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 ...
CLUSTERS OF STUFF ...
TOO MUCH STUFF ...
P.S. And then there is the linen closet ... but that deserves its very own post.