My father-in-law finally moved in with us July 21st.
We moved in our new house back in October 2006, so it only took him 9 months. That's 9 months for him to decide which of his possesions he wanted to bring with him to furnish his bedroom, his den, and a small section of the garage.
One thing to remember about him is that he is a collector/hoarder.
At 90 years old, he's had plenty of time to build up his collection of stuff. Like a dozen or so coffee cans filled with screws, nuts and bolts. Or a half dozen toolboxes filled with assorted drill bits, wrenches, screwdrivers and more screws, nuts and bolts. Or a large collection of decorative cigarette lighters (he doesn't smoke). Or a collection of old blow dryers (including 2 that are so old they have wooden handles), which might be understandable if he actually blow-dryed his hair at some point. He's also got a thing for timers and battery chargers. He packed at least a half a dozen of each.
Anybody need any light bulbs? We now have a 2'x 3'x 2.5' moving box full of them, plus a 2 ft. high metal barrel full of bulbs, and a shopping bag full of the ones that didn't fit in those 2 containers. Oh yeah, there's also 2 coffee cans full of small light bulbs, like the kinds you'd put in the dome light of a car, on a string of old-fashioned christmas lights, or maybe a night-light, but mostly tiny little bulbs that I don't know what they could be used for.
I'm not trying to say that the stuff he's saved over the years isn't useful (although a lot of it is outdated), the problem is just the quantities. And he's hesitant to get rid of any of it. Everything is "valuable" or "important". Or in the case of a lamp he used to have in the corner of his TV room, "That's precious to me!". It was a lamp with a base shaped like a cast iron stove, a hurricane-style lamp on top, and a cheesy green plastic lampshade on top of that. MaryAnn talked him into getting rid of it after telling him it looked like a reject from a WalMart clearance bin. He still hasn't decided which of his remaining 8 lamps he's going to keep in his 2 rooms.
One thing he kept asking for (while we were unpacking his stuff for him) was his shaver. I came across several, so I would bring them over to him, usually 2 at a time, and ask, "Is it one of these?" to which he would reply, "I've got a better one somewhere... let me hold on to these until we find the better one". I found a really old one, and as I approached him with it and tried to open the case to look at it, it broke apart. He said to MaryAnn, "Oh, I got that one when your mother and I got married. I guess we can get rid of it." Ya think?!? ...but he kept the other 7.
It'll probably be a few more weeks before things get straightened up. MA's made several trips to Goodwill, and I posted a few things on freecycle, but it barely seems to have made a dent.
The strangest part is that Poppy, skinflint that he is, actually paid someone to move all this extraneous crap.