Monday, January 21, 2013

My Story of Clutter

DiningRoom02In Weeding through the Clutter from Janet Given's Blog,  Janet asks,

“What TWANLOVs are stored away in your closet?  Do you know what dreams keep them there?
Do you struggle with clutter? What stories do you tell yourself about your clutter?

How would you feel floating on the ceiling watching your offspring sort through what you’ve left behind for them to sort through?
I’ve told you my story. I invite you to tell me yours. And, if you’d like me to tell you my sure-fire cure for reducing clutter, just let me know. Better yet, tell me yours.”

I am a Clutter Queen!!

We save everything because you never know when you might need it again. It seems like as soon as I get rid of something, a week later, I’m wishing I still had it. Even some of the old clothes styles are back in style! I find things that I can repurpose for something else and then I’m glad I saved it.

My husband is even worse than I am. My husband likes to collect antiques that he buys at yard sales and flea markets because he says that one day it all will be worth money or if we ever need money, he could sell it at least for what he paid for it. In fact, he has some utility bills from before we were married (over 30 years ago) still saved in the attic. I have no idea why he has them but he refuses to get rid of them. I won’t throw them away without his permission because I don’t want him ever to get rid of anything of mine without permission. So, everything stays.

Our attic is so full of junk…I mean treasures that our ceiling is cracking from the weight. Our contractor has advised to take some stuff out of the attic before it caves in on us. Our shed in the backyard is full so we ended up renting a storage room at a self storage building. In fact, it is so stuffed that if we continue to collect things, we may have to rent another room.

I am always joking that if we ever get a divorce (which I don’t ever foresee happening!), he gets the house and all the storage buildings! That way I won’t have to sort through anything. We even laugh that our kids will have the headache of worrying about all of our collections!

When I retired from teaching public school five years ago, I brought everything home in boxes and kept them in my dining room. I thought that someday I would return to the classroom and all of these things were my favorite materials. But I was wrong. Now that I teach on the university level, I realize how many of my materials have gotten out of date or were in danger of wasting away in my dining room. I ended up giving a lot of my children and young adult novels to teachers who were still in the classroom. I also gave away a lot of materials that could still be used in the classroom and threw away all of the out of date things. I took lots of pictures of my favorite items so I could reminisce about them but not have to worry about all the room they took.

I’m getting better at collecting photos and discarding things I no longer need. My mother handknit or sewed many things for me and they no longer fit, are no longer in style, or just don’t feel nice anymore. I took lots of photos of these and donated them to Goodwill.

Do you have a lot of clutter? Please share how you handle this.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

3 comments:

MiChi said...

The only thing I collect all these while and never throw away is my books. I love books and I think knowledge is invaluable.

How nice if I could get to see those books of yours before you gave away...

Nice post!

Feisty Irish Wench said...

I have come a long way since 2001 with my cluttery habits. I found FlyLady over Labor Day weekend, and because I have been following her advice off and on, at various levels of practice, my family's lives have been different than if I had stayed the same.
One bit of wisdom I've realized is that I had to change my own habits, and my own way of doing things, so that we as a family could move upward and onward to bigger and better things in life.

http://www.flylady.net

Pat Hensley said...

@MiChi I love books too which is part of my problem! LOL

@Feisty Irish Wench Yes, I like Fly Lady tips but I don't always stick to them. :)