Sunday, January 3, 2010

Clearing Clutter

It had been my intention to update this blog with daily tips of preparing a home to sell and the process involved in moving as a part of retirement life. Unfortunately, it seemed like I had a choice to either write about packing or actually pack.

Having watched my eighty-three year old mother struggle with downsizing and observing neighbors who have lived in their homes in excess of thirty years, it occurred to me that people should go through this purging process whether they plan on moving or not. One week plus into this endeavor, I’ve concluded no one with half a brain would subject themselves to this unless they absolutely have to. Every room is in disarray as we sort, discard (toss or put aside to give away or sell) and pack. I've received great suggestions from Don't Toss My Memories in the Trash, by Vicky Dellaquila. The purging feels good, but we’re currently in that place where it doesn’t feel like we’ll ever be done.

Here’s my suggestion on day nine of a major move. If you’re not moving, but want to free yourself from some of your possessions, start with one thing.

I hate throwing anything in the trash, so yesterday I gathered all the old pairs of glasses and put them in an envelop to:

Lions Club International
Attention: Receiving Dept
300 W. 22nd St.
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Put all you photos in one location. Even if you don’t put them in albums, having them all together will feel great.

Give something you cherish away. This is tough. I have wonderful antique furniture pieces that we can’t take with us. My husband made a solid roll top desk that is too big to fit in our new home. The thought of giving these items away that have been a part of my life seemed impossible. Once we did a floor plan of the new house and we realized we couldn’t take them with us, I took photos and thought about what they have meant to me. Somehow, it all came into perspective. It’s just stuff. It’s stuff that I’ve loved and has been an important part of my life, but it’s still just stuff.

I’d love to hear about your move or declutter projects.

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