Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How I'm 'DE-Stuffing'...

I wrote yesterday that I've decided to be responsible about my possessions.

I feel very positive about this decision right now.

I am sad about having our beloved Oskie put down...I am still laid up from illness and stuff...


I'm not feeling the end is close or anything.

I just keep thinking of how hard it was to simply put Oskie's blankets into a pile for the no kill shelter.

Mr. Jenny and I got pretty broken up just doing that.

And Oskie didn't even have 'stuff'.

But it was hard, you know?

Unless I live to be really, really, really freakishly old, I am well past the halfway point of my life.  Probably well past the 3/5ths point of my life.

Definitely time to de-stress as much of my stuff as I can.

I had quite a few e-mails asking me how I was doing it.

So I thought I'd share with you here. 
Don't gasp.   This isn't my 'stuff'.  This is just a picture of 'stuff'  I found.  I don't know if I would be up to sorting this much stuff.  Although I do see a box of Cheez-Its that might give me the strength to do it!
Before I started the daunting task I thought about many horror stories I've heard.

...the fighting among survivors (I don't think you can ever avoid that totally)

...things being thrown away as junk that had sentimental or monetary value.

...etc. etc.

Taking the sentiment and emotion out of this process, I realized that, absurdly,  something that is valuable to me, might not be of value to any of my kids or Grandlittles.

I also realized that some things I have that are valuable don't necessarily look valuable.

Well, except for the gold bullion bars.


That's funny.

Like I have any gold bullion bars.


Here's how I started on my task.

I started in my office.


YessireeBob, my office was a testament to 'stuff'.

I started with the walls first.

I looked at everything I had hanging up.

There was only one thing that had an important story for me.

Everything else I just like, you know?

I took just a minute and wrote out the story of the specific piece of art.  And then I taped it to the back.

Office walls.


Next was my bookcase.

I went through and organized and de-cluttered every shelf.

Again, not a lot of valuable things on the bookshelf but the two things that have monetary value now have little tags on the bottom that say "Keep or sell on e-bay.  1942 collectible."  Or whatever.

I went through my office drawers.

They are organized now.

Anything that has been stuck in there that I still think is cool, is now in a box that says "cool stuff.   You should look through here."

Everything else was sorted, organized and all the address labels from my last two houses have been thrown away.

I did the same thing with the closet in my office.  Donate, sort, designate.   All the pictures and school papers and programs are in one section now.  I'm not up to organizing them, but they are all in one spot and clearly labeled.

The box that I keep my current bill receipts has a label that says "Current bill receipts.  Shred and throw away."

I went through the box of music I've written over the years.   I put the songs in plastic sleeves in binders.  My Grandlittles read these writings and maybe they'd like the binders someday.   If not, they are easy to throw out.

I have gone through my entire office thinking of my children and how I DO NOT WANT THEM to ever be standing here thinking, "OhmyGodOhmyGod where do we start?  How can we even start now that Mom is gone?"

It's gonna be bad enough for them.

I don't want them to have this burden as well.

When I was done with my entire office I made a log.  Just a single sheet of paper that kinda/sorta lists stuff.  And that sheet of paper is going into a page protector in a binder for 'someday'.

I'll tell you about the binder soon.

But I have a long way to go.

As I went through my office, I realized that...

I can't transfer my likes onto the people that come after...

I can't help them to physically sort these things when I'm gone...

...but I can make it easier for them by not guilting them (of course, you will want to always keep the pottery jar I made in 1992)

...and I can make it easier for them by not having them make decisions about my things.

Some of the ultra personal things, I've kind of grouped into another flat box.  I'm a little unsure what to do with those.  I'm thinking about putting a label on there saying "Probably best if you destroy but if you insist on going through these things know that I warned you!"   I am still undecided on this and I'm sure I'll be finding more things to add to the box as I de-stuff the rest of my house.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

  post signature


Gail said...

That is very wise. We know our children will just burn it or have an auction.

