Saturday, January 3, 2009

Clean Sweep and Sleep

My mind has been overcome by the stuff in this house and I'm finding increasingly difficult to fall asleep. It's as if the sheer weight of the possessions hiding in every possible hook and cranny are pulling me down.

I am not kidding when I say every closet, cupboard, cabinet, desk, bookshelf, vanity and a three-car garage is packed to the rafters. Seriously, I can't stand it anymore.

Night before last, as I tossed and turned I made a promise to myself to change matters starting first thing in the morning. I'd already taken a load of clothing and books to Goodwill earlier in the week and I was on a mission to load up the car again.

What better place to start than in my bedroom... and the jam packed closet that I face every night when I attempt to fall asleep. I yanked a bunch of stuff out and weeded heavily.


Can you believe I had a large shopping bag FULL of recipes I've cut out of magazines and newspapers and a bunch of handwritten ones also. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to deal with this but I'm not going to live long enough to actually cook them all.


Included was this article about Ruby Ann Boxcar's, "Ruby Ann's Down Home Trailer Park Cookbook." Included are two recipes. One is for Dr. Pepper Salad and the other is for Taco Roni Salad. What am I saving this for? I hate Dr. Pepper (tastes like a childhood medicine) and the Taco Roni Salad sound gross.


Maybe this weeding will be easier than I first thought. Here's the recycle pile.


I will keep things like my manila envelope full of travel brochures, both places we've visited and others we'd like to see.


Please pardon my temporary insanity. I just feel like I can't be creative until I divest myself of a ton of excess baggage.

I'm off to figure out what to do with a real mink Russian hat from Moscow. Don't ask.


Miss Lila in Atlanta said...

You're so creative I'm sure you could think of something. Like trimming one of your aprons in fur and pearls for the rich and famous.
Don't throw it away. I'll buy it. My grandkids LOVE costumes, Especially hats.

Miss Lila in Atlanta
PS Can't sleep either

Heidi said...

OH you crazy girl!!! I had to show Milk Man, because - well -
*hangs head* I need to do this at times too... there, I said it! I feel purged!!! LOL Seriously though - I think we ALL do this. There are times when I know that the stuff in the spare closet, is there such a thing, are taunting me. Calling to me in the night like a - whatever calls to you in the night. HOWEVER, I think the nonsleeping thing is the weather. I blame everything on the weather, I got nothing.. LOL Great post!!!

chocolatechic said...

Way to go.

I am not a pack rat, but I live with 2 of them. They hate me because I make them purge from time to time.

Patricia said...

Yes, yes, I understand.....I have been feeling that way myself. It's not just the New Year, this has been going on for months for me. Also, can't fall or stay asleep at night !

I have been cleaning out for the last 6 or so months one room at a time. It helps, but.....maybe I should consider yoga ! I seem to have forgotten how to relax !!!

Lisa said...

Every January is a massive purging season for me. Out with the old I say. I'm a total purger. I hate clutter, and I am a total neat freak so let me help you, lol.

One tip for the recipes. I keep a wicker basket in my office. I fill it with recipes I want to try. Every few months I go through it and re-read the recipes and say to myself...will I ever really make this? Most times it's a no and I toss it. Keeps the basket manageable. When I really love a recipe and actually make it and blog it, it goes into my three ring binder of keepers. This is the method that works for me.

Just remember how good you will feel after the purge!

Jenni said...

I completely understand why you saved the trailer park recipes clipping. I wouldn't want to make either of those either--unless I was having some sort of weird trailer park themed party. It's just too strange and funny to believe, though. I'd still have a hard time getting rid of it just because it makes me laugh.

I'd want to hang on to that hat, too. I love costumes, even if I don't really wear them. It makes me so sad that my kids have outgrown the costume box. I think I'd find a place to display that hat with some old photos and other objects. That's what I did with my Granny's pheasant feather covered pillbox hat.

Mary said...

purging is the worst. I have about 10 boxes o'crap that we brought home when we sold the parents house in 2005. My brother was going to be right over to help me go thru them. Mom was the original packrat. oh, maybe that was my grandmother. Mom has loads of her stuff in with hers. I am going to pitch/sell or something when we get back from vacation.

Oh and my grandfathers pride and joy was a nasty Russian beaver hat with ear flaps. Mom and her brother solved that problem so creatively. They put it in his casket with him.

Enjoy the clean sweep.

PatQ said...

I'm going to start the purge thing today too. Good luck.

Paula Bauer said...

I am right there with you.

I wanted to encourage you to search for a 'freecycle' community rather than Goodwill.

The freecycle concept is to give items directly to people in need of them. I belong to a Yahoo group for my community. People 'offer' stuff constantly, and others benefit without having to spend money for what you are already giving away in the first place. For some, even Goodwill prices can be too much...and our local Goodwill boosted prices on decent clothing from 3.99 to 9.99 (for pants).

