It has come time to sell our family home, the one that I grew up in and that holds so many dear memories. We have rented the house out for a number of years and now that our current tenant is leaving, my parents have decided that it's time to clear out and move on.
As part of the process, we cleared out all of the things we (read: my parents) had amassed in the 23 years we have been in the house. We had done a similar purging - supposedly down to our essentials - back when we first rented out the house, easily filling the large dumpster in the driveway. And yet somehow, here we were again, with another dumpster, with more waste. To be fair, we do have an "eBay pile": a stack of things that I will attempt to get rid of by selling or giving away online, but that represents just a small portion of our belongings.
A couple shots of the very dated bathrooms taken during a recent walkthrough
Remember when I wrote about getting rid of clutter? That whole "take no prisoners" thing? At the Great Purge of 2011, I decided to embrace that philosophy whole-heartedly. Amidst all those boxes, there simply was no room for sentimentality. Boxes of old report cards? Gone. Old notebooks and journals? Gone. Small origami-like folded notes covered in my middle-school handwriting gushing on about one boy or another? Gone. So what did escape my ruthless urge to purge? My dad's old cameras, photographs that I plan on scanning and restoring, paintings and other artwork, and a hallway runner. Oh, and my varsity letters from high school. (Okay, that's an indulgence but at least it's only a few sheets of paper!)
Most of all, I'm taking away a huge lesson learned from my parents about the downside of fifty years of "collecting" and am changing my ways RIGHT NOW.
Since that day, I have:
- Cleaned out the basement
- Thrown away moldy and unused papers, clothes, toys and other random things
- Allocated 20+ bags or the family's clothing to be donated
- Sold or gave away some hand-me-down furniture and old baby gear
- Stashed the remaining boxes from our family house propped up in case of flood
And in the coming weeks, I'm planning to:
- Edit my books and donate the rejects to our local library
- Take another pass at paring down my closet
- Sell or donate unneeded furniture
And from here on out, I will strive to:
- Not hoard things for later: for a bigger house, for when I'm skinnier, for when the kids are getting married, for my grandkids
- Stop buying disposable goods. If I can't afford to buy the quality stuff that's going to last, make do without
- Make regular efforts (i.e., more frequently than every 10 years or so) to purge. Eventually, if I'm any good at sticking to my own rules, I won't even need to do this. But in the meantime, I'll set up some sort of schedule for myself
A note to the Mr. (if you're reading this): Don't laugh! I know you hate my clutter and I promise I'm trying!!
To leave you on a more positive note, we did manage to unearth several great finds! Check them out for yourself!
See more of our "vintage" finds in my Instagram gallery!
Hope I've inspired you to take a non-hoarder approach to your belongings, too. Have any tips or tricks that you use? Do tell...