Thursday, January 30, 2020

Some Thoughts of Cleaning Out Closets

January has been a cold month here in north Florida. While indoors, I have used this month to take care of needed tasks inside so that when it does warm up I can go out and play. Bring on warmer temps now.

Stitcher friends, there is no stitching in this post. Come back soon for that. 

This is all "the over consumption of stuff over decades" cleaning out post.

Despite the issues with Mom's health the entire month has NOT  been all bad. I attended to some tasks of going through closets and drawers. For once I found a sense of finally feeling really good about some things. For the last 5 years I have gone systematically through the house room by room, closet by closet. This year my main level which is my upstairs was easy peasy.

Yes, easy peasy. For once, I felt it was a breeze. I had finally gotten to a point where what tucked away in a closet was something I wanted and it served a purpose. Our clothes closet is good. I have stuck to not bringing in a lot more and taking something I didn't love out if I brought something in.

I headed downstairs to the area where my son's room, bathroom, "playroom," and extra closets were. I think I didn't realize how much I had accomplished there. When I started going around little by little I was able to clear out a few more items.

I have to say that my son's closet is empty except for one storage bin of beanie babies. Remember those. We had tons. Most have no tags since Paul Allen didn't like the tags. What he did like was the size of them and spent hours driving them around in a dump truck, etc. The remainder of the closet now holds some empty storage bins that I don't want to get rid of and the air conditioner filters for the house. A basically empty closet!

His desk and chest drawers are empty except for one that holds some clothes such as his letterman jacket. The desk holds decorative items and his old high school yearbooks. I did throw away some old college textbooks, but I have to say he had cleared most of it out. I have one storage tub with baby items of his, but I had long moved them out of his closet.

Then I tackled his old bathroom. All clean with empty!

I then tackled two closets in the playroom area that contain an odd assortment of stuff. I reorganized a few so that the memorabilia I couldn't part with is easier to get to. I can now go down and browse through it and I labeled things better so that one day it will be easier to just throw out stuff.

I had one fairly large pile in the middle of the floor that this weekend I am going take to Goodwill.
It was an odd assortment of stuff that more or less just got looked over and nobody really wanted anymore.

The only thing I did not deal with that I probably should is records and old tapes.
The bottom of the bookcase in the above picture is full of records. Both Jeff and I had quite a collection. I have never really found anywhere to take them that was worth the trouble. I think because they are in that cabinet which was made to hold them ---they are out of sight. I really don't want to throw them in a landfill. I think they are probably a bit more marketable...maybe these days ---with the resurgence of young people listening to records.

That said, I probably will put that off again.

The other one was old tapes. The TV cabinet is full of VHS and DVDs. I was about to pull them all out when Paul Allen kind of winced and said he wasn't sure about that. I decided that they weren't hurting anything and that cabinet would be empty without them. I set up an old TV with a VCR and Tucker and I watched a few old ones while we were down there working. I actually think I will go down and watch a few DVD sets sometimes. The good thing is that they are now all in one spot!

I have put some of his toys as he has outgrown them in Paul Allen's closet since I might use them later for another grand at some point. They have all been given to me or bought at a second hand store. I can easily take them back there for resale later.

I walked through January for the first time feeling good about the past five years of getting rid of extra stuff that wasn't used.

***If one only has two closets that by no means are overflowing with stuff that is not used all that much then I say that is a win win.

The big room is not used all that much, but we do enjoy going down there every now and then. I have room to buy a small record player and have debated it over and over for some time. Maybe!?

One thing that I will say that has helped is being careful with what we purchase. I have finally gotten Jeff on board to think before we buy even the slightest thing to bring in to the house.

I am glad I was a pick rat in that I was able to decorate and furnish our Auburn home. We only bought some new shelves up there in the master bedroom. Everything else is stuff we had.

That is the story of 5 years of scaling it down and surprisingly feeling pretty good about stuff.

The 80s and 90s were definitely decades of buying stuff and collecting stuff. I have a few items in that pile downstairs that I am trying to sell on Ebay. I have listed an old clock that my in-laws had. It and a few more items have been in a closet. I do have a sell for sure. The bidding ends on Saturday. I am not getting rich off it but making more than I would have in a yard sale and enough to ship it properly.

Paul Allen's old room. Even MY trunk is almost empty. Just a blanket.

I would like to list a crystal fruit / banana dish and some pink Incolay Jasparware decorative plates. They both were leftover from their estate sale and just not my thing. The goal is to try and sell to someone who would enjoy them. Again more than a yard sale and enough to cover shipping, but not caring to get rich:)

The other side of his old room. Yearbooks and tons of notebook paper are all that are in the desk.  There is a light sitting on top that Jeff needs to put outside. 

