Monday, June 8, 2009

The queen of clutter unmasked

I just noticed how far behind I am on blogging. Apparently my blog resolutions are no better kept than my new year's resolutions. However, I do have a good excuse...another one. I'm decluttering. Sort of.

As some of you know, I inherited my house in Virginia when my dad died. It had been in the family since I was four. I'm pretty sure nothing had been thrown out in all that time.

After my dad died in 1998, I got started on the accumulation of stuff. Room by room, I made great progress. I've renovated and painted, tossed everything in sight that didn't have a purpose. The problem has been that way too many things might have a purpose...some day.

At any rate, I really was getting ahead of the chaos...until I closed my bookstore. Then every bit of leftover inventory that I hadn't given away or sold moved in with me. Boxes were everywhere. And then, crazy me, I got involved in creating the town's Market Days and kept ordering T-shirts to sell at those events. More and more boxes arrived. You have no idea what my living room looked like. Picture a dry goods store and you'll get a sense of it.

Now I'm gearing up to have one of the "big" birthday parties in July. I've invited friends from all over. Many are coming. Though I sensibly moved the actual event to a restaurant on the river, there's no getting around the fact that some of these people will actually expect to be able to walk through my house without tripping over things. So, I'm in a frenzy to declutter.

Unfortunately, I'm approaching this with very little organization. I pick a spot, grab some stuff and sort and toss. I'm pretty ruthless, in fact. However, I also have to look at every item, think about it, read the old letters, read the old college newspapers. This is not a process that is clipping along.

So, if any of you have tips for reducing clutter in an organized, sensible fashion, please pass it along. Quickly. In the meantime, picture me lost in the great black hole that is my home.


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Blogger still karibear said...

You have my sympathies! I have all the trivia from 3,000 sf worth of houses I'm trying to stuff into a 1,000 sf house. That doesn't include all the miscellaneous furniture I ended up with after my mother died. I mean, who really needs TWO of thos AM/FM/Stereo consoles from the '60's? My living room looks like a small storage unit for a furniture store.

As for those 'gotta read' things, I recommend getting one of those big heavy weight plastic totes and putting it all in there for some future winter evening, when you're bored and have nothing - I was gonna say 'better' but maybe 'interesting' would be more appropriate - to do.

June 8, 2009 7:17 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I know what you're going through. I have a 2 car garage and a full basement stuffed full, plus a den that I cannot even walk into. I'm trying to go through some things, but alot of it belongs to my husband, or came from his parents. Those things I don't feel comfortable tossing on my own, and he just doesn't have the time.

Maybe this winter I can get him to tackle a box or drawer at a time ...

June 24, 2009 12:18 PM  

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