Whirling dervish!

It grows like weeds. It replicates like a virus. People get attached to it. I’m talking about stuff. Mostly useless stuff.

While helping out my brother and his wife recently, I realized how much stuff people accumulate over time. Lots of stuff. Weird stuff. Even dumb stuff.

This motivated me to do another major clean out. The beloved husband and I clean stuff out every year but if we had to downsize tomorrow, it would be a nightmare. Cleaning out isn’t always straight forward. Could I use it at another place? Does someone in the family want it? Perhaps keep it another year? Have a garage sale? (Yeah that’s another laughing session. The money earned isn’t worth the time spent.)

This past weekend, we did it again. I donated or tossed at least 20 pair of socks that gave me no joy. (They are socks!)

I eliminated more clothing. There were items that in the past brought me joy but not anymore. I always like to have a few dresses available (my funeral and wedding clothes which are not interchangeable) but I don’t need many. If I see something I really like, something else should go out. Really, how much can you wear?

Did you ever notice how books multiply? We donated over a thousand books five years ago. I have a new box to go. They are like mice, procreating when we’re not watching. (I have a very romantic basement!)

The beloved husband has been downsizing tools from his workshop that don’t bring him joy. He downsized a guitar. For him, that’s the ultimate sacrifice. I expected to see him in the fetal position but he survived.

We have a few trips to donation centers going on. In the end, the whole house will breathe easier. If either one of us had to do this alone, it would be a lot of work although there is always the dumpster method.

Some of you live in small places and have already done this. You are golden. Ultimately when we downsize our living quarters we will have more to do but gnawing away at it helps.

There are some items I want to keep in case it works in the new house. (I’m laughing at that as I write it. Who wants to cart 30-year-old junk into a new house?)

We don’t know where we will end up. For sure we won’t have the clothing storage we have now. Maybe not even storage for the few things that do bring us joy. I’ll worry about that later.

Does anyone need a piano?

70 thoughts on “Whirling dervish!

  1. OMG – right there with you! We have been clearing out (KonMarie-ing) our house as well. Lots given to charity, lots traded in at our local used book store, lots taken directly to the dump. It is harder than people would think who haven’t been through it! Take time to relax in the midst of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really know what you’re saying about books! I almost can’t believe it sometimes. I’ve donated thousands over the last few years, and I’m still at it. We have an attic that stores a lot of things I no longer need, want nor will anyone else. But out of sight out of mind. I do have good intentions. 🙂 I definitely don’t collect like I once did, so I’m relieved of greater future burdens presumably! Your perseverance will pay off, I’m sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been buying Kindle books so it’s amazing how the paper books pile up. I’ve never been a collector (except maybe of cats) so I don’t have that. I have some craft tools like a mat cutter that I’m keeping but I’ve thrown out the rest. At this point, I prefer to write rather than paint.

      Like

  3. UGH…..we are just now getting around to purging our stuff. Can’t tell you how much we’ve given away/donated and there’s still so much more. I could live another lifetime and still have enough of some things. It’s obscene. But better late than never.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve been working on that too, and it is such a joyless task doing it, but so satisfying when done. Because we’ve been replacing floors one room at a time, it is the perfect time to eliminate what’s not needed in that room. Two down…more to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m usually good at throwing out clothing that doesn’t fit, is worn or uncomfortable. I kept socks that are very thick for the cold winter but I don’t have shoes they fit in so out they went along with some that were stretched out at the top. I wear socks a lot so I didn’t want to go too crazy.

      Like

  5. This could have been written about Husband and me and we but we still have two guitars and one piano! We have been getting rid of some books (mostly his) but books are like old friends. Our home is manageable now but we know we could like to downsize some day. Where is the question. When we do it will take getting rid of a lot of stuff! The problem is that our kids won’t want the stuff. For now we are getting rid of the easy stuff.

    Our consolation is that if we can’t get rid of it when we go, the kids can take anything they want and leave the rest for an estate sale. Husband found someone locally that does them. We both felt better! I am planning a post one of day about getting rid of stuff. You have reminded to keep filling those boxes for Goodwill!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We sold our house last May and left the first week of June and left every piece of furniture, TVs, dishes, I mean everything. We did take a coffee table that looks like a canoe, our outdoor furniture, some of the cooking pots I loved, and moved into our Tiny Casa here in Florida. It was furnished but like you mention we wanted to start out with new. A fresh new start! Got rid of the stuff that came with the condo and bought new furniture. We are still needing art on the walls and things that bring us joy but I am a minimalist and the Tiny Casa is a simple to dust 1480 sq feet that we love. We tell Rita the Roomba to vacuum the tile 3x a week and we are good. Did a redo on the 2 bathrooms and it feels like home. I got such a kick out of this post, Kate. I have been keeping stuff down to a minimum before we sold the house for the past five years. That’s how it all started… I see a new place in your future!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your ending made me laugh. We both learned by moving cross country that one has to downsize and get rid of things. That said, my wife still has way too many cookbooks. I tried instituting a policy of moving one on for every one she was going to bring into the house. She agreed to this wholeheartedly; but then simply ignored it. I agree: your husband made the ultimate sacrifice with the guitar. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did the cookbooks last round except for a very few loved ones. I even downsized some of those this time around. The piano is the biggest thing that needs to go but I’m not finding people interested. When I was a kid, everyone (almost) took piano lessons for a few years. That seems to be out of vogue.

      Like

  8. The timing of this post is interesting. We just went through a big purge on the weekend which resulted in 2 car loads of stuff taken to the donation centre. I’m already working on the next round.
    Once I get going, I become a runaway train!

