Thursday, September 2, 2010

Someday I May Need It

Collecting and then de-cluttering!
Keep a thing seven years and it’s bound to come in handy.”
― Russian Proverb

Most people think they need to do this, don't you, gentle reader—save things because one day we may need them! Then we are stuck with junk in a trunk and our life has gone amuck! Come with me while I sputter about clutter and the things we really, after all, do not need.

Not so hard for DH. We were discussing my home de-cluttering projects.

"Why are all those books on the piano?" and "Why are all those things on the couch?" he reasonably wanted to know.

"Sweetheart, it will get worse before it gets better," I explained about my whole summer de-cluttering project. The summer is now turning into fall.

He did ask if I could clear my organizing off of the pool table so we could play pool. Reasonable. I did that. Only this is not what you should do according to FlyLady principles. My friend Kathy reminded me that FlyLady says take baby steps. "Only take out what you can organize," she advised. So the stuff that used to be on the pool able was moved, not tossed out or given a home.

DH just said the word two years ago when he wanted to get rid of his stuff. His books are for the most part gone. Lumber was given away and shop machines were sold to friends. He quipped, "All my junk is junk, and all your junk is valuable!" I helped him get rid of books, but he is right that I want to go through my junk in case there is something valuable in it. Now his main collection is his DVDs to watch on TV, a main pastime of his.

I have to tell you that my de-cluttering is harder than writing a book. I wrote my book last year, but simplifying our home, getting rid of things is a huge project. I am so ADHD about the whole thing--Almost Done Here Dilemma. Not quite ready for the yard sale and not sure when it will happen. The yard sale will prove it was junk and not valuable anyway.

How did all this happen? I have a couple of theories.

1) We really believe we might need it someday. It could save us money. I got rid of shoulder pads, and then found a wonderful project making Christmas angels out of shoulder pads! See! I could have used those shoulder pads one day!

2) We are attracted to these books like FlyLady's Sink Reflections. We read books on procrastination and collect magazine articles about getting organized. We hear the horror stories. Peter Walsh helped a lady get her home back we saw on Oprah; it took 8 weeks and 100 people to get it back for this couple. Two warehouses were used for a giant yard sale of her stuff. People hoard. We love these stories and we think we are not that bad. See Seniors and Hoarding. Until September 6th there is an "enter to win" tab above where you might win an autographed copy of Peter Walsh's book! If I win I will have another book on organizing to add to the collection pictured above! One day maybe I don't need those organizing books.

3) We collect containers to put our stuff in. Then things look neat. Binders, baskets, tubs, file cabinets, rooms, garages, storage sheds. We have that room with the extra closet where we put too many clothes and where we put the junk when we have company. Containers solve nothing when you get to retirement and face the music.

3) Technology changes. We have old records, audio tapes, video tapes, slides, discs, printers, overhead transparencies, etc. We don't take the time to discard or transfer pictures and sounds to new technologies. Why I bet techno nerds are thinking up new stuff to replace the newest stuff that we have! We buy terabytes of memory so we could one day, however. And information is increasing. They say in this link that every two days now we create as much information as we had in all of 2003.

Anthony J. D'Angelo said, The most important things in life aren't things. How true.

Also Matthew 6:19-21 says: 
Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust consumes and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Back to de-cluttering, and organizing while thinking of the words I posted here. Done with procrastinating and want a simplified life when I can get there. Ordered another book, however, recommended by Nancy: Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to De-Junk Your Life. I will review it probably in October, if I don't procrastinate.


  1. I know exactly what you mean! I have done a lot of decluttering lately but I am not too bad with it. My husband is a hopeless hoarder. I can't even think about going near his stuff :-(
    Now cleaning......that is another story! I have gotta find some energy for that.

    Keep at it, dear!

  2. LOL Oh my goodness! Unexpected company coming in the midst of this clutter! And I have to go work tonight teaching a class for DUI offenders. You see, this organizing of our home and mainly my junk is a worthwhile project.

  3. I've been de-cluttering for over 5 years now.... and I'm thrilled to say that I actually have shelves that are empty, and it's really a good feeling. It's easier to find things and easier to clean when you have less....
    Yea for less!!

    Good post.....
    thinking of you and yours ....

  4. I hope it doesn't me take five years, or was that part of the process of moving to a one story less yard home? I am hoping for one year max, but stay tuned.

    Dolores, Sue, and Ruby,
    I think of you all often and remember each of you and your husbands in my prayers.

  5. This is my first visit to your blog. I've really enjoyed it. I'm a caregiver, also! I have several books I've ordered for encouragement but they lack PUNCH! :-) I've found quite a bit of help through your writings. Thank you! I also appreciate your comment on my blog!

  6. Living on Less--
    Your testimony on your new blog is awesome and positive. I love the Lord in you. Thanks for following this blog.

  7. The Decluttering books by Don Aslet are FANTASTIC! Check them out from the library and then you won't own it... there is nothing I love more than to declutter. It is like a drug high. I have really pared down and almost everyday, I look around and wonder what I can get rid of next. Husband has pretty much come around to this way of thinking, especially since this spring we had 2 inches of water in the basement and it soaked his cardboard boxes of stuff! Now, he is getting rid of stuff so he does not have to work around it. It's looking much better... we know we need to get rid of stuff now (we are 56 and 60 years old) and not wait till they carry us out on stretchers... the other day he said, "We need to act like we are going to die"! Meaning get rid of it now! What freedom I feel when I have less stuff... and yes, the verse... do not lay up for yourselves 'treasures' on earth... I need to blog about this--organizing and decluttering. Oh, and I started de-cluttering years ago--it's more fun the more you do it!! (Love/appreciate your honesty about dealing with your husband's illness. Delores posted a link to your site.)

  8. Oh, BTW, your book looks like it's a real kicker!!! You go girl!!