More decluttering

February 12, 2018

The donation truck is coming again today, and we already have another pile in the basement waiting for the next pickup. The more we declutter, the more we find. It really is overwhelming. 

We started tackling the basement yesterday, and it is looking even worse than when we started.

Warning: embarrassing photos.

Please tell me somebody else's basement looks like this!

Many of you suggested that it would be easier to part with things if I took pictures of them. This is especially true of some of my children's things.

A sweatshirt I made my daughter, a crib bumper pad, a sweet First Christmas onesie, and a soft little blanket. You mothers understand.

After I took the pictures, I hardened my heart, and out they all went.

I have a whole cupboard filled with stuffed animals. Then I found these. I kissed three of these dollies goodbye (literally), and shoved the rest in the cupboard with the others. I'll have to sort through these again, but really, I do have to save something for the future grandchildren, right? Or will I want to buy them new stuff? (Probably.)

I'm having book club tonight. We will have to navigate the pile from the laundry room clean out/painting.

Amidst all the mess, there is this one lovely spot . . . 

I'm so happy to have a new table and chairs, and I am super in love with this new chandelier. It was so heavy and awkward it took three of us to get it hung and leveled. Isn't it lovely?

I'm going to put some black and white framed photos on the wall and hang some curtains in here. I have removed all the little picture frames scattered about the house and on the walls, including the collage I made years ago of about 15 photos above the piano. There will be six 8 x 10 black and white photos here (in 20 x 20 frames), and about six in the upstairs hallway. That's it. After donating a whole box of picture frames, I still have about a dozen left. They will probably go in the next round of decluttering.

 I'm still deciding on centerpieces for this dining table. I'm thinking fuchsia peonies in two mercury glass bowls, candles, maybe a long tray. What do you think?

Whatever I do, I'm going to be super careful about what I bring back into the house.

Someone said we spend the first half of our lives accumulating stuff, and the second half getting rid of it. It seems so wasteful. And yet, there was a time when we did use the camping gear and hockey gear and cross country skis and bowling balls and Legos and all. And all those old suitcases and Christmas lights. Life just keeps moving on, and our needs change.

We do have room for all this stuff, but why? I see people moving and downsizing and they are totally overwhelmed. We won't be moving for some time yet, but I am thinking and working as if we were putting the house up for sale this year. That way, it will be much easier when we do finally downsize. In the meantime, someone else can enjoy the stuff and we'll be able to enjoy living lighter.

{I just ran across a huge tub filled with letters from my childhood. Remember when everyone wrote letters? Going through those will take some time, for sure.} 


  1. I feel your pain, we downsized a couple years ago. I am still donating and have some boxes sitting around I need to go through. I love your Chandelier, and those chairs!

  2. Thinking about downsizing even though you don't plan on it soon is good motivation.
    Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

  3. I like that expression "living lighter." I guess I should be glad we don't have basements here in the south--I can imagine ours would be filled. I see some familiar stuff! I do hope you enjoy reading some of those letters before you let them go! Your dining room looks wonderful!

  4. I'm convinced that whatever space we have, we fill. I cleaned out big time when we moved to our new home 2 1/2 years ago but probably didn't get rid of near enough. Happy Valentine's!!!

  5. I think de-cluttering is an ongoing process; at least it is here. I've helped settle 3 people's houses with furniture and kitchen goods. The process continues at the new new friend, Rebekah, is over the moon happy with the pottery and Stieff pewter I gave her. So am I actually. She loves it and I love it being at her house.

  6. P. S. you have the Most Interesting blogs to visit on your sidebar!

  7. Your purging is inspiring me to do some decluttering this upcoming long weekend. I move out to my first place 7 years ago and it's scary how much stuff I've accumulated already. Your dining room looks fabulous!

  8. So many thoughts - we are where you are, but a smaller house, and much less stuff. We moved so often (and moved back in with my folks 4 times) so we had to get rid of so much stuff all those times. It helps to move often. We don't have a basement (we are only a few feet above sea level). I'm glad we don't have any places to put stuff ... in the house. The barn is a different matter, haha! But it's all JUNK, and ready for a burn pile. Your dining room is fabulous! My, those chairs look so very comfy. Enjoy!

