Sunday, June 5, 2016

Some Things are Hard to Declutter

Another Fortune Cookie "Fortune"

I went to bed around 2:30 a.m. and slept till 10:00 a.m., so my sleeping is improving.  Had a cup of tea and spoke with my aunt who called to see how I was feeling this morning.  Later, I made shredded potatoes and scrambled eggs for brunch and had another fortune cookie for dessert.  Then, spent a couple of hours video chatting with daughter.

I spent the afternoon decluttering, going through some of the items I had on my desk.

A Box of Cards
My mother wasn't someone I had thought of as being sentimental; she rarely held onto anything.  So, I had been shocked to find that she had saved all the cards I had sent her from when I was in college and afterwards, plus all the cards my daughter had given her.  This box of cards was something I couldn't toss when I first went through her items and it had survived many subsequent rounds of decluttering.

Until today:

Empty Box
I also went through several file folders of her papers that I had kept because they were bank and pension statements, copies of certain official correspondence, etc.  But it's been 10 years since her death and I figured it was OK to dispose of the contents of the file folders.    I found it rather stressful, however, and felt as if I was erasing a part of my mother's history.  :(

I still have several more file folders to go through.  But seven were all I could manage, today, before my emotions got to be too much and I broke down.  This repurposed folder, for example:

Repurposed Folder of Quotes

Which contained several pages filled with quotes she had copied:


Maybe this is not the best time for me to go through these particular papers.  I think I will just box up the remaining file folders and find some other items to declutter.  My own file folders, for example.  Or my kitchen cabinets and book shelves. 

Today's decluttering:

June 5 Decluttering
1 box of cards, 7 file folders, 1 annual report, 1 styrofoam cooler; all to recycling.

My nextdoor neighbor knocked on my door in the evening and brought over some extra coupon inserts she had received in her Sunday paper.  I appreciate her thoughtfulness (I don't get the newspaper).  I clipped one coupon for $1 off three boxes of cereal; I'll use it if that brand of cereal goes on sale before the coupon expires. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- A cooler day
- Phone call from aunt
- My neighbor sharing her coupons with me
- Video chatting with daughter
- Getting through some much needed decluttering

Spending log:  Didn't spend any money, today.

How was your Sunday?  Do you have as hard a time letting go of some things?


  1. Oh Bless, (((HUGS))), I am so with you on this... "erasing a part of her history". So, so hard to do. Kudos to have gone through the cards, though.

    My daughter is always cross with me because I take lots of photos and a lot are very bad so she always wants me to delete "bad" pictures of her and I refuse to because I tell her I'd feel like I was "killing" a little bit of her each time. She says I'm weird. Maybe. LOL. I haven't been too sentimental with my kids' schoolwork. With 6 kids, we were overwhelmed with drawings and school papers and what not. So I would throw away things at the end of the school year and only keep the best or significant ones. I haven't gone through the boxes in a long time so maybe I'll end up throwing away even more. The hardest thing for me to get rid off was all the lapbooks that I had made with my youngest son when we were homeschooling because that was very personal. My other kids all went to public school their whole life so whatever they did at school felt a little impersonal. But the homeschooling stuff that I had designed myself and that he had worked on... oh, I cried and cried and cried. But there was so much of it...

    I love your mom's handwriting. It looks very European, actually. Such good cursive!

    Here are more (((hugs))).

    1. Thank you, Nathalie. I've read that decluttering is like peeling an onion - one does it in layers and, sometimes, one cries.

      As for school papers - I've kept practically every single thing my daughter did until 4th grade. That's the year my mother fell and broke her hip and then, suffered a stroke, etc., and I just couldn't keep up with everything that was going on.

      I've kept somethings because I thought my daughter would want them kept, but she's not very sentimental, which might be a good thing, as she'll have to clear out my stuff, one day!

  2. I spent some time sorting out stuff in my Craft Stash I am unlikely to use. Hoping to sell it this morning at our "Craft&Coffee Group" as part of my fundraising for a local charity - I am now beginning to panic about the height of the church tower I plan to abseil down!

    1. Angela, I read about your plans! Very brave of you! I hope you do very well with your fundraising efforts. :)

  3. I so understand how you kept your mother's box of cards for so long, and how you had to put an end to the rest of this part of your decluttering for a while. Revisiting the past can bring sadness of loss. Not too long ago I came across a realtor's ad on-line for the last house my parents lived in. It had been totally renovated, very well in fact, but it was a sad shock to see the transformation from the way I knew it. Then more recently we found my in-laws house that we had also known for years, and it was similarly transformed. It was a cosy old house with lots of love when we knew it. I then looked up the house Mom and I lived in with my grandmother after the war and again, it just wasn't anything like I remembered from 70 years ago!! Well, it didn't even have a fridge back then, and there used to be a "copper" in the corner of the kitchen, where the sheets were boiled before being wrung out through a manual wringer which was kept in the unused garage. Memories!

    1. Memories and nostalgia! Things change, but we remember how it used to be. I guess we should enjoy our memories for as long as we have them. :)

  4. (((((HUGS)))). With everything you are going through right now maybe it is not the time to sort through and purge things from your mother. Praying for you.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I think you are right! I had no trouble giving away her clothes, etc., but these last few items of hers are tough.

      Hope all is well with you and your family. Have a blessed day.

  5. Take photos with your phone of the things that make you happy. I think it's best to get rid of the things that have very unhappy memories associated with them. Usually what happens with the possessions passed down through our families is that our children don't have the same connection to them. In between chemo and radiation is probably not the best time to be going through these types of memories in order to make decisions about what to throw away and what to keep. Probably a little bit too much emotion attached.

    1. Marylynn, you are right. Now is not the best time for these types of decisions. Also, as you say, daughter doesn't have the same emotional attachment to the items passed down. She might be able to make more rational decisions when the time comes to make them.

      By the way, Dancer seems to really enjoy his new cat food and we've had no new furballs, since then. :)

  6. Bless, our days seem to have been very similar. I threw away some birthday cards that were in the bottom drawer of my bedside cabinet. I'm not really one for hoarding anyway but after all the sorting out we had to do when Tom passed away I vowed I didn't want to leave loads for Amy and Thomas to have to wade through.

    We also threw away quite a lot of paperwork connected to Tom and Joan and their house. We still have a box of paperwork of Tom's to work through and we honestly can't face doing that just yet so we've 'filed' it. I'm sure one day we'll just wake up and decide to do it. All I know is every time I throw something away I feel lighter and clearer and more able to think about Tom as a person rather than a box of stuff that needs to be gone through, if that makes sense. xx

    1. Suzanne, it makes perfect sense. I need to be more like you and be less of a keeper! I tend to hold onto too many things for too long!

  7. Bless, I am so sorry you had such a rough day decluttering. This type of stuff, is always so hard to deal with..This is probably not a good time to go through that stuff.. I think I would stick with the kitchen cabinets,etc.
    Proud you got more sleep today.. Hope you have a good evening..
    Praying for you.

    1. Thank you, Judy. It's just that I had decided to work on my bedroom this month and that included cleaning the desk and these files were on the desk...just one thing leading to another. Feeling much better, today, though. :)


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