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Nov 10 2010

Clear it out. Now.

The last several weeks I’ve been slowly clearing out the house. Inspired by Denise and Christine, who recently moved, and Tiffani, who sold every last damned thing she owned last year and moved the whole fam damily to California (I even ended up with a couple things of hers), I’m clearing out the house. Room by room, closet by closet, cabinet by cabinet.

We currently have no plans to move, but after seven years here it still needs to be done. And as organized as I am, and as often as I declutter the House of Chaos, I’m stunned at the amount of sheer crap I’m stuffing into the garage. My criterion for removal is 1) would I mourn this if it was lost in a natural disaster, and 2) would I be willing to move this thing across country. Amazing how much you can eliminate when you look at things through those color glasses. Oh, that color is a pale lemon, by the way.

If you felt the world tremble on its axis last week, that was me clearing four large garbage bags of crap from the boys’ rooms. That’s NOT including what I’m donating, simply trash. If you’re starting to feel a disturbance in the force, that’s my husband looking over his shoulder as I eye his office. My God, I want to Feng Shui that thing with an effin’ blowtorch. And that cold breeze of discontent is me looking at my wardrobe, preparing my psyche for getting rid of all the clothes for which my ass has grown too large.

I have a timeline. Well, two. The first one is getting the garage cleared out before a heavy snow hits, because the MomVan is sitting outside and I really hate clearing snow off my vehicle. Oh, and two enormous windshield cracks are plenty, thankyouverymuch. And the second is the end of the year, because I really want the tax break. And as much as I’m tossing, it’ll be a big-ass tax break. Considering Tom took a pretty significant pay cut this year, I’ll take any break I can get.

The kitchen, my office, and our bedroom are all that’s left. And I am so not looking forward to those. Because they’re my domain. Tough decisions. “Will I ever fit in these pants again?” “Will I ever use this in a scrapbook?” “How often do I really use this kitchen tool?” But I want a cleared-out house, so I’ll dig in and get ‘er done.

Oh hells, forgot that I haven’t done the basement. And the storage room. And the bookshelves. And the pantry. And the wee little shed in the backyard. And the garage.

And I think I’ll investigate the underside of my desk as I sit and rock and pretend I’m not doing this to myself.

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  1. My Kids Mom

    I’ve been lurking for a while- like your blog. Got two boys of my own and I get it.

    Alton Brown did a kitchen utensil clearing by packing up everything, putting only the things you’re positive you need into one drawer. Then, as the needed item is used, put it in it’s real home. The other items that are packed up, if needed in the first two weeks, can come out. Other items you look at and decide you always use it for times like Thanksgiving, but it could live elsewhere. If you haven’t used it in two weeks and it isn’t needed for a specific time, you let it go.

    Me, I was a wimp and I put the “unneeded” items in our storage room, “just in case”.

    1. Jen

      Welcome! 🙂 I love Alton Brown; wish we still got the Food Network. I think I will do the “hide utensils” plan. It may be the only way I figure out exactly what we DO use. 🙂

  2. Denise

    Way to go Jen. So glad I could help inspire you, I understand how much work it is. I can’t believe how easy it was to pack without the added pressure of having to sort things out first and then pack. There were still things I chose to not bring along for the move, but in comparison to what it would’ve been like pre-purge I was happy with how things unfolded.

    A great way to do the kitchen (i’ve read about this method) is to put items you haven’t been using in a box. Date the box and put it in the garage or out of site. If you go 3-6 months with out needing anything then donate it. Obviously some kitchen items are seasonal so don’t ditch that turkey baster or gravy bowl!
    Denise recently posted…Welcome To Our First Home of Eight YearsMy Profile

    1. Jen

      Yeah, I’ll have to do that. I think I may need to leave the kitchen for last.

  3. Ofthesea

    I cringed, laughed and nodded until you got to the bookshelves. Ouch! That’s gonna hurt, woman!

    I have WEPT every time I’ve had to clear mine because I was moving across the world… and another move looms!
    Ofthesea recently posted…Reason 110 – I let my boy learn from his mistakesMy Profile

    1. Jen

      Oh, I totally don’t want to clear the bookshelves! I don’t buy many books, but the ones I do I tend to keep. So I may go easy on those. The boys’ books, however…mwahahahahahaha!!!! Not many will survive, methinks. We don’t need the baby books anymore. 😉
      Whew, a move across the world. Never done that, at best just halfway across the country.

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