I am watching my moms animals while she is vacationing in South Carolina...today I started cleaning out her basement. There are 40 years of 'stuff' down there. Literally. I found my baby toys from my baby years. And my brothers things- when we each moved out one by one, we did what teens do: we put the stuff we didnt want anymore in her basement. Well my baby brother is 22 and a dad of his own, now in his own house. My mom is a hopeless pack rat. The kicker is that her basement floods. So, ninety percent of the items down there was nothing but pure garbage. I carried out 47 large bags of trash, and I have only done half the basement. I organized dishes, some antique, most pure garbage- however I didnt dare throw them out. I stacked cans of paint probably 25 years old- garbage, but I wouldnt dare. I did throw out all moldy-waterlogged books, toys, rollerblades, and iceskates etc. I put all bags of receipts- some from 1970, in a big box for her to go through. I spent 11 hours down there going through everything and carrying out trash. All her Christmas decorations, Halloween, Easter: organized. Warped records, albums- all stacked in a box. I found my deceased step-fathers discharge papers from Vietnam, and old life insurance papers where the beneficiary was his first wife in 1970. I didn't throw them out, I put them in a labeled box. I started out excited by this surprise for her, but now I am mortified. I am not sure if she is going to be happy, relieved- or if she is going to disown me.