One other funny thought...I always knew that giving out participation TROPHIES in sports was a terrible idea. I was always the team mom and tried to encourage all those moms to not want those little gems. BUT NOPE, every sport every year we had to have a party and hand out those little things. Now, they are lined up across that one bookcase and someone will deal with them in years to come. They are decoration now.

The funny thing is that my daughter never played sports and was always jealous of those little trophies. In 5th grade, she finally got her own trophy for Bible drill. She made it all the way to the district level at church and got recognized one Sunday morning. Her words were----"I finally have a trophy of my own!" Where is it? In her old room on the dresser. She too can deal with it one day:) Along with the academic ones she received and taking up space on her old bookcase.
I had an athlete and a academia, just not together in one child:)

January has been successful in that area of life.

I have made some changes that I hope will make things easier for me going forward. I have scaled back my potted plants inside and out and of course, redid those front rose beds. I have to say it is all making me feel a lot lighter. I will always love growing things, but can't do as much I as I ambitiously tried to do.

Those changes have made me feel so much more relaxed and on top of things. It has almost been a nesting thing as I feel I am about to be needed more by mom. It feels good to have that behind me so that I can concentrate on her more.

I will be back later with birthday cake talk, stitching, and something a bit more fun to talk about that decluttering closets.

I still love these little monthly stitches.
See ya in February,


  1. If you want to get rid of the records and dvds and tapes, you can take them to Half Price Books and they will buy them from you. Not a lot, but they re-sell them in their store for pretty cheap! I love that store! Just an idea. I'm getting ready to take a bunch of that kind of stuff to our local store from my mom's estate.

  2. That lovely feeling of lightness, and just not being flustered by too many things, it's great.

    It's a reward in itself for the work, and it is strenuous work, of clearing.

  3. I am encouraged by your post today to get back to work on weeding out things. I need to begin with my own closet. I realized that I have not worn many things in there for some time, and it is time to get them out of there so my"real clothes" can breathe! We moved this past year, and we did get rid of quite a bit, but I know there is still a lot to go. It is time consuming. I have way too many things that were inherited or special gifts that I just haven't been able to part with yet. Someday, but not yet. A little at a time. But you have encouraged me to keep working at it. Thank you.

  4. It does, indeed, feel good to declutter! I am happy for you feeling so much better!!

  5. Sandy, I am glad you are feeling good about the decluttering you have been doing over the years. I have started again and my goal is to make more than a half-hearted effort. One step or in this case, one room at a time. Thank you for inspiring me!

  6. You have certainly done well with your decluttering efforts, Sandy! Had to laugh at the trophies as our youngest son had boxes of them, too. A few years ago, we agreed to just take a photo of them and out they went. He did keep one very special one--the trophy he got for being the most fair player on the soccer team :)

    At this point, I'm really feeling the need to pare down my stitching charts so I may begin to list a few on my blog... we'll see. Hope you have a relaxing weekend ♥

  7. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on cleaning out this month. Funny - we long ago got rid of our record albums, but recently, after one of our sons bought us a turn table and speakers we've accumulated some new oldies to listen to. It's totally a nostalgia thing. And I hear you on the trophies. I'm thinking they have maybe been gone through and possibly gotten rid of, as I couldn't tell you where they are anymore. Someday, I'll have to figure out what to do with the many years of 4-H ribbons they accumulated. I know my sons aren't going to want them. But I've saved them all these years! So now what?!?

  8. You are being very thorough; doing a fine job for yourself and those who will come after you some day when you are gone.

    The January stitch posted at the very end -- I like it!

  9. Sandy... I think you may have inspired me to get moving on decluttering some more rooms and drawers. Now that I have the inspiration, all I need now is the energy!! Have a wonderful Sunday.

  10. Great inspiration Sandy! I have so much to do. The past five years have really put me in a very unorganized position and for some who has always been very organized it is not a comfortable place to be. My goal is to get going this year. RJ

  11. Sandy: I like decluttering, I never did until I retired, it seems it is just more to dust or move around.
    You are really on a mission, I like hearing how well it is going for you.
    The fish pillow on the bed is a hoot.
    I could not get rid of Mikes jacket from school or the Navy, they really are very important pieces of his past.
    I know what you mean about participation trophies, it is a shame that they are given out, I feel it does not give the participant incentive to work harder at their sport, we have some groups here that do not except them.
    Some albums are worth a fortune now a days.
    Have a beautiful week.


  12. Good for you! I did a complete declutter a couple of years ago but stuff has been slowly creeping back in. Darn that love of shopping.


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