We are still trying to go through the previous generations here and have thinned a lot. You are right things that are special to us will not be to our grandchildren. They will have memories connected to other things unless we have told them the stories we carry.

I'm proud of you. There are many people that could not make it without donations like these.

Thank you.

Bookie said...

Jenny, I related to every word in this post. We lost our dog at age 17 which was about ten years ago now. We have been looking this last year but just can't make the commitment again. It hurt tooooo bad last time. Hubby grew up on a farm and never was close to pets really...this dog was different though. Pain.

As for the stuff...hear you on that too. Admire your attitude and industry to face the matter. I have sorted and tossed, but still have bunches. The thing is I so enjoy using my stuff. Nothing is stored away for "good" but used...still, someday it must be weeded more.

Pondside said...

Your children will thank you! For a moment I was so happy to think that might be your stuff, because then I could show you our garage. Now it will have to stay under wraps forever!

Melinda said...

We need to do this, but it just overwhelms me. Then I get to wondering-since we don't have kids, who will end up going through our stuff.
This makes me sad and I stop.

M :)

Rita said...

I think it's brilliant! I love writing the story and putting it on the back of the picture and leaving notes about the different boxes. I don't think of it as morbid--but kind. :)

Ms. A said...

Nope, I still don't think I'm going to do it. Even if it makes them cussing mad that I didn't, at least I know they'll be thinking about me! LOL!

Pat Tillett said...

I totally understand! I really have to fight myself over hanging onto things. It's really hard for me to believe that back in the day. I made a commitment to myself (that I kept for a long time), to not own more stuff that I could fit in VW Bus. I wanted to be able to pack up and poof be gone in less than an hour. I stuck to it for quite a few years. Right up until I got married...

pasqueflower said...

You're an inspiration. My hubby is a bit of a pack rat, but even he realizes that it will be overwhelming for the kids (or for us, if we need to move to assisted living at some point) to deal with all the stuff, so we are making small strides -- I opened a little vintage shop on Etsy to try to sell some, we're gifting some items that have stories, donating excess, etc.

Theresa said...

I MUST do the same thing! You are inspiring me to get my butt going:) Good for you Dear Jenny! Have a blessed day, HUGS!

pasqueflower said...

Here is a link to my vintage shop, Aunt Pheba's Vintage:



Moore Minutes said...

Jenny, Jenny! I am SO INSPIRED by this! I've been wanting to organize my stuff for the same reason. And this sentence you wrote was awesome: I can't transfer my likes onto the people that come after..." LOVE THAT. I read this post twice and now I'm ready to get to work. You brought up many excellent points. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the binder too.

Moore Minutes said...

And a lil PS...

Thank you for your care and concern over my well being on one of my last blog posts. It has been a rough year with health but I am doing a bit better. I appreciate your thoughts. <3

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

With the gov't shut down our business has come to a halt here in the DC Metro area. Everyone here is afraid to spend money. Can you blame them? cancellations roll in.
So while my business is going down the shitter I have time. You have gotten me motivated to start this Jenny.
Besides when i have to sell my home because I can no longer eat because my congress is taking a check and leaving me high and dry my home will show very nicely.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I really like the idea of tags on things saying what they are. I know my girls won't have any idea that some of my stuff is not JUNK! LOL! I also like the idea of a binder.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

hmmm....i want to see what's in the box that you warn your kids about...


noexcuses said...

I'm actually doing this on Friday! I just finished a post about it and was visiting here to see how I could make it fit with the letter "T". You are always an inspiration, Miss Jenny! Thank you for sharing this timely story!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We need to go through closets at our house. They are bulging with stuff.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We need to go through closets at our house. They are bulging with stuff.

Jo said...

You are one brave lady ... i know i should actually do this one day ... but ... i'm not there yet ... sigh ... I applaud you!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Thank you so much for sharing Jenny. I'm liking how you are doing this; very organized and easy.
You rock!!

Sue said...

I love what you're doing.
And how you're doing it.

And yes, I am inspired!


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