Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Taking charge of my surroundings

Well, my part of the garage is all organized... four sets of shelves (with four or five shelves each). I got up very early this morning to finish kitchen clean up and then tackle the garage again.

My husband is amazed, he absolutely can't believe the difference. I've cleaned the garage the past two spring cleanings but never like this where I went through all the boxes and decided to get rid of most of the things I was holding onto since living in the "bigger house".

We took over a "back seat full" of boxes and brown paper grocery bags to Goodwill today (on top of everything that went yesterday). Tomorrow I'm dropping off some books for the next library sale at the library near campus. In a couple of weeks I'll take all my Saxon math and Apologia science curriculum to the Christian bookstore to sell (putting a fair price on them). It's hard to believe those years are now behind...

As I was cleaning yesterday, the thought was constantly in my mind that we truly are in charge of our surroundings. For the most part, it is our choice to either hold onto "stuff" or to get rid of what we truly don't need. How silly of me to spend precious time each week trying to figure out how to rearrange "stuff" to make it look less cluttered. Ummm, Brenda, perhaps the only way to look less cluttered is to... get rid of stuff. Okay, so I am a slow learner at times... eventually I get it. Now I have what I truly love...

Oh, I kept important items and those things that would cost way too much money should I decide to use them again soon (like my bear-making accessories, I definitely kept them). But I truly found I needed only about a quarter of the items I've been holding onto.

Hubby and I will go through the remaining boxes together soon, all of those containing papers and cards and such... deciding what to keep and what to throw away from nearly 34 years of marriage. He also has a box of his brother's things... those items precious to a little boy who died of cancer when his life was just beginning. Our Christopher is named after him. I think he is now ready to throw away most of those, keeping only the very few items not falling apart. We inherited that box when his mother died in a car accident in the 90's... only now is he ready to part with them. She never could...

We will keep our daughter's college papers and drawings (until she wants them). She had told her dad to get rid of them upon graduation and was quite happy this past winter to find out he didn't... he couldn't. Upon opening one of our "memory boxes" this morning, I found the cutest little boy stuff... we'll go through them, too... memories of our own Christopher's childhood. Some things are worth finding room to keep.

I put aside the remainder of homeschool books which I want to give to Stephanie. Along with taking the high school books to sell, that means everything has been accounted for and either stored in Christopher's room for his kids someday... or on their way to New England for the present homeschool generation.

A new season upon me with the past all accounted for... a good thing.

Picture: George Leslie (artist); allposters.com

6 comments:

freetobeme said...

Oh boy, I could take lessons from you! One challenge I have now is going through a cousin's papers and letters all the way back to the 20's and earlier! I even found two newspapers from 1918 headlining THE WAR IS OVER! and also 1945 THE WAR HAS ENDED! Those are treasures! But most of the rest is going into the trash. Sorry, Howard!

KarenHarveyCox said...

I have been doing some of the same over here, especially since my daughter just arrived back from college and redecorated her room. As I was going through boxes of things of my own I thought how silly to hold onto things I hardly ever look at. Perhaps someone would enjoy some of these things. My home was beginning to look like a gift shop. It must be the chapter, I want to simplify my life so I can be out living it instead of taking care of stuff. Karen

Sandy said...

I've been inspired by your recession proofing series and decided I needed to get serious about stocking my pantry. I've started a new series of posts about my progress. Feel free to stop by and add your two cents. I would love to clean out my garage, but most of it is my husband's. I'm just praying about it instead.

http://sandy-fallinglikerain.blogspot.com/2008/05/tales-from-my-pantry-part-one.html

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

You're doing a splendid job, Brenda! As Marla says, "You can't organize clutter." Oh how I've often wished that I could.

About the mementos that your husband has been saving...perhaps keeping just one or two and taking a photo of the rest might be helpful. I've taken a lot of photos of treasures that I no longer need and it does help me to be able to let it go.

The old "one in/one out" rule works very well, too.

Anonymous said...

What an inspiration! I also have a garage that i have to clean full of too much stuff. I was wondering if you would like to sell the apologia books online. I homeschool my boys and I am starting to use apologia. Let me know.

Maria in PA

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Maria, send me your e-mail address at the Coffee Tea Books & Me address posted in the sidebar.