The Great Decluttering Project

I love our house. It’s strong and sturdy, with an exceedingly private back yard, fabulous neighbors, and an ideal location right by the schools. But what I loved most about it when we moved in here 17 years ago was the space. This is a BIG house. And over the years, as we took in exchange students and adopted our girls, we made very good use of that space. There are six bedrooms in this house and there have been times when every one of them was full. We won’t even mention how grateful I have been at times for all four bathrooms. But we’re down to two kids at home now. The Mensch still spends extended times here, depending on his university schedule, but Maestro and the Geek are building lives in other parts of the country. HRH will start high school in the fall. Our days of needing a place this big are drawing to a close. We are -slowly, carefully – beginning to talk about downsizing. It’s still years away. Our estimate of just how many years was recently extended when we had a Realtor look at the house and give us a list of all that would be needed to make it market-ready. (Can you say, “Holy contractor, Batman?”) We’re still debating the details, but one thing is very clear to both of us: we have too much crap. Five kids and thirty years of marriage leads to a LOT of stuff. Thus, no matter what happens next, we are in agreement that it’s time to start weeding our possessions. To declutter. To accept that there won’t be anybody moving back into those bedrooms, so why the hell am I still cleaning them? Ahem. Last weekend, after weeding the flowerbeds and helping spread mulch, I decided to begin with the room that scared me most: the storage room. Like a fool, I forgot to take pictures before I began. But here’s how it looked after an hour or two of work:

storage 1

storage 2But, you say, that doesn’t look … okay, it’s bad, but not horrific. Mwahaha. Those shots were taken after I had already removed all this:

storage 3storage 4

To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from Meatballs, donations to the left, non-donations to the right.

I’ll be back down there this weekend. Here’s hoping I come back alive. And in case I don’t, I’ll leave you with this: