Saturday, July 18, 2009


It all started when we decided we'd try to rent out our house for the five months that we'll be away in Mexico this winter. I thought I'd take some photos of the interior to put together an ad. This required some fairly major tidying of all the rooms. At our house things tend to get left where they were last used for a while--until someone feels moved to do a tidy-up.

So yesterday was spent tidying and putting things away so the rooms would look nice for a photo. The only thing is--when I tried to put things away I found that I had to jam them into closets and drawers that were already full of stuff. Some of this stuff hadn't been moved or used or even looked at since we moved into this house three years ago. (!)

Yes, I admit that I have a problem: I have strong pack rat tendencies and so does my husband. But it's so hard to clear out things that once were special, even if you don't really want or use them any more. How can I get rid of that darling paper mache hippo that was given to my by my dear friend? And once you've decided you don't need or want it any more,what do you do with the stuff?

I actually do know the drill. Go through a room, pull out things that you haven't used in a year. Make three piles: give away, throw away, sell. It's all very straightforward. Yeah right. When I begin this process I find myself sitting in the middle of the floor looking at old photos, or deciding to tear up some old clothes to make a quilt, or pulling out my drawing materials and feeling bad that I haven't done anything with them for such a long time. Then I just have to close the door and think about what to cook for dinner.

But this time I'm really going to begin a process to simply get rid of the stuff that is doing nothing more than cluttering up my life and my space. I'm starting by posting some photos of piles of stuff. Maybe this will be enough to get me started. Any helpful hints will be much appreciated.


  1. You need someone like Anne to organise that stuff. Like you, I tend to get lost in the rediscovery of things that with a little reminder reassume their importance. She's really quite ruthless - our shelves are neat and tidy in no time. And I don't really miss the stuff.

  2. I don't know if I could lease my house like that. You're a brave soul.

    As for the actual decluttering, what you need is a solid deadline. Then you dawdle until the 11th hour. Once you only have 59 minutes to get it all done, you'll be amazed at just how much you're willing to part with.

    Yes, procrastination is an art I excel at.

  3. Rudee, we've never done this before. The last time we were away we had friends stay but a bit of rent money would help so we're thinking about it. Thanks for the tip about a deadline. I think it might help.


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