Slash and Burn


Pesky corner:

This year has been the year of cleaning out for me. I’ve been on a mission to declutter and throw out, give away, burn, or otherwise dispose of all the excess I’ve been carrying around for way too long. Remember when I gave away almost all of my clothes? Looking back at that post, I realized it’s been more than a year that I’ve been on this mission.

Of course, I walk away from the mission for months at a time while I’m busy doing other things, but I’m back on it and this time I’m going to finish. The above pictured pesky corner is one of a number of spots that I’ve neglected where papers and piles and assorted things grow wildly, multiply, and spread out like noxious weeds. (I was already halfway through working on that bookcase when I took the photo. I filled up five trash bags in that corner, mostly off the bookcase–not books, stacks and folders of old papers.) I also need to go through my closet again, and this time throw out more than clothes.

I need to attack the attic, that contains boxes I’ve been carrying around, otherwise untouched, since I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 18 years old. Even I am not interested in the minutia of my life going that far back.

My dresser drawers could use a good combing through and disposal, too.

And my kitchen cabinets and the pantry, where items I never use hide or topple and generally take up space that could be used for things I care about and actually use.

No clipping of an article I wrote for a newspaper in 1990 or rusted muffin pan will go unturned–or untrashed. I’m going to be ruthless. Otherwise, what happens to all this stuff stuff stuff? One day you’re gone and your kids have to back a truck up to the door.

When I die, my children will have nothing to do but decide who gets the dehydrator and who gets the cheese press. What more could they ask for than less? Oh, wait. Money. Oh, well! They can’t have everything!


  1. twiggityNDgoats says:

    Bravo Suzanne. You’ll be an inspiration to us all.

  2. Cheryl LeMay says:

    Good for you Suzanne! One way or another your stuff will have to be dealt with so it may as well be you.My husband is finally tackling his junk in the living room. We bundled up 10 bundles of old magazines and 5 trashbags full.And he’s still not done!But it’s a start.

  3. Bev in CA says:

    Yes! We live in a smaller home so we keep things as uncluttered as possible. The thrift store gets the unused good stuff. The barn and shop is really what needs some help. When you are older you accumulate way too much stuff. It does grow, and it make you feel so good when you do away with it. Less is more. Way to go, Suzanne.

  4. Jersey Lady says:

    As soon as the last of the garden is done, Your Mission is My Mission.You are right about the kids and the truck. I have cleared out 3 relatives’ houses and do not want our children to have to do that for us.
    Even though we keep a tidy place-house and barn,the knowledge that there are stashes of stuff squirreled away nags at me. The unsorted boxes weigh on the back of my mind. Day to day life is enough;I don’t need all that “stuff” bugging me yet too. So…watch out, Clutter, your days are number around here.

  5. Abiga says:

    I have been downsizing for the last 6 years after moving from my last house. I gave most of my furniture and odds and ends to my son and the rest to my 2 daughters. I live with one daughter now and my room just keeps getting smaller. Just put all my extra fabrics in a storage garage we have. I keep throwing out more clothes that don’t fit or I wear maybe once a year. Keep it up Suzanne!

  6. whaledancer says:

    It sounds like you’ll have plenty to keep you busy through the rainy and snowy weather this year. If you could get it down to one designated clutter corner, with a rule that it must be cleaned out when it threatens to overrun its boundaries and at least once a year, it would never be a big job again.

  7. bonita says:

    I’m on the 15 minutes a day schedule, one drawer, shelf, nook, etc a day. Second time around with some locations, there’s always stuff to toss!

  8. holstein woman says:

    4 1/2 years Suzanne, 4 1/2 years I have been digging out from under my husband and his parents things. He is one of these guys who has to look at every paper and every page in a magazine before they go, so I wait…. 😥 😥 😥 :hissyfit: :hissyfit: :hissyfit: Bless you child, keep up the good work, wanna do mine next????

  9. Butterbean says:

    I am on that same mission today! I am in the laundry room, glad to know that it is not just me getting rid of junk! Where does it all come from? I know where it is going now though!

  10. Ms.Becky says:

    it amazes me how much clutter can collect in so short a time. no matter how closely monitored, I still am always clearing and cleaning and there’s more and more all the time. I need to be aware of each and every thing that I bring into the house and then get rid of that number. perhaps then I’ll find a balance. purge is the word of the day. and month. :yes:

  11. STH says:

    Yep, I’m doing this, too. I’m going through clothes and already have two trash bags to donate. And it’s got me thinking about Christmas–everybody I know is struggling with too much “stuff,” so what kind of “gift” are you giving people when you load them up with more? I think this coming Christmas is going to be a minimalist one (which is a good idea for me, anyway, since the company I work for is slowly going under!)

  12. Peggy in KY says:

    Good for you. After spending almost an entire year sorting, recycling and general tossing of 65 years of my parents collecting I think this is the best gift you could give your children. We still have some things to go through, but at least now an end is in sight. Now your challenge is to continue the practice of keeping only what you need and use. Next year we will be sorting our own things so no one will need to go through what we have gone through.

  13. princessvanessa says:

    I clean and declutter best when I am really mad and upset about something. In the long ago past I have been found stripping the wax off my floors with an old toothbrush, applying new paste wax and buffing it to a high gloss.
    Hmmm, looking all around me I can see that I have been fat, dumb and happy for quite a number of years. lol

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