Maybe I was in denial, but I really didn’t think it was as bad as how others saw it. I divorced after 15 years of marriage, kids, parents, in-laws, floods, down-sizing, up-sizing, merging and collecting. We had an attic, therefore “if you can’t find a home for it, we’ll take it!” Or “we don’t have one of those yet, sure we’ll take it!” Or “that is really well-made, surely we can find a use for it someday” in the next house or next life.
When my husband and I agreed to divorce, he left. As in, HE LEFT. He never moved out. He never moved out the boxes of junk people dropped off that included headboards, dressers, toys for great-grand kids that may or may not ever be born, random mattresses (you can never have too many), yellowed books that fell apart as soon as they were opened, records (RECORDS!!), CD cases (JUST THE CASES, NO CD’s), bins of clothing for sizes nobody in the house had ever worn, VCR’s, T.V.’s, and several unidentifiable electronics (all of which came with their own power cords, although finding matches was like playing “Memory”), and many other random things that had no business taking up space in the attic (commemorative Coca-Cola bottles, strings of lights that hadn’t worked in years…the list goes on and on).
I moved and it was my job to go through this entangled mess and make heads or tails of it. Was it even worth starting piles labled “Keep,” “Donate,” or “Discard?” And many things couldn’t simply be thrown in the trash, I had to call a separate trash removal company, and at one point even a TOXIC CHEMICAL removal service to get rid of gallons of house paint, small propane tanks (I still don’t know what those were for). I became a champion of de-cluttering.
So much so that it made me re-evaluate why I allowed the clutter to accumulate and how I can avoid bringing it into my next home. Granted, there is a very distinct part of my personality that is “okay” with clutter (as my co-workers know from my desk), but I don’t like to live in it. And I can’t stand it when other people clutter my space.
As such, I have made a promise to myself to stay on top of things and say NO to anything I don’t need! Even if I think someday it will look really great in that summer home I plan to buy in Charleston, SC when I am an empty-nester in 10 or more years.
Do you struggle from this? Or know someone who does? Can you relate? I know I’m not alone here, so I’m passing along a GREAT list of items you can remove TODAY to create a little less clutter in your home and your life.