Friday, July 8, 2011

Purgin' Like We're Movin' Cross Country...

...and we rented a U-haul that only fits half our stuff.

We're not really moving, though the thought is appealing. There's no better way to clean out unwanted and unused clutter that's accumulated since your last move. Or, worse, clutter that has moved with you from place to place and hasn't been used in either!

We've been in this house for almost ten years. I kind of miss the days when my husband and I moved every couple of years. On our second to last move before we bought our house, we moved from North Carolina to New York and really did have a small U-haul. It fit a bit more than half our stuff, but was packed full. We were forced to make some tough decisions about what to keep and what to toss.

The beauty about a long-distance move is you can't leave things behind to pick up later. You can't make any quick trips ahead of time, with a car full of stuff, to the new location. You have to work with the limited space of a rental truck and your vehicles. Whatever doesn't fit is left behind.

I think we wore a path to the local Goodwill as we prepared for that move all those years ago.

Now, I'm forcing myself to purge with the same attitude. Yesterday I tackled the master bedroom (if you can call it that in our tiny house). My tools were garbage bags and several tissues. I needed the tissues because I stirred up a massive quantity of dust and was sneezing non-stop before I was half done.

I sorted the books, cleaned out the jewelry box, purged unused clothing from two dressers and the closet and emptied old, ratty blankets from the blanket chest. You'd think the ratty blankets were the worst find of the day, but no. They weren't. It seems, in a fit of post-pregnancy, hormone-fueled, sentimental murkiness, I had decided several years ago to keep my children's baby teeth. Mind you, my oldest son is 12, so he's lost most of his baby teeth. My middle son is 7 and has lost eight. That's a lot of baby teeth packed into my jewelry box. As I looked at it yesterday, I realized how gruesome it was and promptly threw them all in the trash. I wondered what they heck I thought I was going to do with them. Can you imagine a crazy mother presenting the discarded teeth to her grown offspring on some future, momentous occasion?

With the teeth safely in the trash bag, I showed no mercy to the rest of the bedroom. I didn't do any cleaning save for a quick vacuuming at the end to get the most offending dust bunnies off the floor. The room looks like it's breathing a sigh of relief. It's no longer overstuffed and threatening to protest.

Today, it's getting a thorough vacuuming, dusting and washing. Maybe I'll even put a vase of fresh flowers on the dresser. I think I created a little slice of Heaven right in my own home.


  1. A friend of mine moved from upstate NY to Nevada a few years ago. Everything she took with her fit into her HONDA CIVIC...! That purge must have felt GREAT :-)

  2. Ugggggggh teeth! You had me shuddering. I'm very glad they're gone and that the room can breathe again. Well done :)

  3. Lisa - That's fantastic! She must have felt light and free!

    Anne - Hope I didn't spoil your breakfast - lol!

  4. I used to move a lot. When I moved to marry my current husband in 2000, I had four file cabinets. He said I could have only one and I sat and went through things and put them in boxes. I wish I had better habits back then because I still find things to get rid of.

    I do think about what furniture I would save if I downsize a lot.


  5. Carol - Downsizing from 4 to 1 must have been challenging! Have you been able to maintain it?

    I think about what furniture would get left behind if we made a big move, too.