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DE-CLUTTERING AND MOVING ON

Monday, June 18th, 2012

closet_clutter_monsterDe-cluttering needs to be an ongoing task.  It is part of living well and is as important as brushing your teeth and having a colonoscopy.  I am not kidding here at all.  It is life giving work that needs to be done.

My neighbor’s house just had a for sale sign put up front.  The occupants and lovely friends just moved at the beginning of the year to an assisted living apartment and they were ready to be done with houses and yard work and the black hole of repairs.

The neighbor’s two hours away daughter has been coming here nearly every weekend to divide up the leftovers, moving van the chosen “stuff” to her sister clear across the country and give to charity. Two large dumpsters have been filled with paperwork and those things that are just “stuff” and not good enough for an estate sale. The past several weeks have found the house full of carpenters, landscapers, painters, and home decorators to prepare for the photographs and staging for the online tour.

More furniture was put into the garage and new furniture, flowers, pillows and art were brought into the house.   We loved watching the owner’s upstairs couch being lifted out of the windows and down the roof by professionals and then a bedroom set moved into the room.

The duct work has been cleaned and the gutters and corners have been power washed to perfection. Garden plants were trimmed, pots removed and strange flower arrangements were rearranged.  The raccoon family under the deck was evicted and the deer fencing taken down; so that buyers might not see that the critters of the woods live here too.  De-clutter going on like crazy and then order and visual perfection interloping.

Now they just need a buyer and already the folks are coming.  Yes! Already!  This particular house will be purchased by someone in the 1% as the view of the water, Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, the Capital Building and the entire city on the eastside hill is a magnificent one.

I watched all the work being done by the daughter and her family – some by the long distance daughter- and all the things that were thrown away and I was so thankful that my parents did not leave it to the children.  My parents moved 22 times during their marriage.  Each move they de-cluttered and let go.

When my mom was alone we assisted her in letting go of my Father’s things and stuff.  When we moved her into our house for her last years, we packed up a small box of treasures to be mailed to each grandchild and each child upon her death.  There was a plan for each item she brought here and it took us only one weekend to take care of the letting go.  All her files were in order and for the details I could put my hand on every essential item after her death.

We de-cluttered my in laws house a number of years before she moved into assisted living although there were 3 rooms full of things upon death that were a significant amount of work to let go.

We are not our stuff.  It is our responsibility to take care of our stuff and not just leave it for the kids.  Have a plan.  Let go of something every time you bring something new into your life.  Let go of some things often to open up space for new things and experiences.  It is extremely expensive and time consuming to pay to have these services done for you.

Or in the words of my neighbor, “Do not wait forty years to de-clutter and let go. We never thought about it and it was a monumental task.”   You will also be healthier if you regularly de-clutter.

Do you have plans for de-cluttering at your house?  Do you have tricks for letting go?  Will your family fight over the stuff and have hurt feelings?

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Related Reading:
The Courage to Be Free
Transitions II
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
So Far Away