It is not so easy to write four hundred contemplative words about decluttering when I’ve had my hair up in a bandana, my hands swathed in canvas gloves, and I have been hauling boxes up from under the house, and determining where it all should be dispersed.
I’m so happy to report that I’ve finished the initial pass through all of the stuff in the first of three storage areas. Although there is still a great deal of stuff down there, over this past summer we’ve dispersed about a third of the clutter in that area.
This post is specifically for me to crow about the decluttering triumphs of the last few months:
The public library took ten boxes of books off our hands.
A surprising find of some musical instruments went to augment resources for a friend’s community music program.
My husband’s niece and nephew each claimed a box of their great grandmother’s mementoes.
Five boxes of ancient financial records were dispatched by a commercial shredder.
Three boxes of notes, many from high school courses taken half a century ago by my husband’s deceased first wife went to paper recycling.
Three boxes of decades old magazines also were recycled.
Seven boxes of fabric, patterns, embroidery hoops and crafty stuff were claimed by a local crafters club.
A box of surplus weaving yarn went to the Weavers and Spinners Guild while a newcomer to the Knitting Circle happily took a sack of surplus knitting needles.
Five boxes of art supplies went to a therapist to be used in work with traumatized kids.
And, perhaps best of all, just the other day, my husband donated six variously historical empty suitcases to the props department of a local theater company.
(Later that day we learned where we can take clean styrofoam peanuts and clean bubble wrap to be recycled…. Yup, there is a box of peanuts still down there. Soon it won’t be!)
Earlier this summer I met a lady who had rented a storage unit to keep her parents’ things. She knew very well that all of it needed to be sorted through and dispersed. But, she explained, each time she would go to look through it she would be overcome by memories. It was impossible, she said, to part with any of it.
Who am I to say what should be done? But I am here to say that we each have to lay our own ghosts to rest or Someone Else will have to figure out what to do with all of it….
This featured photo is of those six suitcases which are no longer taking up space on our storage platform. (We kept a healthy collection of suitcases that are in use.)