Friday, October 31, 2014


I have a confession to make: I have been terrible at de-cluttering lately.

Not only that, I've been bringing things into the house that are like (although not exact) things I have spent a lot of time getting rid of. See, I blame it on halloween.

I love making my kids costumes, but sometimes what will happen is that I'll buy material and then I'll a) run out of time to make whatever I was going to with that or b) someone changes their mind or c) I bought too much fabric. And so then I find myself on October 31 surrounded by a bunch of things I don't need, in my now disaster of a sewing room.

I thought this year would be different. I thought I'd be better at not saving the little scraps, because I can put those in my rag donation bag. And I did, to some degree, but not enough. I thought I could re-purpose some of the leftovers, and some of the bought the wrong stuff, but I have a feeling I won't.

I MIGHT be able to handle this a little more thoughtfully, had I been keeping up with my 2 a day program. But I haven't been very good at that either. I've fallen out of the habit at the same time that it got a little more difficult. I've been through the major spaces once, gotten rid of the obvious clutter. Now I'm revisiting those spaces and making harder choices.

It was easy when I could open the linen closet and instantly see 7 bottles of body lotion I no longer used or cared for. It is much harder when you think about going through your towels and getting rid of the ones you don't need. Although maybe some things are still easy too--I recently decided I didn't need 20 bottles of sample mouthwash from the dentist. Heck, I probably don't need the 2 I kept. But overall, de-clutterign is taking more thought and energy now that I've whittled down the obvious.

AND we head into holidays, which is when I tend to accumulate stuff. This year I don't want to feel that "where do I put this" feeling when gifts arrive. But I'm not sure how to accomplish this.

How do you deal with "deep de-cluttering"? How about the holidays? Tell me about it.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Things I can't part with...

When I started this project, my best friend asked "Do you really have over 700 things you could get rid of?" and I confidently answered "yes, sadly I do." Probably the reason is because I have such real problems getting rid of things that are no longer useful.

This project has helped, because I can only think of one thing I got rid of that I wish I had kept (the hose). And I can replace that, I just haven't. It makes it a lot easier on the items that I debate over. In fact, if I had not been documenting, I'm not sure I could really even tell you what is gone. I just really don't miss it.

There are still things that irrationally, I can't let go of. I have no use for them, in fact no one is using them. This was hammered home this week because I was having to "re" de-clutter the guest room (aka the dumping ground for the house). The closet had begun to overflow and the bed had stuff on it, so I went through looking for the obvious stuff that had not gotten used, putting away the things that had, and putting things where they should go. In the process, I found the Harry potter lunch box.

On the first pass through this closet, I could not get rid of it because it might be useful. On this pass, it was clear that we have way too many coolers/lunch boxes and I STILL couldn't get rid of it.
Harry potter lunch box
So why not?

Well, this represents a time in my life. My husband gave this to me the Christmas that I worked at a horrible job. I loved Harry Potter (this was 2000 and book 3 had just been published). He thought I needed something happy in the middle of my day.

And it worked. I worked there another 5 months, and then left, got a better job and happily carried this lunch box until I quit my job to stay home with my babies in 2003. I even carried it when I went back to work part-time.

Now, I don't work very far from home, I have flexible hours, and never have to take my lunch. It didn't seem fair to let ONE of my children carry this--and in any case, they both find it "babyish" and "old fashioned." I still can't part with it.

Some day I will. Some day I will realize that the good memories--how loved I felt every time I used it--are still there even if the lunch box isn't. I'm still loved even if I don't pack my lunch. And it might be soon too--I realized in photographing it that the zipper is a little wonky.

What do you have that you just can't get rid of?