Our family has both benefited from free cycle (shrubs and yard plants that we dug up and hauled away, so it also helped those who wanted to be rid of them) and have given a number of things away that we no longer needed/used, but still had good life left in them. Plus people are willing to come and help haul or pick up, so it saves you time/labor also.

In hard economic times, FreeCycle is a real blessing all around.

Have fun with "The Purge" !

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Purging...who says it's a bad thing?!

I think you are well on your way to reclaiming some prime real estate. I need to get going myself.

Your recipe bag is so funny! See it WAS good for SOMETHING.

Anonymous said...

I am laughing very hard right now, Suzanne, since I have been suffering with the same feelings as you lately. I chucked out a bunch of old hard copy bank statements and crap... no seriously.... crap, from my office area. Still have much to go through because I too am asking myself why I need all this junk. Goodwill sees a lot of donated clothing from us every year, and still there is more to give them. Get some sleep.... don't let it keep you awake at night... take it closet by closet, room by room.... you will get there as will I.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Anonymous said...

I just bought the Peter Walsh book "It is All Too Much" about how to clean and organize. Lots of really good advice that is inspiring. You can list free stuff on Craigslist or join a Freecycle group. It is amazing how much lighter you can feel during and after a thorough house clearing. Go get 'em Suzanne!

PamKittyMorning said...

I know what you mean, I feel like a snail who's shell is too big.

arlene said...

I know why you kept that Dr. Pepper loved the photo of Ruby Ann!!!! That is a hoot! I am starting a year-long purge myself. Yes, year-long because I have a hard time getting rid of stuff.

Your photo is so familiar. Too bad a person has to make a horrific mess before it is all better/neater. It gets disheartening for me sometimes, especially when I am interrupted in the middle and come back a couple of hours (and a lot more tired) later. Oh well, we shall prevail! Onward!!!

lifeinredshoes said...

I'm right behind ya! As soon as I recover from the wedding....2 weeks!

Mogsie said...


Indiana Angel said...

I'm generally pretty organized, but I too hit times like that when things are just too much and it has to stop and things have to go :) And I always come across the same kinds of recipes I've clipped from somewhere for some reason that I can never remember. Usually two looks at it, one a glance, the other an actual good read noticing the ingredients and what not are enough to make me letitgo.

Balou said...

January brings this purging thing out in me too. Good for you!! One room at a time.

Nan said...

I am new to comment but you as well as a few other blogs have been my inspiration. I am also feeling the pressure of stuff. The real problem is that we have a barn full as well as two other outbuildings. But since it's winter in upstate New York, I can only clean the warm places. I started with a closet and found a box of memories from my now gone Grandmother as well as old grammer school class pictures of myself. I cleaned out alot and saved a few. So much more to do. Please visit my blog sometime. I'm a city gal turned a little country...chickens, goats and a mini horse as well! Happy New Year!

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

It's good for the soul! I'm in the same mood myself.
Happy simplifying. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Suzanne~ I need help in the worst way.........

I plan to start tomorrow, cause it's Monday~~~~~~~~

\|\|\|\|<---crooked fence....just like my best laid plans!


Liz in PA

Laura said...

i know what you mean about the clutter... i feel completely buried most of the time. i'm working on it though...
happy new year

lifeinredshoes said...

I refer to this kind of decluttering as Douching The House, and by the looks of things, I need a case of Massengil. Now , about that hat?
PS, I still have no idea what I am wearing for The Wedding!

Heather said...

Purging is so good for the soul. I love it!

Lynn said...

Ha ha, I am SOOOOOOOO with you. Recipes and recipe books are on my list of things to tackle soon. :)

You will sleep better soon.


KatKit13 said...

It's that January thing - clean out all the stuff you don't use, need, want. I have a 6 month rule (unless it's a seasonal item). If I've not touched it, remembered I have it, it GOES.

I'm in the process of re-doing all the upstairs rooms because one will be the husband's office and the loft will be my craft space!! I cannot wait!! no more dungeon (basement). I'll take photos and document the changes. :-)

Just keep pitching, pitching, pitching...

Karen said...

Sighhhh ... I'm still struggleing with my spare bedroom.

So much *stuff* in there..

Stubblejumper said...


Like you, I have recipes torn from magazines, copied onto cards and paper, and so on and so forth. What I have decided to do is type each of the tried-and-true ones up, post them to Stubblejumpers Café one at a time, keep them in a special folder, and when there are enough, have print up a recipe collection just for me (and Stubblejumpers readers who are interested).

Then I am going to throw out the scattered pile of recipes and falling-apart scrapbooks .... YEAH!!