It’s November already and I have 8 weeks left to finish cleaning out my clutter. I don’t remember what iteration this is of clutter clearing. All I know is I’ve done this a lot and although in one breath I hate doing it again, I also know that once it is done, I will feel a whole lot better.
True confessions: I am the daughter of a hoarder. It took my two sisters, an “adopted brother”, and me at least three years to clean out our family home where my Grandmother and we five had lived for over 40 years. Well, not all of us lived there for 40 years, but our Mother did and it was she who filled up every nook and cranny of a rambling mid century ranch house. We had a basement that went at least half way under the house and two big attics, one at each end. One was Grandmother’s and one was Mother’s. Each was equally jammed with stuff. Plus we had a barn. Yep, all filled up.
I don’t want to dwell on that particular clean out as it was a challenge beyond your wildest dreams. For three years we sisters would make the trek back to the old homestead and stay for 4-8 days and spend them all sorting, cleaning, tossing, and dispersing all the treasures in the house. To complicate things, the house held lots of junk too, like empty egg cartons, used napkins carefully folded for later use, used tin foil, empty jelly containers from restaurants, and little boxes, little plastic containers, newspapers, magazines and stacks of old comics from our growing up years. Some treasures, lots of junk.
So this experience began my “clutter clearing in earnest” history. As a child I was very neat and liked keeping things in their place, but since I never had my own space, that was hard. I gradually gave up on the idea that I could live in a neat environment after living first with sisters, then with roommates, then a husband and children.
After our children grew up and left the nest, we made our first big downsizing move. THAT was a chore. I will spare you the details but I ended up hiring an organizer and it was the best money I ever spent. She showed me how to declutter by sorting things into the piles of Keep, Pass it On, and Trash It. She gave me one plastic container in which I could put keepsakes, but once that was filled, that was it. She was great!
Since that move we have moved at least 5 more times and each time we move we get a chance to declutter. It’s a process I both love and hate. The fun part is finding things I’ve forgotten about that make me smile or laugh. Or finding things I thought were so wonderful and wondering now: “what were you thinking?”
Ah clutter: the bane of my existence. But it has taught me how to prioritize, and how to detach from material things. It has gotten so much easier over time. Part of it is, I realize, that as we age, things become far less important than they once were. As we talked about before, there is nothing wrong with things, except when they become the focus of our lives. But now, I can honestly say that most of the things I am keeping bring me joy, but never as much as being with the people I love.
I am so very grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life.
What colors do you associate with gratitude, giving, fall? Maybe it’s green for an open heart? Or red to warm up our bodies from the cool weather? Or perhaps orange, the color of community as we sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends?
Whatever color you want or need, we have it here for you. Each bottle is handmade just for you. None sit around on a shelf getting old. They are made to order so we can sometimes add in extra magic! Click here to purchase.
This has been around before but it is so worth watching over and over.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Happy Thanksgiving! Until next month,