Friday, January 22, 2016

Out of This Life ... Decluttering Continues!

Out of this life I shall never take
Things of silver and gold I make.
All that I cherish and hoard away
After I leave, on this earth must stay.
Tho' I have toiled for a painting rare
To hang on the wall, I must leave it there.
Tho' I call it mine, and boast its worth,
I must give it up when I leave this earth.
All that I gather, and all that I keep,
I must leave behind when I fall asleep.
And I often wonder what I shall own
In that other life, when I pass alone.
What shall they find, and what shall they see
In the soul that answers the call for me?
Shall the Great Judge learn,
When my task is through,
That my spirit has gathered some riches too,
Or shall, at last, it be mine to find
That all I'd worked for I'd left behind?

                                  - Author Unknown

I've been spending many, many, many hours purging my house of "things of silver and gold" these past few weeks. In clearing out some old papers, I came across this poem among some poems written by my Great Aunt Mary. It seemed quite fitting to find it during this great decluttering I have assigned myself this year. 

Things in the decluttering are going very well! I have filled our Honda van up completely once to take things to the thrift store, and I will fill it up again tomorrow to go to the thrift store again. I'm beginning to feel some extra wiggle room in closets, cupboards, dressers and basically all areas of our home. It's starting to feel just a teeny bit better, but there is still a long way to go. 

On the advice of some of my blogging friends I went out immediately to purchase the book by Marie Kondo on decluttering. She had some helpful advice on how to address the question of what to keep and what to get rid of. I have found it a good way to get started on the decluttering, and was able to work through areas quite quickly and easily. By working through the stuff "by category" rather than "by room", I have been quite successful in clearing tons of stuff in clothing, books, dishes, sewing, etc. 

Thank you everyone who left such wonderful words of encouragement on my last post ... I'm shocked that it was Jan 7 when I last wrote a post! I found all your words and thoughts and virtual hugs were so helpful in getting me started on this decluttering process. To know that so many of you have also had to deal with this same issue has been a comfort. I don't feel so much alone in this task knowing that many of you have managed to get through this tedious ordeal as well ... and feel so much better for having done it! It was so nice of you all to share what you have found to be helpful, and to wish me best of luck. I have gone back and read the comments several times to keep some of your kind thoughts and your ideas for decluttering fresh in my mind. 

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I have purged items every single day since I started this effort. By working on it continuously and for so long, it has given me a more practiced eye to see what can stay and what truly needs to be sent out the door. I've known for a long time that I've bought far too much stuff over the years that was totally unnecessary. I would actually feel ill at ease when I brought yet another "thrift store treasure" into the house. I knew it was reaching a breaking point when I would hide the treasure and even the store's bags from my husband! By admitting that these things make me cringe when I look at them, it has made it so much easier to send these things back out the door again. It has helped me feel so much better in my heart as well. I've been able to let a lot of my mom's things go as well, which was made easier through the help of your comments, and also with the help of the book. 

Until I get a lot further on this decluttering, I will continue to keep my computer time to a minimum. Once I feel I've got things under control, I'll be able to join in again with visiting all of you. I'm getting down to the most dreaded areas of the decluttering ... photos, my kids' artwork (from when they were small), and "important" papers! ugh! I also have to work through the garage, which is all heavy stuff. So far I've been working away at this on my own without help from my husband. If I need a bit of a push to throw something out, I discuss it with him and he usually provides the blunt words I need to let certain items go. Don't get me wrong, I don't want my husband's help with most of this stuff! I need to work through it at my own pace so that I know I dealt with everything in a calm, clear way. I don't want to rashly chuck stuff out. I think carefully about each item before letting it go. I will need his help in the garage though. Since starting this decluttering, my husband has gone through his woodworking shop and cleared out so much stuff that he now has a clear work bench and a large area to do some proper woodworking again! See what I started?! We both feel so much better about the state of the house already.

So thank you again everyone for your assistance! I will report in again soon, and will hopefully be back to regular programming before too long.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Good for you Wendy! There's an article on decluttering in a magazine I just purchased, wonder if the library would have the book you recommend? I'm waiting until we're back from vacation to get into my purge and had thought about a garage sale this summer but donating the stuff will get rid of it sooner.
    Any further tips will be much appreciated.

