Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Purge-athon Part 2: How Does This Happen?

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I've always considered myself to be organizationally gifted.
  • I'm the kind who stores all the foodstuffs by type, arranged by size and height, with all labels facing out.  (But not alphabetically.  Alphabetically is for rookies.)  
  • I'm the one who, if you ask me, "Do you have a socket wrench, a square post-it pad, last month's cable bill, a pet nail trimmer and some borax," I say, "Sure!" and locate all five within three minutes.
  • I genuinely believe that clutter is evil.  It will ruin your life.  

How many times have you bought something and later discovered that you already had one?  Even worse, bought something you knew you already owned, but couldn't find when you needed it?

How many minutes/hours/days of your life have you spent searching for things you've lost amidst an uncontrolled collection of crap?  I wrote an entire post about this topic that you can read here.

How can you maintain mental clarity in the midst of chaos?  How can you feel attractive when you are surrounded by an ugly mess?  How can you be healthy in a house full of dusty, moldy, useless junk?        

I consider my home to be sacred.  I want it to be beautiful.  It's supposed to be healthy and efficient.  It should be organized, functional, harmonious and make me proud.

So then tell me....

I can give you 101 excuses, but it all boils down to one thing:  Respect.  (I'll bet you weren't expecting that answer!)  Four years ago I married a widower, and we went about gathering all of my stuff, his stuff, his late wife's stuff, his kids' stuff and his share of his late parents' stuff (plus a dog and a bunch of cats) into one abode.

I have spent these past four years carefully and respectfully sorting through other people's precious records and possessions.

  • Some of those people were the frugal type who kept everything.  EVERYTHING!  
  • Some were shopaholics who bought more things than they were able to use, literally, in their lifetimes.
  • Some were just plain hoarders.
  • Some of these folks had great taste, and the beautiful things they left behind deserve to be treated with loving care, whether we really want them or not.
  • Others not so much.
In these four years I have carefully inspected and thoughtfully sorted every document, collectible, knick-knack, article of clothing, piece of memorabilia, household good and photograph.  Whew!  I have filled at least two dumpsters with what I deemed to be trash and appropriately gifted/donated/consigned at least twice more.

As for what remains (and plenty remains!) I am now ready to finish the job.  I am ready, once and for all, to make a place for anything I think we should keep and to properly dispose of all the rest.  That is what this week is all about.


  1. Haha...very interesting post! :)

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!