An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How much stuff would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck stuff?

This past January we decided to have our kitchen and family room painted. To prepare, we cleared things out. We moved large pieces of furniture to the middle of each room, and everything else - pictures, accessories, lamps, side tables, chairs, etc. - was dumped into our dining room.

Now, I am not a collector of things. I do not like clutter. With the exception of my espresso machine, I do not even keep any kitchen appliances on our counter tops ... not one. When we need to make toast, we get the toaster from the pantry and then put it back when we're finished.

I am also diligent about spring cleaning. Because we rent our house during the week of the Masters Golf Tournament, every year at this time closets, drawers, cabinets, toy bins, bathrooms, and bedrooms get a major overhaul.

I really do try and stay on top of things.

But as we were prepping for the paint job, and the pile in the dining room kept growing and growing, I had one thought: really, what a ridiculous amount of stuff. I was sure, confident even, that I didn't need half of it.

So this year my spring cleaning has kicked into high gear. I am not only cleaning and organizing, I am simplifying. Purging. Getting rid of absolutely anything that doesn't serve a useful purpose or that doesn't hold a special memory; in other words, what wasn't used, worn, played with, or appreciated during the past 12 months is gone.

I took furniture (a secretary, two night stands, lamps, a few paintings) and half of the dining room pile to a consignment store. The Salvation Army came and picked up a mattress and some old kitchen chairs. We donated bags and bags of boy's clothing to a local church.

Artificial plants that used to fill an empty spot are gone (Mary Louise, you would be proud). Clothing has been reduced and closet space has grown. Where there were clusters of things, there are now only a few. Even the shadow box has only one memento in each space.

We have gotten rid of so much ...

and our house is still standing.

ARTIFICIAL PLANTS ...


GONE.


CLUSTERS OF STUFF ...


SIMPLIFIED.


TOO MUCH STUFF ...


NOT ANYMORE.


P.S. And then there is the linen closet ... but that deserves its very own post.

4 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow. Good for you! I do this occasionally -- every time we move -- and it amazes me how quickly the flotsam and jetsam finds its way back. And I have to do it all over again.

Cheryl Lage said...

Your motivation is inspiring...I tend to keep things that have surely crossed over into "clutter"...

Pretty Pretty, Ms. Bia!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I decided today to pretend I'm moving. Over the next month I'm going to purge so I don't have to pack. But I don't have as much as you did to begin with, so no photos.

(I put my toaster away too. Brad's coffee maker is the only appliance that sits out!)

tiziana said...

Bisognerebbe, ogni tanto, prendere la decisione di eliminare un po' di cose, soprattutto quelle inutili, la tua cucina, così, è bellissima.
Mi sto guardando in giro è ho visto già parecchie cose da eliminare. Una cosa però che non butterò mai via è l'enorme pesce di legno e acciaio che ho appeso in cucina che mi è stato regalato da Dwight, sicuramente prima o dopo mi servirà!!