shredded”. I was aghast at all of the stuff I saw from paid tv programs. She had an outdated exercise bike that she was adamant she wanted to sell. I arrived there around 12:41 p.m., we didn’t leave until 7:15 p.m.  It was so much stuff that I had to take out to hand to MIL, letting her dissect the box  as I begged her to “donate”, only to realize that it was only 1/4 of the work. I came home stewing over it, brooding to my wife about how ridiculous the storage situation is. To make matters worse, she bought an additional storage for a promotional deal that the storage company was throwing. I was perplexed to find this out, asking the mom directly, “What do you need an extra storage for?”, and she answered that she simply needed a spot that she could place her everyday things. I understood where she came from and left it alone, but still let my wife know about it.


So, a couple of days passed by, and I told my wife that she must bluntly tell her mom to get rid of that junk that she has in her storage. My wife was too delicate and submissive to tell her mom this, but I am not. The straw that broke the camel’s back, was when my wife presented to me a receipt for 291.00 U.S. Dollars, for a program that will teach my daughter how to read. I was one, under the assumption that this bill was for me, which my wife quickly dispelled by saying the MIL was paying for it. Second of all, I take my daughter to the library every three weeks, and read to her several times throughout the week. So, how is this “reading program” going to help my daughter, when she is barely 4 years old. She is already at the head of her class in every subject, with the occasional behavior flare up. Thirdly, how in the hell can you argue me down about throwing away a blender with dead spider eggs in the box,  when you just whipped out 300 bucks for a program, that has nothing to do with you.


I appreciated the gesture. It shows the altruism of a doting grandmother, however, this is money that needs to be placed towards your living situation. Which leads me to believe, A. she is not serious about moving out, B. she is not serious about getting her storage cleaned out, and C. she just is oblivious to the whole situation and thinks she can passive-aggressively stay by “nice-ing” her way through her stay. So, at that point I become infuriated and address the issue.



I start off by asking MIL did she call the donation truck, she said yes. Then I bluntly tell her, that it is in her best interest to get rid of all of the junk inside her storage. I for one, do not know what is sacred and what is not, so I cannot force you to throw out anything that you do not wish to throw away, but 70 percent of that stuff has to go. I offered to pay for a truck and dumping fees. I explained that it would befit her to get rid of all of that stuff, rather than harbor the junk like a “hoarder”. It will be a burden financially that will hurt her in the long run. She was thrown off completely by my assertiveness. I assume because she usually saw an amiable side when she used to visit us. Now, I had shown my other side. I told her that I would go help her separate the pile for donations one more time, but after that , I am getting a truck, loading it up by myself and getting rid of the excess junk. I walked back into my room, and slept peacefully.


After further reflection, I thought about how she may have not wanted to get rid  of the storage. I called myself aggressively helping her, but she may have seen it as being too intrusive. I couldn’t care less if she was offended, because what I said, I meant, and felt it was true. The gift that I have as a human is to reflect and think about how the other person may feel. She may feel, “How in the hell can you tell me what to do with my shit THAT I PAY FOR?!, The unmitigated gall of this muthafu#^@!” . “I can do whatever I please, I deserve my personal business.” So that may be true, but you have to think about my privacy as well. I lost my privacy, the moment MIL moved in.  If I am an overeating, coke-snorting, philandering, alcoholic, you will see all of that. All of a persons business becomes public, once you move in. So, privacy is a luxury we both lost. What I tell my wife is that she doesn’t have to clean out her storage, if she doesn’t want to. However, she will have a deadline of getting out of the house. In other words, if she wishes to put storage over shelter, so be it. It is not my business what happens to her after the deadline. My wife understood where I came from, and relayed the message in the most watered down way a daughter could.


Here is my gripe, before MIL moved in, she was humble and willing to do anything, I asked of her to do. She was cognizant that I am the man of the house, and she must respect the rules I lay down. She was open to getting help. Since she has been here, she hasn’t used the assets I have provided for her, free of charge: rental website subscription, free rent, free labor, time that I could’ve spent elsewhere on my day off. She has not told me about any lists that she could’ve put her name on. I am offended, that she is offended. I would be ecstatic, if I were in the same predicament and I had a SIL that would look out for me like that. I guess we just have different mindsets.