There's nothing like visiting people who have lived in the same house for 30 years to make you want to declutter. I came back from visiting family in December and I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have.
Right around the first of the year we had a rare day of sunshine and I was like, "I'm going to weed the front yard!" except I had to put something away in the craft closet first. I still don't really know what happened but all of a sudden I had pulled everything out of the closet. Everything. And then I was bagging up things for the Goodwill (Greg hates garage sales and won't help if I have one). The decorative vases from my reveal. Old curtains I sewed for the bedroom and will never use. Gone. My friend Joy took all my extra yarn for an after school program she runs.
Then I hit the front hall closet. Can you believe I had more throw pillows in there? We have six million throw pillows in our living room (I think they reproduce while we sleep). I don't even need extras to recover or repurpose, we have so many.
Next I was raiding my closet, getting rid of all the shoes I never wear. I have a hard time getting rid of clothes and shoes because I buy new ones so infrequently. I'll stop wearing an item then put it back in rotation two years later. But I think three years without a single wear means I can purge them. Gone.
Next up, books:
I used to buy around 50 books a year. Then I started working in a library and realized that I could get any book in the whole world for free and I never bought a print book again (I still buy books for my Kindle). It was liberating. And now I've realized that I don't need to hang on to all of them. Just the good ones that I might loan out or reread. All those galleys from library conferences have been weeded.
When I first moved into the house I arranged my books by color because that's what everyone on the Internet was doing. This is a great system if you don't read your books. If your books are not decorative it's awful. I swear they almost revoked my librarian rights over this.
Everything is ordered the way I like it now, a combination of author/gender/genre. Anais Nin sits on the shelf with Henry Miller and Proust, the way god intended.
Next on my decluttering list is the garage, but that will need to wait until it warms up. Anybody else purging? I think I might be addicted.
We are TOTALLY purging to make room for all the CRAP Cashew will bring. We've been donating and selling stuff on Craigs. We've made $500+ selling all the crap on craigs, so that makes me feel pretty good. Still don't know what we'll use it for, but it's an exciting little stashReplyDelete
I'm sort of regretting not selling more things on craigslist, though it was satisfying to just get rid of it and not have to deal with flakes on the Internet. I really wish Greg was into having a garage sale.ReplyDelete
We've always been labelled as "purgers" by our friends (me in particular) but this past Saturday, with the sun reflecting off all of the snow outside, we decided to tackle two kitchen cabinets that held a lot of stuff that hadn't been used in eons. After an hour of removing everything, cleaning shelves, and purging items, we had accomplished our goal and then some. A large box (as well as some clothes) were taken to the household items recycling store and we were done! Feels good.ReplyDelete
Your lucky not to have a partner for whom EVERY object has deep emotional meaning. I swear we could open our own toy store with all the kids' stuff in the garage.ReplyDelete
I should clarify that I only purged my stuff. Greg is hard-pressed to get rid of his stuff. I had to fight him to get rid of all the boxes he was storing in the garage. We'll see how future purges go when it's both of our things . . .Delete
Nicely done! That reminds me: we have a hidden cabinet behind the fridge that needs to be emptied out. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Oh yes, the flakes. It's taken us about 2 months to get everything sold (that we have so far purged), so I completely understand the satisfaction of it just being GONEReplyDelete
While the designer in me loves the color blocked book look I never understood how someone would actually find the book they were looking for! The fact that you, a librarian, would try it boggles my mind!ReplyDelete
We had a huge garage sale last year wherein we finally got rid of everything we had duplicates of when we combined two homeowners' households. We made a great chunk of change and I was all "Oh, I love not having any stuff; I'm never letting that happen again."ReplyDelete
Now, after listing out just a portion of the things that we have to get for our tiny new roomie who is coming in May (I'm casually sliding this in with the assumption that you've heard our news:)) I run around the house and I'm all "we have no room to bring any more stuff into this house!" Thus, I'm in the midst of another huge purge, and I don't think we'll have the time or nice weather for a garage sale this time so it's all being donated. Among the many items going away are some more difficult things to part with: my half-finished projects that were going to be so cool, all of my painful but so cute shoes, tons of leftover fabric that is still sizable enough to make something out of, and, depending on the momentum of my craze, my physical CD collection (not the visually life-changing ones, of course!).
I sort of wish a magical dumpster would arrive at our house and I could just throw everything I didn't want into it...and then it would disappear the next day...POOF! I will never forget the day I decided it was ok to get rid of my VC Andrews and Dean Koontz books (well, except for Flowers in the Attic...that's a classic)!ReplyDelete
You don't need Greg to buy into the garage sale. Pool resources with a couple of other purgers, make up goofy outfits from all the donated clothes, mix up some Margaritas and he will be begging to be let in on the fun.ReplyDelete
We're purging as well. With the amazing hoard that I reference often, a baby on the way and planning another remodel, it's time. I always say to purge while you are in the mindset. My friend's mom has the best way of being willing to part with clothes-force yourself to wear it that week or right then-it will often feel frumpy and then it won't be so hard to part with :) Good luck, have fun!ReplyDelete
I think my parents still have my stash of VC Andrews at their house! Now I kind of want to reread Twilight Eyes. :)ReplyDelete
That is genius. I know if I tried on the clothes in the back of my closet I'd realize why I don't wear them more.ReplyDelete
When are you going to write Ricki's Guide to Life? I'm enjoying BeBop Garden, by the way.ReplyDelete
I have heard the news and I want to see you before you deliver! I'm so excited for you!ReplyDelete
AdRi does not like having garage sales either: I hear you about the challenges that brings. We've been purging over here as well. Most of ours is crappy garbage, but with the reduction of Portland's trash pick ups, it's making it a challenge. So far we've done 1/4 of the kitchen cabinets, main floor bathroom. It feels good doesn't it? I think the plan is to do the whole house bits at a time over the next few months. Let's hope the vigor to purge continues. Clearing space makes way for new! Also: we got rid of our crappy old kitchen pans by putting them in a box on the curb. 10 minutes until they were picked up by the local scrappers. Bada bing!ReplyDelete
I had people from craigslist fighting over a bag of old half-used toiletries. It amazes me what people will take if it's free. There was an art installation in a restaurant in Seattle where someone had taken old baking pans and painted the insides of them with letters of the alphabet playing various instruments. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. If I could paint I would steal that.ReplyDelete
I *love* getting rid of stuff. Seriously, I always have a box/bag for Goodwill in the basement and it fills up on an almost monthly basis. I adore the feeling of having stuff cleaned out and having donated it to a good cause (or to someone on Freecycle, or even just throwing it out). Such a good feeling!ReplyDelete