Thursday 28 March 2013

Moving Discoveries and the Process of Purging

I recently discovered that I am the proud owner of 17 vases.  Not to mention countless mugs.

This move has provided a golden opportunity to purge and begin the process of simplifying.  When you come across a box while packing that hasn’t been UNpacked in three cross-country moves containing, among other things, a GLASS jar of mayonnaise (no modern day plastic here, thank you very much) that expired in 1989, you know it’s time to get rid of a few things.

Side note - the mayonnaise seemed to be well preserved and appeared to look quite normal, but we didn't open it to find out.

Seriously, some of the boxes we had in our basement had stickers on them from multiple moving companies.  Obviously we didn't really need whatever was in them.

There’s an ugly word that sometimes gets thrown around our house, usually when someone is frantically searching through the ever-present paper pile on the kitchen counter….or more recently, when a box of VHS movies made their way into the basement (we don’t even own a VCR anymore).


I knew before we started packing that there were a lot of things that needed to go.  Knowing and DOING, however, are two entirely different things.   It’s not easy to find the time needed to sort through a lifetime’s worth of accumulated stuff.  Moving has forced me to make the time and start the process of purging.

Just to be clear, I am not one of those last-week’s-lunch-under-the-coffee-table kind of hoarders.  We don’t have 27 cats and I don’t need to walk through a sea of garbage to get to the kitchen sink.  I am the other kind of hoarder, the I-can’t-throw-it-away-if-it-has-sentimental-value kind of hoarder.  The thought of throwing away handmade Mother’s Day cards, kindergarten report cards, maps from our last family vacation, twenty year old programs from The Phantom and Les Mis, prom tickets, kids’ artwork, or any other kind of memorabilia just stresses me out.  Interestingly, being surrounded by clutter also stresses me out.  You see my dilemna. 

I am digging deep and finding my way through the process of purging while preserving.  It’s tricky and complicated and I wish I had started this a helluva long time ago.

If I was at the beginning of this journey with children, I would take photos of artwork and memorabilia to store electronically, keeping selected pieces to frame and/or scrapbook.  But twenty years ago we hadn’t yet entered this digital age, and developing film was expensive, so photography was much more selective.  You would have never caught me taking a picture of a plate of nachos or a cup of coffee.   I won’t part with all of the treasures my children have created over the years, but I do plan to digitally catalogue them so it will be easier to let most of them go.

When the kids were small, I kept every scrap of clothes to hand down to the next in line.  If it didn’t fit anyone right then, it would surely fit someone eventually.  Perfectly reasonable, yes?  Now they’re older, more fashion conscious, with different body types and personalities.  They aren’t wearing a whole lot of big brother’s clothing anymore…. so why are there 31 pairs of jeans waiting to be sorted into closets?  17 hoodies?  And this is AFTER having made multiple runs to Goodwill before we moved.  

Pokemon cards.
Crazy Bones.
Beanie Babies.

Kids love to collect, and these kids were champion collectors when they were small. 

Books.   Lotsa books.

We have a lot of stuff.  There are, after all, eight people living in this house.  I know some of this stuff can go, but it would be unrealistic to expect to see it all gone.  I can’t bring myself to be a complete minimalist because there is an emotional attachment to many of the things we own.  But I can find a way to trim it back and better manage what we do choose to keep.

This is going to be an interesting journey.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

We've moved...

...and we're living in a sea of boxes.

Note the abundance of snow.  Hello, tomorrow's the first day of spring.

I already love this kitchen.

I unpacked 17 vases.  Who the heck needs 17 vases??

Springing forward has left me feeling far behind!  More to come soon.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

If you don't already know Bev at Black Ink Paperie, go check her out.  She is the funniest writer I've had the pleasure of discovering here in the blogosphere.  She is responsible for the sticky 'h' key on my keyboard, after having had coffee spewed onto it more than once.  She recently bestowed upon me the Versatile Blogger Award which, coming from her, blew my socks off.  So now I must 'put on my face' and graciously accept this award, albeit without nearly as much style as Bev.

The Rules are as follows:

             1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.

Thank you Bev.  I'm repeating myself here, as I've told you this before, but you are an incredibly gifted writer and I hope to see you publish a book one day.  You're also a talented crafter, despite your recent funk.

             2) Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.


              3) Nominate 7 fellow bloggers and include a link to their site.

Em at Dartmoor Ramblings - I love her photos!
Tami at Pretty Purplexing -  We hockey mama's have to stick together.
Galina at Chez Maximka - This girl can cook!
Kristin at About A Girl - She's a rockin' Canuck!
Mary at The Sauers - Cutest family ever.
Angela at A Typical English Home - The UK's very own Martha Stewart.

              4) Let them know you have nominated them.


               5) Share 7 random facts about you.

   Click here to see some random facts that I shared not too long ago.  
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