Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cleaning Out...Letting It Go

Sadly, hoarding is in my DNA, so it is not part of my nature to get rid of stuff.  But even I acknowledge how wonderful a parred down closet or pantry can be.  A couple of years ago, Rachel helped me clean out the attic. I was brutal and gave or threw away most of the stuff we'd stored up there for the past 20* years.  My  neighbor asked if I was moving, because I put such a big pile of garbage bags out for pick-up.

This year, I'm determined to rid myself of unused, unneeded items that are cluttering up my life.

Back when I was married and had 4 children living at home, I had one closet to call my own. Now, my clothes can be found in 4 closets, with bunches more hanging on the laundry room hanging rack. This is ridiculous. I've resolved to pare them down to the two closets in my bedroom. Since, I have clothes that span a range of sizes and decades, I am asking myself..."if I lose weight, would I even wear this again?"  If the answer isn't a resounding YES, then it must go.  When my mother was moving a few years ago, she kept bringing things over a bridesmaid's dress I wore when I was 18 or the pantsuit I wore on my honeymoon (see what I mean about having hoarding genes).

I am resolved be a hoarder, so clean out I must. Give away, throw away, let it go...that's my motto!

Except with my craft/art supplies. I love them. I use them.  I can't let my babies go...even to a good home.

But, one thing that was no problem to let it go recently, was the leaf debris in my gutters. Lots of leaves on the ground means packed gutters which need emptying regularly. I hate to ask someone to do this job, so it was so nice when my son, Brandon, noticed and took care of it while he was here over the holidays. Some things plainly are trash...well, not really....decomposed gutter compose gets left in the's good for the grass....see...I really am a hoarder!

I'm thinking about starting to collect a box of paper towel tubes, empty oatmeal and cereal boxes, bottles tops, etc. so the grands and I can use them to make castles and stuff whenever they visit. The thing that makes me hesitate is the idea...that now I will be saving trash! 

Which is a scary step for a hoarder to take.  :  )


  1. I too have outfits and pants that I have saved even though they are way tooooo tight....i recently did go through some things and got rid of some can be tedious and hard. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job....i think the castle making project with the grandkids sounds awesome....i say go ahead save some trash....:-)

  2. Girl as soon as nice weather hits us again my husband said we are going to go through the attic and basement and get rid of stuff. Somehow I find it refreshing. I hope you do too.
    have fun sorting and tossing.

  3. Oh, me, too. My walk-in closet is no longer a walk-in!

  4. oh the stuff my mom threw away that i wish had kept! LOL but i know this sentiment, i did that when i moved.

  5. Yippee for getting rid of stuff! I lit into our schoolroom today and happily filled up some trash bags and boxes with throw away/give away stuff.

    Oh, that I could get every room done this way!

  6. You would be proud of me Beth. The office downstairs is the staging area for the give away junk. It's filling up.

  7. I do hate to say this but....every time I throw something out I tend to regret it later...So yes I am a hoarder too. The one thing I don't have too much trouble getting rid of is clothes...I have a very small closet and maybe that helps. On the other hand, in my store room I do still have the suit I made in Home Ec class in 1968 and my senior prom dress:)

  8. Good luck with the clearing, Stephanie. I agree....keep all the craft and mail art supplies.

  9. I can sympathize with your anxiety over being a borderline hoarder; but it is an unwritten law that anyone crafty should not get rid of the things in her studio. Period. This is how I keep myself in check: if I don't have a specific project that calls for bags of empty cat food tins yet I cannot part with them - then I need help. End of story.

  10. Jill growls at me sometimes saying that the garage needs tidying up. When I look I find that most of the unwanted stuff is things she got rid of from the house and is now stored in my garage. Must admit though that some of the stuff are things I keep in case I need them, and by golly they do come in handy sometimes! - Dave

  11. I wish you the best of luck getting this accomplished. I am not a hoarder. I don't have the room but I think I could be if space were available. I sometimes wish I had things from my past life..but then I ask why?? I can remember them that is good enough. I like to take pictures of things now. Or I draw them. Then it is easier to get rid of them. :)

  12. P.S. Your son is a good man. You are blessed. I don't think the empty tubes would be too much to keep. Just be careful. tee hee....

  13. Oh, I hear you! I am the same way!! The fact that your neighbors thought you were moving made me giggle, as I can see that happening to me. Indeed, I am thinking exactly the same, I have to get rid of my stuff. I get almost into a certain panic when I enter my basement. There are boxes on top of boxes of items I have stored since my stay in the US and before, just like you - over 20 years of crap.
    If I am going to make any resolution about anything this year - it is to clean out that mess.
    Thank you for this inspirational post to make me actually start on it.;)

  14. Have you watched the show Hoarders?? I have been watching...with HORROR and intrigue. I am a "cleaner outer"...I attack and throw stuff out and donate it like crazy. BUT, I enjoy it a little TOO much and need to pay attention to OTHER things.

    NOW, I HAVE to admit that although I am NOT a big crafty person, since having two little girls that ARE I save all kinds of crafty items for "projects" LOTS of projects!

  15. Stevie hoarding is in my genes too and after having to help my Mom clean out her house I realized that I need to keep a check on myself. My problem is magazines -- they come in faster than I can get rid of them and I'm always thinking I have to save something from each issue. At this point of my life I won't live long enough to cook every recipe I've collected over the! So I am not renewing my subscriptions as they run out, and I'm recycling what I've stashed away this year.

    That was so good of your son to help clean your gutters. I had to pay someone to do that this fall and it was surprisingly expensive.

  16. I just discovered your blog. I love it! I love all things "southern". Wish I lived in the Deep South. Visit me at

    Michelle E.

  17. I came from a long line of hoarders! It's a very hard habit to break but little by little it becomes addicitive to purge, too!

    One very fun thing I did was to check out some books by Don Aslett from the library. He's all about decluttering your home...great, easy to read and hilarious books with lots of testimonials. I know you'd love it and be inspired. :)

  18. Both my husband and l love to declutter and purge , so we do okay.
    But I am finding as I get older I'm becoming less inclined to toss or giveaway so quickly. I have always wondered if there is a certain point or age when we start getting so sentimental and comforted by our live literally surrounding us.

    good luck with this.
    and it will be very freeing , it will


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