Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Sometimes, don't you just wish Oprah would mind her own business? Don't get me wrong, I basically like Oprah, but the pressure to be as 'good' as she is is just crazy! Case in point -- yesterday's repeat of the organization show. Admittedly, I am not the best housekeeper, clutter is a problem I have, as does my DH and DD ('D'ear 'H'usband and 'D'ear 'D'aughter for those of you who are not up on my e-mail shortcuts) . On the show Oprah had on a family that lived in such clutter you cannot believe! Every available flat space was covered in junk.

Our house isn't like that, but my computer/scrap/guest room is coming close. I am forever trying to rearrange stuff, find places to store stuff and once in awhile it just gets out of hand, like now!

My latest attempt to help my storage problems are two white cubes that I put together last night. I'm going to put them in the closet and set a paper rack I bought from the store on top of it. Then I'm going to purge my little drawers, get all my embellishments in place, go through all my paperwork, books, and other items and get this room back in shape!

The big family problem in our house is the basement. We have the accumulated stuff' from our 31 yr. marriage, my mother-in-law's stuff when she moved in AND my parent's stuff when we cleaned out their house after their passing. In all fairness to my parents, we wouldn't have a furnished living and dining room if it wasn't for their furniture. But basically, in the space of five years we have gone from a tiny house with one couch to a substantially bigger house with FOUR couches. Our basement is an amalgam of boxes, bins, and everything else. My husband is trying to buy out every book on renaissance art and Italy he can get his hands on. Pretty soon Barnes and Noble will be asking for his collection back so that other people can have a chance.

Alexa, I don't even want to go there. Her room is a disaster. My room as a kid wasn't much better but I didn't have the stuff she has but I also didn't have the room to store it that she has, yet the emptiest places in her room are her closets! I'm going to put in a closet system to help store her clothes and tackle her 'stage closet' as we call it for all her toys, games, beads, crafts, animals, dolls, etc.

But this all brings me back to what people were discussing on Oprah, how do you wrap your brain around it all and start! We've been saying we are going to have a garage sale to sell all our's, Alexa's, my mother-in-law's and my parent's extra stuff, but I'm just staggered by how to begin. I'm also overwhelmed by making the decisions of what to go and what not to and the emotional memories that come with my parent's things. It almost seems like an act of betrayal to sell things you know your parent's valued and clearly did not intend to get rid of. My parent's had a big garage/moving sale when they moved to North Carolina and then I couldn't believe what they were selling! So many memories! So much stuff I had grown up with! I remember my mother with some of the neighbors, up in Brion's old bedroom looking at cookie tins. I looked at this wonderful old tin that was big, and had what looked like a cross stitch pattern all over it with the ABC's on it. She was going to sell it! I grabbed it so quick! No way was anyone else getting that tin! I'm happy I wasn't able to be at the house the days they had that sale until late the last day, I'd have even more stuff than I do now!

So, what do I do now, what do I do first? Frankly, I don't want to do this on my own. I wish my DH would take more of any active part, but that's not going to happen unless I tell him exactly what to do and frankly he needs to be a partner in this.

Well, for now, I have control over my scrap room so that is where I'll begin. I'll post when I get it done. I need to be accountable to someone - guess it's going to be you!

P.S.- Oprah has at least three houses/apartments. What do you want to bet she doesn't clean, organize or put away all her stuff?!


Tracy said...

Other people's clutter doesn't bug me - in my own house it drives me bonkers. Hate it. I am constantly purging. Just fill the trunk of your car with stuff and donate it all - that's what I do. Get rid of anything you haven't used or looked at in a couple of years. If it doesn't make you smile, than out it goes. Don't get me wrong - I still have lots of junk, but I try not to be a pack rat.

Jan said...

Yeah, I agree with Tracy. However, my tactic of late seems to be... move to a different house every 2 or 3 years, then you HAVE to purge before the movers come! I do agree with the 2 year rule. If you haven't looked at it in 2 years, then out it goes! If it is a family heirloom and it doesn't make you smile. then out it goes! I donate my stuff to domestic violence shelter thrift stores. Look forward to seeing the "AFTER" picture of your office/study!