Clearing Out & Cutting Back

Blair and I have spent the better part of this week going through every cupboard, closet, pantry, and desk drawer we have, looking for that which may be thrown out, given away, or recycled.  A book about decluttering your home is what prompted this mass cleansing, and I for one am thoroughly enjoying myself. It's amazing the amount of stuff we've amassed that we no longer use. A brief citing of items that we have deemed no longer worthy of being held onto:

  • The hoop skirt I wore under my wedding dress
  • 5 identical glass flower vases
  • An empty Cutco knife holder
  • The tiki lamps, lei's, and other decorations from a Hawaiian Murder-Mystery dinner party we threw 4 years ago
  • 3 suitcases
  • A silver percolating coffee pot I bought at a garage sale and never could get to work
  • 4 Pampered Chef cookbooks that I will never use because their cookbooks annoy me with their bolding of specific Pampered Chef pans and utensils you're supposed to use to make recipes. (Will the strawberry dessert really taste different if I use a non-Pampered Chef can opener to open the condensed cream? Will it??)
  • My master's thesis, college projects, and a ton of childhood papers.

Speaking of childhood papers, no one can claim my mother doesn't love me. Dear God--years ago she gave me masses of papers she'd saved from my childhood. At the time, I stuck them all in a cupboard. But going through them, I found just about every drawing, tracing, math problem, and writing exercise I did from age 5-9, not to mention about 10 holiday turkey's drawn from the tracing of my hand and a seemingly unlimited number of drawings featuring a house, tree, and sun.

I kept about a quarter of the papers, including a drawing on which Mom had written, "First day of  school - Sept. 1975." 

In our digging, Blair found some wonderful black and white photos of his grandfather holding him when he was a boy of about 4, plus some great early pictures of his parents when they were dating. We're going to look into having all of them framed.

The house still hasn't recovered. Piles of stuff--"for Goodwill," "Trash," "To be given to..." are everywhere. I came down yesterday with a hard case of the flu and spent 18 hours in bed with chills, cough, and sneezes. I feel woozy but better today. Still a lot of work to be done to get the house in some semblance of order for the New Year. But I highly recommended the purging exercise. The house just feels lighter. One of the best tips in the book was that if you think you need a new filing cabinet (which I thought I did), stop, and first go through the papers in your old one and see what can be let go. I tossed almost 80% of that which I'd filed and now have plenty of space to grow.

Ack. Getting a biz dizzy sitting at the computer. I think back to bed I shall go.  Happy cleaning.