Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More 'Stuff' or Anyone Up for Some Spring Cleaning?

[This was written yesterday but I was not able to post it until today when our network/TV/computers were back up and running. Well at least something is finally back up and running!]

I’m sitting on my back porch as I type.  Luckily, it’s a beautiful day to be outside.  Sometimes summer can come early in May, but this year we’ve been blessed with cool temperatures and low humidity.  I wouldn’t mind if this weather continued until July 4th, but alas, the hot and humid days of summer in the south will probably be here all too soon.

But not today; and that’s a good thing, because I can’t really be indoors today.  The new carpet is being installed and there’s nothing I can do to help. We spent the weekend removing everything we own from all the rooms upstairs and putting it all in the living room/dining room (with the help of our daughter and grandsons).  We’d already emptied furniture in the downstairs rooms for our new hardwood floors and in my last post I talked about all the “stuff” one accumulates in 28 years of living in the same house.  Well, that was nothing! 

So I’m looking at 90% of everything we own, except clothes, piled up in the living room and dining room and, on the one hand, it doesn’t look like that much really.  I mean, shovel out those two rooms and we could make a clean start!  On the other hand, it seems like a LOT of stuff, especially when I think about having to put it back where it came from.

So of course, we won’t be putting it all back where it came from! J  This seems like a perfect time to clean out, give away, sell or toss those things that just aren’t that important to us anymore.  It will probably take a month to go through this process, but we are committed to trying.  There are still a lot of things we’ll keep, partly because we do have room to keep them and partly because we do have children who might want them someday.

Here is my problem though.  I’m not a very organized person.  I try, God knows I try, but I just can’t seem to find a way to store things that make them easy to get to when they’re needed or that prioritize what I need and use and what I don’t.  Our daughter is very good at this and I’m hoping that she can help in this process but otherwise I may need a professional.

Got to practice on this stuff though, ‘cause the basement and all its "stuff" awaits!

UPDATE:  So the beautiful spring day on the porch meme has been shot to heck!  Come to find out: 1) they didn’t include the downstairs bedroom in the carpet quote and contract, 2) said bedroom has dry rot in one corner which has to be repaired before any carpeting is installed, 3) installers didn't bring enough carpet to put in an additional bedroom and the front stairs and finally 4) Lucy the lab needs to have her teeth cleaned, has a few “masses” that need to be biopsied and is getting cataracts – oh and 10 weeks post-op from surgery on one of her knees, she will probably need surgery on the other knee sooner rather than later.  Hmm, I think that’s all. 
As my DH would say, “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Let me just say that I am not a hoarder! I can still see the surfaces of my dresser, desk and coffee table.I can see my bed and chairs and dining room table. I can make my way from one end of my house to the other without a map and without injury! So, I am not a hoarder. 
  >>>THIS is a Hoarder>>>>

I will admit to being a “collector” of beanie babies (cough, cough), music, books, magazine articles, photographs. I will acknowledge that I have accumulated a lot of STUFF in my lifetime, but everyone does that, right?

You probably won’t even be surprised to know that there are over a million and a half Google results for the search term ‘Psychology of Clutter’. Even before I knew that there was such a term, I spent a lot of time trying to psychoanalyze my clutter issues and my disorganization disorder.

I recently read a blog post by Jane Brody at the New York Times. She has been writing a series about her own de-cluttering efforts, “Making Progress Against Clutter”. The motivation for her attempt to control her clutter was the scheduled re-carpeting of several rooms. I can relate! We are finally getting new flooring after 27 years in this house, and I am faced with the prospect of moving a lot of stuff in preparation for the installation. In the process I am looking at things that have been stored in drawers and china cabinets and have not seen the light of day in many years, and I’m thinking as I examine these things: Why did I buy this?  Why do I still have this? Will my kids want this?

Many of these items are pretty – which is why I bought them – but I never use them. Many items were handed down to me by family members – but they’re not much in style these days. Do I need 8 moving boxes full of old photographs when I only display 15 or 20 photos? How many glass vases or candlesticks does one household need? Why do I take things that other people are getting rid of – even though I don’t need them? Sigh!

These questions are worthwhile to ponder, but alas, I don’t have time. I’ve got to move a lot of “stuff” from one room to another these next couple of weeks. I do promise that I will examine everything carefully before putting it back where it was stored. At this stage of my life I think a lot about what my family will do with my stuff when I’m gone. I don’t worry that they will give it all away. I worry about what they will think of me for having kept so much stuff for so long. I’m reminded of the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21). Do I really want to spend my time and my money and my energy building bigger barns to store my stuff? 

How do you deal with clutter?  Is it an issue for you at all?  Let me know your secrets and thanks for stopping by.