Friday, June 12, 2015

My Decluttering Project

Oh, why oh why am I starting another blog when I can't even keep up with my first one? (

Because a lot of people have been asking me not only what I'm doing, but how and why.

So what is decluttering? It's a word that I picked up from the internet that describes what you do
when you get rid of the things you no longer need, when you pare down the clutter, when you engage in Spring Cleaning on a grand -- or perhaps, superficial -- scale. (Although in my case, I am indeed cleaning everything I am getting rid of. More on that later.)

I've been going through everything I own and deciding whether I should keep it or not. Why? It started out as a response to my husband's complaint that I have Too Much Stuff. And he's right. I have my first grade reading book. I've found a few things I had that were so old that the rubber deteriorated (rubber bands, spare dishwashing gloves). And yes, I have books that, though not antiques, don't have an ISBN, and paperbacks that cost 75 cents.

Yet now my decluttering has taken on a different aspect. I've seen a few older friends and relatives who are no longer able to get around without assistance. They can barely clean the cat's litter box and need someone else to do the grocery shopping. Infirmity hits without warning. If I were to become unable to pull down boxes from the attic or carry things to the car to transport to the recycling center, what would become of them? All those precious memories would probably be trashed because there wouldn't be anyone who would know enough to go through them.

Rats. I'm getting a little morbid there, but seriously, I'm thinking ahead. *I* want to be the one to go through things, sort them out, disperse them. *I* want to pick up that box of matches in my travel memorabilia box and remember the Acacias Etoile Hotel in Paris or Finally Michael's in Framingham. (It's actually been a lot of fun seeing those things again!)

And so I begin this blog. Why did I say "Decluttering for Writers"? Because I'm a writer and many of the things I'm holding on to (like old matchbooks) are for research. I mean, who knows? I may want to write a story about Paris set in the early 80s and I'll need to remember all this, right?

And why "and Other Packrats"? Because some of the other things I'm hanging on to are for psychological/sentimental reasons. That might be your reason for being a packrat. It's taken me a long time to come to terms with giving up those items and maybe my handling of my rationalizations can help you, too.

Gotta run. I have some matchbooks to photograph...


  1. It's a good plan and something I need to do. I would pity my children if both my husband and I died suddenly. I'll be interested in how you progress.

  2. I agree with you, Morven. Age is creeping steadily on, and I keep telling myself to go through and sort things because downgrading from this 11 room farmhouse to a one-room retirement apartment is going to be a whale of a task, especially with arthritis, which is setting in. More power to you for creating this blog. I look forward to reading about decluttering.


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