Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Spring cleaning. This year I am doing more than cleaning, I am cleaning out. Seriously, there are times I look around my cozy little place and realize that I don't have room for another thing. But, I find yet another thing that I absolutely love and I end up fitting it in somehow. I have a little plaque on my fridge with a quote from George Carlin.."Home is where we keep our stuff, while we are out getting more stuff."..Alas, I am a collector, but I am not a hoarder. Believe me, I have seen those hoarder shows and realized (with relief) that I am not that bad. Not saving butter containers yet. Although, at one point I had way too many paper bags saved! So, I have been "going through my stuff". Now, I do expect this to take quite a while because some of this stuff I haven't seen in years. I really have some great stuff. The decision to keep or pass it on is not an easy one. I have read & re-read the book by the guy who had that program on HGTV, Clean Sweep. He explains in his book that we attach a huge emotional value to our stuff and that is the reason we keep things. He mentions that most of the stuff that is stored in rented storage containers, that people continue to pay rent on month after month, is very rarely taken back out of storage. Most stored stuff is never again visited by it's owners. I can sympathize. When I downsized after my divorce, I had like 75 totes of stuff in my new basement. (I got rid of about 150 totes of stuff when I moved to the new place). I had two or three yard sales after I moved into the new place, and when I went down into my last week, I was back up to having 75 totes of stuff again. How did this happen? I ahve vowed to cleanout the basement once again. This time I have enlisted the help of some friends who will help me get beyond the emotional attachment to my stuff. Or so I hope.
Last night I was looking at a mirror that I have on my bedroom mantle, it was my mom's. It is nothing that I particularly like, I would like it more if it was in a frame, I guess. The frame was very cheap and fell off about 5 years ago. It is just a large, very sharp edged mirror , with a Japanese geisha engraved on it. I have hung onto it all these years because it was my mom's, for basically no other reason. I asked about getting it framed at a local craft store and they said it would be about 150.00, so back it went on the mantle unframed. It is my emotional attachement to it that keeps it there on the mantle. I have to let go of the thought that somehow that mirror is my mom. In reality , it is a mirror that hung in my mom's house. If she was still alive, there is a chance that maybe she would have tired of it and sent it packing anyway. Now, I have to be brave enough to let it go.
And it is surprising, when I packed up two bags of stuff for Goodwill two weeks ago and got it right out the door, it felt good. When I went through my desk last weekend and cleaned out a lot of old paperwork, it felt good. This weekend, I am "going through stuff" in the kitchen. I probably have 25 kitchen gadgets that I haven't used in years. I know I have a bag of cookie cutters that haven't been pushed into cookie dough for 10 years anyway. My grandchildren & my niece make cookies, I bet they could use them . They can cut out forms in play dough with them, too. Way better than sitting in a draw in my kitchen for the next ten years and I knwo I will feel good about it .
So, here's to Spring Cleaning-Out! I am really having fun with it this year. Peace.

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