To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unexpected Return

I've been purging, slowly, deliberately and steadily. I've noticed the past couple of years that I'm getting irritated with the stuff in my house, stuff I've paid good money for, stuff that's stored in boxes or totes, stuff that's taking up precious space in my house and in my psyche. No one is using this stuff and no one wants it. Why am I storing it? Oh, because I might want this for the cabin, or the grandbabes might wear that, or one of the kids might want these--ya know? I know you know.

It's been hard--I won't kid you. At first, when I thought I was getting rid of stuff, I soon realized that I was really just moving everything around and repacking it better so it looked like I had more room. Later, as I was digging in an upstairs closet, I found a tote of stuff that I was sure I had gotten rid of and you know what? I was mad, like, grrrrr mad. I couldn't believe that I still had this tote of stuff, this stuff, this stuff I was positive I had gotten rid of. I needed a better plan. A plan that didn't include shuffling.

Here was my plan--start with three boxes. 1. Goodwill 2. Garage Sale 3. Ebay/Craig's List

Many days I would walk through each room and take at least one item and place it in one of those boxes. Some days I would tackle an area like my bedroom closet, or the linen closet, or the desk in the livingroom, perhaps a kitchen drawer or cupboard. If an item went in Goodwill, then I wrote the item on a list so I could deduct the donation. If it went in the garage sale, I priced it right then and there so everything was ready to sell. If it went on Ebay or Craig's List, well, I'm slowly listing those. Fortunately, that box is really bugging me at the moment so I'm researching the items to list at a fair price and in all fairness, there's not a lot in that box.

I've already made several runs to Goodwill and we just had a garage sale over the weekend. Whatever didn't sell, I logged and placed in boxes and then delivered the whole lot to Goodwill with a fond adieu as I drove away, relieved that none of that stuff was coming back home with me. Do I have lots more space? Not yet, but the space I have isn't crammed full of stuff anymore. I know I've gotten rid of boxes and boxes of stuff, but I can hardly remember any of it. Imagine that. I've found that the more I got rid of, and didn't miss, the more comfortable I was with letting more go. I stopped thinking about all the money I spent on this stuff because really, was it worth any more to me to have it boxed up and shoved in a closet? Okay, the money I would still have in my pocket had I not purchased all that stuff I just gave away would make me happy, but hey, lesson learned.

But here's the thing. I called this post the Unexpected Return because when I got up this morning I realized I didn't have anything pressing that I had to do. No clutter to take care of, no piles to sort through, no boxes accusing me of being a hoarder and slacker. Hmmm, I had time on my hands. My unexpected return is that I had time for doing what I wanted to do with no guilt, time for playing in the kitchen--which I did. It was a baking sort of morning and you know what? That's okay because I assure you, neither of these will be left in a week and they will certainly not be packed away in a box. No, they will most certainly be consumed.
Am I finished purging? Heaven's no, I still have a lot of purging to do, but I've eliminated so many of the glaring items that were in my home just because. I still have lots of boxes in the attic and cellar that need to be gone through, but for now I think I'll reward myself and spend some more quiet time in the kitchen.

Have you purged? Have you had an unexpected return? Would you care to share?


  1. Awesome. All of it...the feeling of letting go, the result of it, and the time you are left with.

  2. Sometimes you just have to "clean" up and get rid of some of the clutter. I am like you are, instead of trying to give it away or eventually to sell it, I rather pack it up in boxes and store it away. I store and store and store and the at one day I get mad at myself why I still kept all the stuff, although I already forgot about most of it and it only takes up space. But then again, I go through the boxes and bring out some of the older stuff again or exchange it with something I used for a while to accent the rooms. In this way, I create a new look of the rooms every now and then without I have to buy a lot of new items.

  3. Hi Lily it's pamela saying thanks for your kind condolences recently, I couldn't leave replies because of blogger problems though. Magical meadows (the blog) is frozen in time and so I've started up anew. Hope to see you over here soon (when I've said something worthy of comment!) Love all your posts, especially the outdoorsies, but this is right where I'm at right now, sorting through the stuff! Glad I'm not alone;)
    pamela xxx