A recap of my mission on this organizing challenge: As you can imagine, my house is pretty organized. There is a place for everything and everything fits somewhere. And I keep on top of the maintenance and regularly reevaluate and purge what no longer fits into my life. But a few months ago, I really started thinking about what I own and I decided I’m ready for change in my life, ready for something new and I’m done with so much of what I have. I’m done thinking about how it used to fit into my life or that maybe it will again someday. So as a challenge to myself, I decided to do this work and document it for you so you could see how even an organizer struggles with the same things you do!
If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you may recall that I had a storage cubby installed under my stairs and it’s hidden by a piece of furniture. Well, not so much installed as it’s very rough — cement foundation, exposed insulation, no lighting — but it holds stuff and I had a door cut out. Here’s sort of what the inside used to look like (it had evolved)
You may wonder why I felt the need to purge the stuff that was hidden and tucked away in a storage cubby, not bothering anyone. Well, guess what???? It was bothering me! I knew there were things in there that I didn’t want or need. Plus, there were storage bins of clothes in there that I wanted to sort through (clothing/closet post coming soon!).
So what did I get rid of, you may wonder? Parts of my past that have not been a part of my recent past, nor will be part of my immediate future.
- I used to have two cats, who both passed away at the age of 15, two years ago. I got rid of most everything, but some things seemed practical to keep as I thought I’d be getting another cat soon(ish). Turns out, I don’t feel like getting another pet and it was time for the rest of the stuff to go — carriers, dishes, toys, etc. I made a drop-off at the humane society, where they can use what they need or pass along to new cat owners. These items are easily replaceable and doing much more good there rather than being stored under my stairs.
- I had fall decorations that I hadn’t put out in at least 3 years, if not more. I still liked the idea of them, but I wasn’t into the (small) amount of effort it took to do and when I really got serious about it, I no longer felt like that style represented me. I used to host Thanksgiving for friends and these candles, pumpkins, gourds, garlands, leaves, etc. were all a part of the season and the event so it wasn’t easy to get rid of them…but why were they still sitting there, doing nothing, for no one? Why do I need these things? I don’t.
- There were also the wreaths that I made — one for fall and one for the Fourth of July. They were attractive and I used to take such pride in hanging them. But they haven’t been hung on the door in years! Part of that is because of where they’re stored, although pretty easy to access since the cabinet is on furniture glides (if that’s what they’re called). The main reason is I don’t care that much about them anymore. And my style has changed.
- I also parted with a set of mugs and dessert plates for Christmas that I have NEVER used!!! Fantasy self, Pottery Barn discount, etc. I still liked the idea of using these at the holidays when having people over, but if I hadn’t for over 10 years, if not (up to) 17 years…it was time to let them go!!!! For those of you who are in the know, it was the classic PB Reindeer Collection.
I know this photo isn’t terribly exciting, but it’s my trunk filled with stuff from the cubby to donate to a charity-run thrift store. I had another full trunk when I went to the humane society. I have to tell you…..if feels so good to let go! Not just of the “stuff” I don’t use or need, but becuase I thought so much of these items I did use or need it for so long, or would use again soon. But I got to the truth of it all and knew it was time to move forward!