27 February 2019

Decluttering; Laying Aside Every Weight

 My parents lived on the same property for 61 years; first a small house, then one they had built. I can't imagine how much stuff I could have accumulated if we`d stayed in one place that long! My kids should be thankful that we've moved 18 times in 38 years! And even more thankful that I'm not leaving all of our stuff for them to clean up.

 Knowing that we would be downsizing in the near future, I started decluttering. It wasn't until pictures started coming up in FB memories that I realized just how long I'd been at it! Here I am a year later, finally at the end of what has been a very long but satisfying journey. I thought I'd share a little of the process here.

Laying Aside Every Weight



 Last winter, I started with a few simple areas, going through kitchen cabinets and getting rid of old dishes, coffee mugs and just plain junk that had accumulated. For anyone just starting out, this is probably a fairly easy place to begin, although even in the kitchen you'll find items that hold sentimental value...I still have a few mugs that I can't part with, even though they are old and chipped.
 These two in particular, the first one was a gift from my sister, Victoria, many years ago. The second, a gift to Brian from one of our kids. 


Laying Aside Every Weight


 If you're wanting to declutter, but just can't get going, start small. Here's a list of some of the easier items and spaces I went through:

  • Linen closet
  • Bathroom drawers
  • Pantry,
  • Kitchen cabinets, drawers, junk drawer
  • Desk drawers
  • Games and toys
  • Hats, toques, mitts...really, how many toques can a person wear?

 If you're sentimental like me, you can see why even the kitchen can be a difficult room to declutter. Why I moved on to my parent's collection of vintage vases and antique dishes, I have no idea! 

Laying Aside Every Weight
JUST the vintage vases

  So the collectibles are mostly packed away in boxes until I have time to decide what I`ll keep or give to family members, and then advertise the rest for sale! 

 Fast forward to fall of 2018 and I knew it was time to do major decluttering if we were going to have our house ready to list. I happened upon Marie Kondo's Tidying Up on Netflix. I binge-watched most of the episodes and got the motivation I needed to get to work.  I have to say, there were some things on Tidying Up that I just found strange...I don't have the time or inclination to thank my belongings as I toss them into a garbage bag! I really just needed to see other people declutter their homes to get motivated. I've also watched a few episodes of Buried Alive just to keep me going! haha 

 I also didn't follow the same order that Marie suggests, other than to start by putting all of my clothing on the bed. Even though I got rid of a lot of clothing last year when I lost weight, I guess I still held onto a lot of things I never wear. I was surprised at how big the pile was!

Laying Aside Every Weight


After

Before





My give away bag. Brian had one even bigger! 
Avalie is wondering what`s going on!


 I spend an inordinate amount of time now just looking at my closet and marvelling at how neat and tidy it is...a work of art, really.

 The most helpful I tip I learned from the show was Marie's way of folding clothing, especially t-shirts. It's so much easier to see what I have when they're not all stacked on top of each other. 

Laying Aside Every Weight

I guess not much 'sparked joy' for Brian...he went from two full dresser drawers to about 6 shirts!




 From clothing, I moved on to the harder stuff.....paper. Who knew how many nooks and crannies of a house can be filled with paper?! A box labelled 'Office'...had been in our storage room since we moved here 6 1/2 years ago. It contained check stubs from I don't even want to know how many years ago, every foster care course I ever took over the past 30 years, info on various houses we've lived in, old utility bills...and on and on. Good thing we own a paper shredder!




 Going through the storage room, I came across another box, labelled 'Cottage' from when we lived in Mom and Dad's cottage while we built our house...not this house...a different one in 2003! Somehow it just got moved along and never sorted. Obviously, anything packed away that long could be tossed!

 Several boxes were filled with old photos and the negatives. I sorted through those and tossed all the negatives and a lot of blurry photos!




 Then I came to books and homeschool supplies. When I start throwing away my kids' school work that I've kept for over 30 years you know I'm serious about decluttering! 

  It was hard to get started on this whole process, but once I got going, I was ruthless! And I actually ended up enjoying it...although the day I threw my kids' school work out, I must admit, I was exhausted that evening. I'm not sure if it was from the lingering effects of the flu or if I was just emotionally drained from the trauma of it all! Of course, there were sentimental items that were a little tougher to part with...I came across sandwich bags with little teeth, others filled with hair, some with no name! I tucked them all back into their box. The next day I started to think maybe I should just dig them back out and throw them in the garbage, but they`re still packed away....baby steps. 

 Still, it felt good to clear out so much stuff I didn't need to hold onto. My house has never been so clean and organized, and somehow more peaceful.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 
Hebrews 12:1

 I'm not saying that 'stuff' is necessarily sinful, but it sure can weigh you down, and I'm ready to take the next step of our journey feeling a lot lighter.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope I`ve helped motivate and encourage you in your own process. Happy deluttering! 


6 comments:

  1. very good. I am trying. It is hard, but I am trying. I told our girls that if I die tomorrow, there are at least 3 vans full of stuff NOT in the house!

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  2. It IS hard, but it CAN be done...even if it takes over a year! :)

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  3. Good read! I am an only child and so is my mother and we inherited a property that had 5 generations of junk stored up from forever. They kept too much of everything, and even with this knowledge, my mother and I still keep to much. It seems everything has value or memories attached to it. I’ve been purging little by little here in my own house but I have a long way to go. I appreciate your list because it gives a starting point that seems achievable. I have just one question though, what are “toques?” I am 40 years old, and have no idea what that is. Lol

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry I missed your comment! We've been busy finishing projects in preparation for listing our house. I wondered if someone might not know what a toque was. LOL It's what we call a knitted style winter hat in Canada.

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  4. Ok, you have inspired me to put ALL my clothes on my bed when hubby goes on his trip next week. I’m going to have a purging fashion show!!

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