Sifting Through Stuff

Deep within is an inner pack rat longing for expression...

Deep within me is an inner pack rat longing for expression…

Cue the theme song for TLC’s show Hoarding…

If it even has a theme song. I can never watch long enough to tell.

Because that show makes me nervous. Does my house resemble TLC’s photo? Um, no.

And yes. Because there are closets, stuffed drawers, dark corners. And those little piles beside my bed that grow.

I save too much. What can I say, I grew up collecting antiques. I would love to live in a crooked, rambling old house like Narnia’s Professor Digory Kirke, with all those rooms stuffed with curiosities.

But I don’t.

Anyway, they say the best time to declutter is when you are feeling it, when enough finally becomes enough. I reached this point tonight. I think it had something to do with having a nice fire burning on the hearth. The perfect opportunity to destroy paper clutter, right?

So satisfying, watching stuff burn.

hoarders-haulMy usual style is to attack the entire house like a maniac, tearing out far more than can be put away. Tonight reason prevailed, and I focused only on the area beside my bed. Yeah, those piles I mentioned earlier. I have been trying to be better organized, and today I covered some ground.

Or maybe I should say I uncovered it.

Amid the trash, precious treasures: Jewelry, unearthed in a drawer. A really great photo of my parents. Gift cards, put carefully in a “safe” place (that I promptly forgot about). Ha, and the copyright certificates from the Library of Congress for my Mercy’s Embrace books.

I also found cards sent by dear friends when I was gravely ill. How I enjoyed reading them again!

Is my home now perfect? Not by a long shot. But I’ve made headway in the bedroom. I feel more at ease in here, and that’s worth celebrating.

Next up, my close-top desk. Who knows what lurks inside? The rest of my missing jewelry, I hope.
Laura Hile (1)

8 thoughts on “Sifting Through Stuff

  1. Crystal Thieringer

    I am far too familiar with a house that looks somewhat like that photo–and as a result, I’m somewhat on the other end of the spectrum. I keep very little, and it can be just as much of a problem. Still, I’ve come to realize that for me, keeping a minimum amount of stuff makes me happiest. I have a few treasures, but they are treasures. However–I have an inordinate amount of cards, and at some point, I will have to go through them. It’s hardest for me to part with the words of friends. Somehow, they don’t feel like stuff.

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    1. Laura Hile Post author

      Oh, Crystal, me too. Those cards–how can I just toss them?
      I’ve come to the place where I realize that some were meant to cheer me in a low moment. Others offer encouragement for a lifetime.

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  2. childofaslan

    I LOVE burning paper in the fireplace! LOL. So satisfying and cathartic! But yes, good cards are for pasting in the scrapbook or journal or whatever. I finally got the bright idea to put all of my gift cards in one place. And then if I look in that place once a year, I’m doing pretty well. Hahaha! All that to say, I feel ya.

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  3. DeeScribes

    I love to toss things in the trash! The BBC used to have a show called Life Laundry. They would help hoarders declutter a room. Things went to a car boot sale, or were donated. My favorite was the pile that went to The Crusher, a green trash compactor. When I moved in August, I repeatedly told everyone I wanted a Crusher.

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  4. shrinkmom

    Oh, I have been where you are. I am now a bit of a minimalist. It is so cathartic to empty something entirely, and only return the items you USE, LOVE, or NEED. The rest goes. I love that feeling. Chuck struggles with my need to purge. He likes his stuff, just where it is, thank you. So, we compromise. It’s all good.😉

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  5. Robin Helm

    I find that when I declutter my house, I also declutter my mind. I declutter my life. Thanks for a great article, Laura!

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  6. Antonia Malvino

    Oooh, you found some really great treasures in that last search and the picture of your parents is charming. I love your choice of topic. I used to watch those hoarders shows as a way to inspire me to get rid of my mom’s clutter and like you, my jewelry us also on the lam. Enjoyed your post.

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  7. Debbie Simorte

    I finally learned to tackle one spot at a time. The kitchen is nearly done (I had 5 loaf pans and I’ve never made bread, and enough utensils for 4 families) and I think that pile by the bed will be next. I hope to find gift cards and jewelry! I’m with Robin – decluttering the house declutters the mind – but I do have trouble with the greeting cards : )

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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