1.14.2010

Who put all of this stuff in my basement?

The recent kidnapping by "whatever comes after life on earth" of my mom has left me realizing that humans leave this earth very light compared to how they lived on this earth. We have too much stuff. We have shelves upon shelves of books, stacks and stacks of boxes full of papers, bins full of meaningless keepsakes and bins full of meaningful keepsakes. We have nooks of antiques, cabinets of vintage collectibles, closets of clothes and racks of shoes. Our kitchen cabinets are full of enough dishes for a small army and hutches packed with enough cookware for the White House. Folks, we really have too much stuff.

I've been bringing a few things home from my moms. I've brought home things that remind me of her, things that remind me of her house (since we'll be selling it - unless a really nice person, or insurance policy, shows up ready to write a check). I've also brought home a few useful things. By useful I mean things I'm going to use right now, not things to pack away until I have room. The addition or more stuff to my already full house has left me ready to purge.

It's time to rid my life and my storage spaces of things that are meaningless. I don't care if it's really cool and I might use it in 2 years, if I don't have great memories associated with it and it's not getting used, it's going out the door. I'm in no way going through my house trashing stuff, but when I clean up a pile, I put forth a huge effort to divide the pile into keep, trash or sell and hopefully my keep pile is smaller than the other two combined.

Last week I tackled my office floor (yes floor - don't you judge me for my choice of storage places) and this week it's Christmas decor. I started with 5 large storage bins and a small ornament organizer this season. I refuse to put all of that back in the basement. Seeing as how I didn't even put all of it out this year, it is silly to keep it all stored away. While I didn't get rid of as much as I thought I would, I did pair down to 4 bins and my ornament box. OH, and one of the bins is only half full. Now that is something! If I can do this with all of my stuff - out of season clothes, extra bedding, keepsakes from college, and kitchenware I don't have room for, I'll be many, many pounds lighter.

I think it's a start, a good start.

4 comments:

pentalia said...

Bravo! I admire you for what you're doing.

When I was in library school (at UT, I might add), they taught us that once a year, you weed the book collection. If you have a year in which every request for information has been filled by books from your library, your collection is too big. I try to remember that when wondering what to do with my aunt's heirloom embroidered dish towels, and my mother's inherited from who-knows-which-aunt appliqu├ęd quilt pieces, and... arrgh!

Laurie Marshall said...

do you think it would be worthwhile to get a space at a flea market? I've been thinking about it...

casserole said...

I once heard that if you have to think about whether or not you want to keep something, then the answer is "no". I used to struggle with cleaning out my excess, but once I put that into practice it's easy breezy. The last time I cleaned through my dresser, it took all of ten minutes. (And that's because I was folding up the clothes as I was packing them in bags.)

idyll hands said...

Pentalia - interesting thought about the library... I can tell you that my library's collection is not too big then :)

Laurie - how much does something like that cost?

Anne...errr... Casserole - TOTALLY on board with that system. I'd been easy to put in the get rid of pile because of the hesitations.