It’s not so easy to write about decluttering when I’m in the middle of doing it.
Earlier this month I spent a couple of weeks away from home helping a friend prepare to put her farm on the market by sorting through a garage full of stored stuff left behind by her grown children and departed husband and in-laws. It was hard, concentrated work, a different sort of decluttering because none of the stuff was in any way mine. My sorting decisions had to be definitive but very conservative. My accomplishment was to have sorted the contents of that garage into piles: Donate, Recycle, Offer to friends, Requires Family Decision. She rented a dumpster for outright trash…
I arrived home exhausted just three days before our village fire department’s rummage sale fund-raiser. The American Declutterer’s decree, Opportunities to Declutter Must Never be Passed Over, held. My husband found three boxes of stuff and two old chairs to donate to this community effort.
And with that, the third round of my decluttering of our home began.
This third round is no longer about working to free up the living spaces or to make room for scheduled furniture deliveries. By now our living spaces are filled only with things we actually love and use. This time my objective is to tackle the three deep storage areas which are all stuffed full of untended history.
Today I ventured down to the most accessible of these areas and unearthed five substantial cartons of books of all sorts — some from college course taken fifty years ago; another box of old clothes; a box containing eight large spindles of an unfamiliar kind of yarn in various shades of yellow; a jumble of bent, broken, tarnished, dirty and cracked kitchen implements and Tupperware which spilled all over the place when its box disintegrated; and a box neatly labelled “bubble paper.” It did indeed contain nothing but used bubble wrap.
Today’s rhetorical question is WHY on God’s green earth do people fill Deep Storage with stuff that time will ruin, or that was ruined in the first place, or that can serve no earthly purpose while sitting in a dark place for decades? I know. I know. It was once precious. Someday it might be needed. And face it. Very few people have compassion on the somebody who is going to have to deal with that mountain after they are gone.