    I think it’s a spring thing. After months bundled up in coats, scarves, etc we want to shed layers and that includes the layers of stuff in our closets and storage areas.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Two or three hours of sorting/deleting items is a realistic time period…I just need to schedule those more frequently. My mom was diligent about weeding stuff down so we wouldn’t have to. (and left a list of who got what items specifically….would have worked if certain spouses hadn’t been there. What a nightmare. Mom’s family had bitter quarrels when her mom finally died – she was trying to avoid that) it helped a lot – still there was so much (and the estate sale woman looked around and said “Where’s the knickknack – people love to buy those knickknack”….Mom did not knickknack, ever.
    As we consider moving, your statement about hanging on to furniture incase it might fit sounds familiar. We downsized to this house, but will probably go back to a little larger if we move – just too crowded….the rugs and furniture in storage – will they really work in a new place? Maybe hurricanes are nature’s way of helping people let go of stuff? (a little drastic technique, Mother Nature )

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t envy you Kate and understand perfectly!
    As you know, we did all this when we sold the cottage only to get rid of practically everything we owned when we bought the boat. Now back in bricks and mortar, we have little storage space, but what we have is choc-a-bloc! The good news is my kitchen cupboards are full of what they should be. Half of the wardrobes is full of clothes, the other half is full of meds, ny card making kit, and the overflow from the kitchen cupboards. I own 5 books, 3 of which I haven’t read yet! We still have our favoured DVDs though…… about 150.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband and I have been on an office de-clutter binge lately. Although the rest of the house is pretty good, our two offices are full of stuff that is hard to get rid of. We can actually see our floors and the tops of our desks now (we’ll see how long that will last). I’m concerned though, Kate. Didn’t you say that your husband and you have a one-for-one guitar/cat ratio agreement? Since he got rid of a guitar, hopefully one of your kitties isn’t in danger.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I find the house really does ‘breathe easier’ when I do these scale downs! I always say I feel like my house is eating me 😭😭😭 then a mass donation takes place and I can sleep at night again. Good luck trying to offload a piano, I had to do it once and never want to try again!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Socks are easy but I have a lot of stuff my children left behind. They promised they would take it when they got a bigger house. I don’t feel I can just throw it away. I know what you mean about books breeding but how do ironing board covers reproduce?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I have started getting rid of stuff because in the future I can see my daughter, the minimalist, tossing everything. Beautiful old dishes that I inherited from my mother, who inherited them from her mother and mother in law, went to a friend who can use them nicely in her old fashioned bed and breakfast. If I want to see my “dishes” I can just go next door! A quilt from the 1870s has already been given to my daughter in law who appreciates such things.
    Because of a residential fire in a neighboring town, the school posted the sizes of clothes needed for the family. The Mom was my size so half of my closet went!
    I never buy real books any more – just on my Kindle.
    We do, however, buy green bananas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t buy books either except for Kindle which is why I was stunned to come up with a box of them. I had some of my mother’s crystal glasses which I have given to my niece’s daughter who treasures those things. It’s hard to find takers. I was never into antiques or “old things” myself. My husband’s sister had a lot of their parents’ things which she gave away when she downsized. I remember most of it as being beat up and uncomfortable. It takes a special kind of person to appreciate it.

      Like

  15. This downsizing thing has me really upset. The conflicting forces of good and bad are making me crazy! Socks…ok socks are easy…but furniture ???? Dishes (?) Do I really need 3 slow cookers!!!! However, I do have and love the air fryer. Not something I use everyday, but I don’t cook everyday!!!! LOL A piano, OMG I loved having a piano. But, alas why in the world would I want another one!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Furniture is easy for me. I’m not a collector of antiques so if it’s not comfortable and it doesn’t fit, out it goes. I am holding on to one coffee table that looks like a sled. Doesn’t fit here but I’m hoping it fits at the next place. If not, that’s gone too. I have 3 slow cookers (different sizes) but I use them. I did get rid of other things like a sandwich maker, waffle maker and a George Foreman grill which I never used. If the air fryer gives you joy, you should keep it.

      Like

  16. I really, really need to declutter!!! I keep reading blogs where people are doing this so I am taking this as a sign that it is time for me to follow suit. We got rid of things when we downsized to our current home, but there are still things I need to donate to someone else to use. I did get rid of books a few months ago but now I need to seriously go through my closet and kitchen cabinets. Thanks for the additional inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I resist buying kitchen toys. There are really two reasons. One is that they often don’t work out for me and second it’s more stuff. I bought a sous vide gizmo about two years ago and I love it. It’s small to store. Now an air fryer is a big sucker that I have resisted buying. I need to get more brutal (on everything except cats!).

      Like

  17. Once upon a time at a party I met a couple in their 60s who’d put all their furniture and household goods up for auction. Everything. They then remodeled their empty house into their next home and furnished it with new stuff that suited who they’d become. I found them inspiring. I have yet to do what they did, but I dream of it… some days.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Getting my parents moved back in January from 4200 sq ft to 1500 was a lesson of when in doubt, throw it out…or donate. Geesh! As a result, Derek and I started our own mission of clearing the clutter. It really is a great feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My SIL is a collector. She has dolls, paper dolls and a few other items that she collects (for like 60 years). So in addition to normal stuff that people accumulate (like old toys and clothes) there are collections too. When I get on a tear, I am brutal for the first two to three hours. Then I’m worn down and become indecisive. I try to keep the work limited to my ruthless period. I have gotten rid of a few pieces of furniture that I didn’t want to but we didn’t have room. If we don’t have room for it here, we won’t have room for it in our downsized house.

      Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s