img_5177 February has turned to March, yet the cold weather continues. This morning, the temperature was zero, and the windows are iced with frost. Last night’s sky was beautiful with its glowing sliver of the moon. The trails in the woods remain hard and frozen, which is good for the dog. He loves his afternoon walks in the woods, and the cold doesn’t seem to bother him at all.

However, his people are longing for warmer weather. This cold has gone on for quite long enough. The knees protest, as well as many other parts of the body. I can’t wait for the days when I don’t have to wear a hat—I am not a hat lover—and gloves are optional.

I will admit that this cold weather is good for one thing—staying inside and working on projects, and this is exactly what Clif and I have been doing. Since we had our yard sale last fall, we have begun the process of decluttering our house, a long overdue project. We have lived at the little house in the big woods for nearly 30 years, and we are not a family that throws things away willy-nilly. In truth, we hate to throw things away. We are very mindful of the fact that all of our stuff came from Earth, and we don’t want to add to the growing landfills that have become the norm.

There is, of course, the option to donate good but unwanted items to Goodwill, and this is exactly what we have been doing with the knickknacks and other odds and ends that have streamed into the house over the past 30 years. Full disclosure: I am someone who loves knickknacks, and when I go into a cute little shop with cute little things, my willpower is often as soft as warm butter.

But lately I have been feeling oppressed—there is no other word—by all the stuff I have. Every shelf, every closet, every nook is crammed full. Some closets are so full that the doors are hard to open. It is all arranged neatly—I hate a messy house—but man-oh-man do I have a lot of stuff.

This past weekend, Clif and I cleaned out a storage closet in our rec room, and now we have room for a small pantry. Oh, happy days! I have been wanting a real pantry for a long time.

For Goodwill, Clif found a box of books that had been cluttering his office. And I did something I have been wanting to do for a long time—I packed away all the little fantasy figures I collected when I was in my 20s. Into a bag went wizards and dragons and fairies. Ditto for the stray bunnies that had been hovering on the shelf above them. Then, to Goodwill we went with the books and knickknacks. Did it give me pang to part with those figures? You bet it did, and once or twice I even considered leaving the bag at home, just in case I changed my mind. But I didn’t. The bag of fantasy figures, along with the books, made it to Goodwill.

Someday, perhaps, Clif and I will leave the little house in the big woods for an even smaller house that is easier to heat and take care of. Or maybe not. Perhaps we will end our days here, tucked in the woods, with the patio to enjoy in the summer and our bright dining room in the winter.

Whatever we decide, it will be good to have an orderly house that is not bulging and stuffed with things we no longer use or care about.

But it sure isn’t easy letting go.


4 thoughts on “Decluttering”

  1. It makes me smile thinking of your ‘fantasy figures.’ There’s a book about feng shui by Jayme Barrett that talks about getting rid of these things from the past, and how it is good for us. I bet you feel lighter.

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