Friday, March 21, 2014

A Decluttering I Will Go!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

It started when we moved my mother-in-law from assisted living to a nursing home. Her closet at the assisted living center was stuffed with clothes she never wore. She has considerably less space in the nursing home, so I picked out the clothes I thought she could use, tossed anything that was stained, and washed the rest. My brother got some BIG moving boxes off Craigslist and gave me a few.

The next thing you know, Mr. L and I were going through our closets to fill one. Then two, then THREE!  And I didn't stop there.  My bookshelves are overflowing.  I have a tendency to buy every cookbook I see at a yard sale.  It was time to cull the herd. 

We got rid of a LOT more clothes than books (it's still very difficult for me to part with them), but my shelves don't look nearly as cluttered. Given more time, I could probably part with a few more, but time is now of the essence.We've got a guest coming this weekend, so must get this house shipshape in Bristol fashion!

Now that I'm on a roll, I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot more decluttering in the future. After all, yesterday was the first day of Spring ... time to Spring Clean.

What's your favorite way to declutter?  (I'm sure our own Mary Jane Maffini knows how -- she wrote a whole series on organization starring Charlotte Adams.  The first book in the series is Organize Your Corpses!)


Unknown said...

Love MJ's series, but hate de-cluttering....... Love the results, but hate getting started.. I will procrastinate to the enth degree!! I know I HAVE TO DO IT, but mustering the courage and following through is my bone of contention. It drives my husband absolutely 'round the bend!! Too poor for a professional organizer.........:-(

Diane said...

Good Morning Lorraine, When I had to put my Aunt and Uncle into a Rest home and nursing home, I had to sell their house. It was a small house but in the basement was a mess. After that, I decided to declutter my own home. As a result, when I put my house up for sale, I didn't have so much to get rid of. I just did it slowly, one room at a time. My books were hard to get rid of too. So I waited until I had a new place to move to. They have a nice library in the main building here and so my books are now in there for others to enjoy. I got a Nook and I only kept a few of my favorites book. I bought a Kindle last week so now I can cutter that up. You just have to take it slow and one step or closet at a time. Paper is my big thing now. I seem to like to print stuff and then never look at the piles of paper until it is overflowing. Good Luck to all who have to clean out. Once you starts it gets easier. It's the starting that's the problem.

Unknown said...

I agree, it's the starting that's the difficult part. Once I get into it I have to be careful or I get carried away. Just finished all of my closets and wardrobes. Now I'm staring at my bookshelves. I'm afraid to go near them. I love my books and feel almost guilty when I part with some!

Karen in Ohio said...

It's funny how often our parents' clutter drives us to declutter our own lives.

When my father-in-law passed away eight years ago neither my husband or his unmarried brother could face emptying out their family home (their parents lived there for 67 years), so it fell to me. After digging into long forgotten nooks and crannies for moth-eaten prom dresses from my long-deceased sister-in-law's 1950's high school years, I decided not to do this to my own daughters. So I began clearing out, hauling away, and lightening up. We've lived in this house for 28 years, and raised three kids here and I had three different businesses over that time. There was SO much stuff. I probably took 50 carloads of stuff away over the last 7 years, and there's at least three carloads of the girls' things that they need to come and get.

Now my mother is downsizing, from a three-bedroom home with a packed full basement, to two small rooms in my brother's home, and I'm helping her do the same thing. We've packed up tons of stuff to sell at a moving sale when it's warmer, and she likes the lighter feeling of her home now.

SandyG265 said...

There's a big rummage sale near us twice a year. So at least once every year we check and see if we have anything we really don't need or use, or books no one is going to read again, and donate them to help out the charity.

Miss Merry said...

I feel the same way. After emptying all four stories of my grandmother's house, all three floors of my parent's home, and downsizing from assisted living to a nursing home for my dad - I, too, don't want to leave the clutter for my own children. It is so hard to part wit the memories, but I am trying to part with what is only a memory for me and not something they would value. It is freeing once you get started.

Lynn Cahoon said...

I have trouble downsizing. But I did cull my wardrobe and gave away clothes I'd never wear again. Books on the other hand, they're hard to part with. :)

Aurian said...

O wow getting rid of books is something I just can't do. Clothes is a necessary evil, some just keep hanging there for years, unworn.