Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Things We Keep

I live in one of the many states experiencing a heat wave last week (this week it's a mere 88-90) and have little motivation to leave the comfort of AC. We did manage to get up early enough Sunday morning to go for a bike ride and have breakfast outside with friends, but other than that I've been hiding out in the cool inside air.

This weather is perfect for inside decluttering, which continues, albeit slowly. I managed to add the following to my outbox: a large glass bowl, a decorative cup I've had since junior high (sad I know), three books, four pins and a magnet. I also spent a few hours last weekend scanning papers and photos and purged over two pounds of paper from my files. Although dealing with paper clutter takes forever, it's amazing how far I've come.

My decluttering has slowed because I've already purged most, if not all of the easy stuff. You know, the stuff you're not really attached to that you can get rid of without a second thought. I had been mulling over the idea that maybe I was actually done decluttering; maybe I've reached my enough. But I didn't feel done. This post by Brooks Palmer confirmed this, especially this bit

Where do I feel the most out of sorts in my home? What areas do I avoid? In the same way you would notice some tension in your body, you're focusing your attention on, "Where's the tension in my home?"

Where do I feel tension is an excellent question to ask myself. While none of the rooms in min hus make me tense right now (except perhaps the attic, and manland depending on how messy the Boy lets it get), there are still hidden areas that bother me, whether it's a drawer, a closet, a cabinet, etc.

There are also certain items that I can't manage to make myself part with yet, even though I feel like I should. These are all items that still have a sentimental hold on me, even if they no longer serve a purpose, or that I spent a lot of money on at one time and may still use...someday.

Things like:
why yes, these are my actual childhood toys that I still have, pathetic, I know!
  • Old toys (Barbies, dolls, stuffed animals) - Doesn't every thirty-something still have a toy or two lying around? Whaddya mean no?!?

  • Video games (PS2 and original gameboy, I'm looking at you!)

  • Clothes that are a little too big or too small - My size has been changing so much lately that I feel the need to hang on to a variety of size options if I really like the clothes in the first place

  • Old Domino magazines

  • Books I haven't read yet, but want to read before passing them on (except that new books from the library look way more interesting)

  • Movies I haven't watched yet, that really don't look all that appealing at this point
What items are lurking in your home that you no longer love or use but can't quite get rid of yet? Or if you did manage to part with those tough items, how did you do it?


  1. Wow, except for the video games part, I could have written this list.

    My teddy bear and cloth doll. Not going anywhere soon. If ever. (Hey, relationships are important!) The two don’t take up much room and hardly eat anything.

    Clothes – yeah, working on that, too.

    Magazines – not just Domino, but other shelter mags as well.

    Books – check. (although I’ve made great strides here lately)

    Movies – check. I’ll really try to watch one this weekend. Well, maybe. If I have time. :)

    But really, the biggest thing is the paper. A little pile takes so much time to sort, but the trash pile is very satisfying.


  2. I'm getting through the easy stuff a little too quickly. Thanks so much for tip about decluttering in the rooms you feel uncomfortable. I'll make a mental note to use this technique in a few hundred more things! I keep telling myself that uncluttering is a happy thing. Your tip reminded me that the real goal is to become more comfortable in your space.

  3. We're at over 30 days of 100+ temps here in Texas and breaking all kinds of records. It's too hot to go out and too hot inside to declutter.

    I'm feeling the urge to declutter AGAIN. I never really finished, and things are a mess again. Like many thing in my life, I'm feeling the urge to start over.


  4. Skye - Sounds like we have a lot of clutter in common! I've made great strides with paper, it does take a long time but doing a little at a time does work. Not that I'm finished dealing with it either. :-)

    Gip - I feel so bad for you Texans in this record breaking heat. I was fed up after a week in the high 90s with heat indexes that felt like 100+. But over a month of above 100? Oi!


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