Just Life / Life and Pets

Start in any corner …

and, “It’s got to get worse before it gets better!”, and “It’s all just glass.”

“Start in any corner.” is advice from the late mom of my childhood friends, on the subject of housekeeping. The next quote is from Myrtle, on the same subject, specifically deep cleaning and purging of extra stuff, or minor renovations. Myrtle didn’t often get rid of anything, but she was familiar with renovating and reorganizing. (Our house right now looks like a bomb went off: Gary is away and I will regain some order before he returns.)

And “It’s all just glass.” comes from my darling Kim; a quote at a time when we were overwhelmed with clearing out the house that Myrtle and Dad had retired to. They had not really “down-sized” as people often do at that time in life. Dad resented all the “stuff” though it was, for the most part, neatly categorized and stored deep in closets, shelves and nooks under stairwells.

Myrtle was in a nursing home at the time, and Dad had died a few years before. There were treasures such as ornaments with some value, antiques with providence, crystal that had history OR had been obtained from Myrtle’s years of attending yard sales. Sometimes I didn’t know the difference or remember the story.

These quotable quotes from loved ones have helped me while I am trying to declare war on crap that I’ve accumulated: inherited, gleaned from my own garage sale visits, unwise purchases, and so on. Sometimes I feel like a monkey, or is it a raccoon, that cannot put down a “shiny” object. I am trying to “let go”.

One cannot possibly keep everything from all of the households of our families. I feel some guilt when I get rid of something that meant a lot to a parent or grandparent. Occasionally, the object is not to my taste, and I have to coach myself, “Can I give away or sell this thing without forgetting my loved one?”.

Can this be replaced? When did I last use this? Do I remember where I even got this from, or last admired it?

I’ve felt overwhelmed again this week, with all of the possessions around me. It frustrates my husband, too, though he tries not to show it or say anything. As I said in a previous post, I have set up some criteria other than what I just mentioned.

So on our local Facebook Buy & Sell page, I have sold quite a lot of crystal, dishes, canning jars and items I don’t even remember offhand! Not everything sells as I expect, but sometimes I bring another person some glee. If it’s “glass” (metaphorically speaking) that I don’t need, it seems appropriate to share. To my great surprise, I have felt only vague twinges of regret, and generally, the more items I move out of the house, the better I feel.

It’s astounding that I have accumulated so much, and astounding that I’m okay with parting with any of it. One of my friends told me that I was “wise”, when I told her of my criteria for deciding whether to keep or get rid of a thing, and another friend told me that I was very brave.

What I’ve been able to part with is not all glass, either. Today I grabbed an armload of clothing items, all in dress and suit bags, from a closet. I hadn’t even looked at those garments for more than 18 years; I hadn’t worn any of them since Gary and I have been together. Even the clothing that would be big enough while there’s “more of me to love” didn’t tempt me. My shape and taste have changed, and I’m so much older.

I took every item off its hanger and washed the whole load on “Delicate” and dried on “Low”, and took the whole shebang over to the Anglican/United Thrift Store.

I’m going to get back at the project tomorrow. I am not making money, and sometimes people won’t want my old clothing and other “stuff”, but I’m on a roll now. It’s a voyage of discovery, and full steam ahead, no looking back. I’m exhausted.

Love you for visiting my blog.

~ Ann

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4 thoughts on “Start in any corner …

  1. Hi Ann, I am doing that same thing here this month……..I totally agree that is difficult to
    let go of items I haven’t used or thought of for years……..reasoning that I would need or want it back in the future if I got rid of it now.
    Also I feel kind of guilty for giving away something from a family member items.
    I am telling myself now that I don’t need all of this stuff to remember people that I love.
    And as many of us know……that you have to “live in the moment”, and by uncluttering
    “things from your past:….it.frees you to enjoy the present of today.
    love your blog Ann, and you of course……..hugs, carol

  2. Loved reading this story about ridding yourself (and Gary) of possessions. I guess we all go through it at some point in our lives. My sister and I did when our mom died. Thankfully we were able to sit and sort through everything together, each taking what we wanted and setting aside the rest for the upcoming estate sale. Some of the items I took now gather dust in MY cupboards and drawers, but for whatever reason I needed to claim them. Good luck with your ongoing project, Ann . . . you’ll be happy about it (as will your girls) in the long run.

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