Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just received a big dose of "de-clutter".

My mother always told me to wear my nice underwear on an airplane, just in case the plane crashed and I needed to be rushed to the hospital.  Heaven forbid someone undress me and see my ratty underwear.  I'm pretty sure other injured victims would get priority care due to their better underwear choice that day.  While my mother was busy worrying about holey underpants if she were in some sort of accident, my focus has taken a shift in a different direction.  What would people be left to deal with if something happened to me?  A series of events has led me to this thought pattern. 

My father-in-law passed away a few months ago.  He was 83 and his health was failing.  In his long life, he learned early the value of saving things.  He saved everything.  Once his house was full of treasures, he started filling his 5,000 square foot barn with "stuff" (for a better word).  We knew the past few years that he was coming close to the end.  What was to become of all the stuff he had collected?  The barn is completely filled with every kind of fencing material known to man, as well as saw horses, picnic tables, multiple charcoal grills and wood burning stoves.  There must be 50 gas cans, gates, baby cribs, beds, kitchen tables, meat scales, bales of hay and straw, refrigerators, tools, tools, tools, post hole diggers, file cabinets, wagons - I could go on and on and on.  There are places in this barn I cannot even go to as it is blocked off with more stuff.  He is now gone, and his 75 year old widow on a walker is in no position to clean out this compilation of treasures. Who is going to tackle this huge project?  The VP Banker son?  Um, no.  The other Mortgage Banker son?  Ha! no.    There is a home with a basement full of 40 years collections, as well as this 5,000 square foot barn full of treasures that everyone is turning a blind eye to.

Why didn't they start cleaning things out over the years while they were able?  Did they not know this day would come?  Why did they continue to add to the pile?  These are questions I go over and over in my head as I realize they are all looking to me for help cleaning this up.

In addition to this little fiasco, I recently watched an episode of "Hoarders" and it all became very clear.  What started as frugal and thrifty, morphed into hoarding.  They saved EVERYTHING.

I started thinking about what would happen if suddenly I were gone.  What would my family have to weed through?  I live in a beautiful home and it is (for the most part) clean and organized.  There are, however, a few rooms that need some help.  My craft room is one of them.  I will post pictures soon and start the makeover.  It's time to scale down.  No more saving everything.  I needed a basket the other day for a gift basket I was making for a customer.  I looked in my basket collection and couldn't find anything suitable.  ALL of my baskets are now going to the thrift shop.  If I need one, I will go buy one.  The same goes for my clothes and shoes.  If my closet is not like a boutique, where I love EVERYTHING and everything fits perfectly, I should get rid of it.  It's time to weed through all of my treasures and remember what I am going through with my in-laws.  I cleaned out the garage the other day, and that was a huge load off my shoulders.  My desk area in the kitchen is the next one on the chopping block, then the craft room and my husband's office.  Time to simplify and organize.  It is such a good feeling to know that everything is organized and in its place.  Now, in addition to wearing my nice underwear, I will leave the house knowing if something tragic were to happen to me, people will find scaled down organized treasures - and nice underpants.

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