  2. So glad this purging is going well for you, Wendy. It's a huge task and I applaud your efforts! And it sounds like the decluttering bug is catching, if your husband is doing the same thing in his shop!

  3. Well, isn't this wonderful, Wendy! I am so happy to hear that you are making some great progress and feeling so much better about the whole thing. Sometimes I think the hardest part of any project is just getting started, and you need a certain amount of time to think about it and gear yourself up for it. You are certainly an inspiration! I have to get that book and the poem is priceless. I am going to copy that one down and keep it where I can see it. xx Karen

  4. You are an inspiration Wendy as I know this is something I also need to do. I've been promising myself for years but this really is the year! I have the Marie Kondo book and found her method of sorting out drawers has really worked as they have stayed tidy and organised

  5. That is a wonderful poem!! It must have been there just waiting for you to find it in your time of need, I believe in stuff like that! It is great advice for us all. I am so PROUD of you!!!! You are doing so well, it is a massive task, but one so well worth doing, to know that all you have in your home is useful or you love it is a wonderful thing. Seven bags of stuff leaving my house today, inspired by you! More to go though. I don't have that book, but I have heard advice from others who have read it that you have to decide if you really love something, I found looking at things I thought, no, actually, I don't love it, so it can go, why is it here otherwise! Some things I don't love but are practical, but I even got rid of an old washing up bowl this week because I didn't love it and yes, I bought a new one, but I love it, so it is useful and I love it! Crazy I know, but there you go! I just couldn't bear to look at the old (slightly melted from a hot pan) ratty one. Keep going, keep doing really well and know that, as my friend Anne would say, my hand is in your pocket holding on and I am there with you if you need me! Massive hugs to you!!! xx

  6. Good luck on your journey, Wendy. I went through it last year and now, just as I feel the influence of Mary Kondo wearing off and me slipping back into old habits, I've heard that she has a second book!

  7. I'm thrilled for you that you have managed to purge some items I imagine it is incredibly hard to do so. I've yet to make a major purge & am unlikely to do so for a long time. That is a fabulous poem - very fitting xx

  8. I was in my sewing room just last night feeling very appalled by the "stuff for projects" that keep coming in and never get done. I needed to read this. God is good! I have gone through and decluttered a bit, but I think that it is time once more to really get more of the job done. Thanks!

    1. as for parents stuff.....I find myself with the same emotional attachments. I have somethings that I need to let go of.

  9. Decluttering is hard, some things have sentimental value even when they have no practical use. I usually declutter in January and I'm slow to get started this year. One thing I always do is when I buy something new to wear I go through my closet and find something to donate.

  10. Sounds like you're doing things just right Wendy. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. ;) Keep up the great work!! Blessings dear Gal. xoxo

  11. Well done Wendy I'm so proud of you for doing so well, I have done some but still have a long way to go and you are inspiring me my friend. I love the poem it's so apt I'm going to keep a copy for myself. Have a great weekend. xxx

  12. Well done Wendy, I read this and your last post, decluttering is very hard but ultimately liberating I think. I bought Marie Kondo's book too ( well the kindle version - couldn't actually buy a THING now could I lol), and applaud her methods etc but not sure I can stick to it that diligently. I do try though. I, like you, struggle with the photos, the children's artwork, cards etc, but also I see POTENTIAL plastered all over everything and kid myself I will transform it someday! Good luck on your continued mission xxx

  13. Aahh Wendy - I can relate - I have started another purge - I have a new plan worked out with my youngest - so we will see how I go!!! Everything is going into a storage shed and I am going to bring home one box at a time and go through it - and I have been really tough with myself and I am seeing results!! Good luck with your current project!!

  14. Hi Wendy, it sounds like you're been really successful with your decluttering so far. Good for you. I have been doing a lot of that lately too. I feel so much better when my house is clean and everything is put in its rightful place. I think more clearly and feel more enthusiastic about all of my chores and responsibilities, even the ones outside the house! Keep up the good work and best of luck to you.

  15. Wendy it sure is great to read about how successful you have been with your clearing out and de-cluttering. You are inspiring me to buckle down more. The poem you shared is very apropos. So glad that you are meeting with success and that your heart feels lighter!


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