Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Purge

Have you ever watched the show Hoarders on A & E? Basically, the people in the show have collected so many things, amassed so much filth that their lives are falling apart. Their relationships with their families are strained.They accumulate mountains of "stuff" that  eventually leave them isolated and almost incapacitated in their own homes. It's disgusting really. After watching just a couple of episodes, I started looking around my own home in a panic, throwing things away and taking multiple trips to Goodwill.

I read an article about hoarding on the internet yesterday morning. Hubby must have been getting those married people vibes because he came home from work and proceeded to rip apart both the master bedroom closet and the guest closet. We need organize, he says. We need to simplify. This translates to "massive chaos and mess." As he made trips back and forth between the two closets like the busy bee he is, I got sucked in as well and started sorting and purging. I got rid of clothes, shoes, books, DVD's, jewelry and other random things that had been making friends with the dust bunnies. We started a pile in a corner of the guest room to house the "unwanteds" and it's growing quickly. I've been snagging things from all over the house to add to the mountain and it's threatening to take over the guest room. The only logical thing to do now is have a garage sale.

Ug. Garage sale. I've only had one, before we moved to Arizona from Virginia. Though I enjoyed getting rid of all that stuff and making around $400, I absolutely DO NOT want to price, display and sell the things that used to be mine. I'd almost rather donate them (which I will if they don't sell.) No matter how worthless the item, I get ticked off each time someone tries to haggle me down to a dime. Yes, this is the ugliest purse of all time. No I don't like it. But it was MINE and you'll pay what I ask!! Now gimme my 50 cents!

Why are we so reluctant to get rid of things that we no longer use? They are just things. They are not substitutes for people or relationships. Clutter tends to complicate....I want things to be simple. It's normal to be attached to things we inherited from our parents or grandparents, or to be attached to photographs or special items that we've bought. But the rest of it can go. I will say I'm better at purging than others. Other than being annoyed by hagglers, I generally have no problem ridding myself of the things I don't need. If I'm not using it, it's taking up my time, my space and my life. Get it gone. It's freeing. 

But, there are things that are hard for me to part with. My daughter's baby clothes for example. I'm not having any more children. I picked my favorite and  most sentimental outfits and had them made into a quilt for her. But I still have two HUGE bins of her clothes taking up space in my garage. I certainly don't need them. But for some reason, I really, really want them. I'm planning to sort and sell what I can, but I'm waiting until the last possible minute to part with them.

Take a deep breath Stephanie...they are just things.


  1. Any good books in there that I should buy from your on-line yard sale?! teehee! :)

  2. my sister runs a childrens out reach program out of her church and she is ALWAYS looking for childrens clothing if you are intrested in donating to a wonderful cause......let me know!
    danielle diaz-gonzalez

  3. I want that book you raved about.... Was it All the Pretty Horses, or some such memior? If you're selling it, put it aside and I'll buy it when I see you again! Love ya!

  4. You may not even see this since its an old post, but have you thought about cutting her baby clothes into squares and making a quilt top from it? You could then tie it, or find someone to machine quilt and finish it for you. I did this for a friend of mine who lost her dad, we used his old shirts, and I made 3 quilt tops for her. It wasn't difficult, and she can snuggle up with her memories.

  5. Debbie, Ontario, CanadaJune 10, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    Hoarders? My husband caught me spring cleaning the living room one night before he went to work (he works nights). Me spring cleaning at 9:30 at night. LOL. It gets me every time I watch it.

    My husband now jokingly puts it on if I'm still up before he goes to work. A few times he has come home to a tired wife and a significantly cleaner house. LOL.