Saying goodbye to clutter

Is there anything more tedious than getting ready for a garage sale? I enjoy the effects that the clearing of clutter and unwanted items brings. The prep work, however, is one of my least favorite activities.

Part of the planning for this upcoming mammoth sale also involves getting rid of some of my father’s items – furniture, household things and the like. All of the family members have collected their treasures and mementoes. Now we’re down to some good usable things that might appeal to others but that I have no room to store.

It seems that every box I find at Dad’s house, every closet we clean, every drawer we open, is filled with little trinkets that remind me of my parents. We found no less than six Bibles on his bookshelf. One was the old family Bible that lists all of the milestone life events – births, marriages and deaths. Another was the book he used when he was a lay reader. Another was given to him as he finished his confirmation classes. He and my mother received one when they married. I have no idea if the other two hold any special significance or mark a moment in his life.

I never realized how many photographs that my parents kept. Not just photo albums (there were eight of those), but framed pictures. Bless my dear mother, she was obsessed with noting on each photograph who was pictured, where and when the photo was taken. That’s handy for future generations.

In a large box in the front closet, I found Dad’s Stetson hat. He wore that quite often when I was child, especially while he was riding horses or judging a horse show. I can’t bring myself to get rid of the hat, but I’m not sure what to do with it. I have a feeling it will find a spot in my attic.

At my house, it’s much easier to decide which items are sold, tossed or given away. I’ve never been particularly attached to things that I no longer use. Sure, sentimental items and heirlooms you keep. But that paperback you’ve read a couple times or that sweater you can’t wear any more or the duplicate toaster that sits in the cupboard – someone else might get some enjoyment from those items.

The hardest part is getting my husband to unload some of his junk – er – treasures. He likes to hold onto things because seven or eight years from now, it may come in handy. My philosophy is if you haven’t used it or wore it in a year, and it doesn’t hold sentimental value, then it’s time to get rid of it.

So, while the next couple of weeks will be tedious, the end result will be a less cluttered home. Well, that’s the goal at least.