  9. Your dining room looks so fresh and pared down. I'm sure you love it. We moved 21 times in the first 25 years of marriage and I got used to throwing things out. Now that we've been in this house for so many years, things do pile up, but I try to keep on top of things.

  10. We are purging around here, also. Some things are harder to let go than others, but in the end, it's all worth it!
    The feeling of an airy, ligter home, with only the things we need and love...
    Keep up the good work and have a wonderful week!

  11. I know how you feel, downsizing to move here was a nightmare. I do admit, it was all worth it in the end. Loved the new dining furniture.

  12. Smart lady! And yes, my basement looks like that, and it's all MY doing. My husband never was an accumulator, never will be. Although we balance each other, I have to push myself to purge. I think the bright pink on the lovely new DR table will be the perfect pop of color!

  13. Purging is good, but sometimes we toss things we should keep. My mom is notorious for throwing out things that my sisters and I want to keep as family mementos. Recently, my sister, Cindy, retrieved an oil painting from the trash bin. It was a painting our mom did of one of our great uncles years ago. It was a great painting and my mom just tossed it. She's not too sentimental. I suggest you keep those dolls. Your grandchildren will appreciate having them when they get older. Especially if they're handmade. Even if they're not, the dolls have a history in your family, yes? :-)

  14. My, but you've been a busy girl! No need to be embarrassed...we all have things like this in our homes. I admire your ambition and the ability to part with so many things. I have not gotten there yet but the closer it comes time to us moving, I know I will need to purge more and more. It must feel almost like you have a brand new home....and that dining room is going o be so gorgeous! I can't wait to see it all completed! I hope you have enjoyed your Valentine's Day! HUGS!

  15. Yes Deborah, we all accumulate so much stuff, and really, it's just stuff! I applaud you for tackling this undertaking.
    Your dining room table, chairs ,and chandelier are all beautiful! I think a tray with those pretty things you mentioned will look lovely, and you could change it out easily for the seasons.
    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day, and took a break from all that decluttering.

  16. I am so aware these days of a time coming down the road when we shall downsize or want to be free of those items we no longer need or want. Whether we stay here or move elsewhere... I really do want to live with my house in order. In every way.

    I wish you grace as you continue the sorting and deciding...
    Brenda xox

  17. As soon as I noticed the toys in the garage my first thought was save them for the grandkids :)

  18. Dearest Deborah,
    Oh my, that is indeed almost overwhelming!
    Well, I must say that aside from all the heart break and all emotions involved, moving across the Ocean trice, does make you get rid of things as it is all calculate per cubic meter for transporting your belongings so you MUST sort out what can go and what not. We gave away a lot every time and that way you can oversee what you got. BUT after 14 years living here, when Pieter started to build our Rose Suite downstairs, we had to sort out again and downsize. Even now I want to do it again as so many jobs Pieter never again can do so lots of things are useless...
    Guess it is an ongoing battle and in general yes we do accumulate tons of things. Oh, we did take lots of things in our suitcases to Indonesia over the 3 years that we worked and lived there, clothes or things to give away. A great purpose and it helped.
    No doubt you are proud of your new dining room setting and you have to enjoy it.
    Sending you hugs for a happy Sunday!

  19. Good for you - Bravo! By the way - what a lovely basement space - I can see how you would be inclined to fill it! Good de-cluttering and cleaning out my friend!

  20. Your future grandchildren will love the dolls that you keep, & as they grow older they will be so grateful that those dolls were kept for them. I too, am clearing out. Yet again. An ongoing process. I find it exhausting but sometimes we do just have to be ruthless

  21. Good morning, sweet friend! What a joy it was visiting with you and oh, you've been a busy little bee! Like Kitty said, I applaud you for tackling this undertaking {{smiles}}

    Enjoy the process, my friend! Thinking of you and sending love and hugs your way!

  22. Hello there, your dining room looks so beautiful! I love your table set and the chandelier! You must be so happy and l hope you enjoy it very much.
    Good luck with everything you are organizing in your house.
    Julie xo

  23. Oh honey... I'm going through the same thing! I still have a small mountain of stuff in what is now the guest bedroom and what am I doing? Sitting in front of the computer watching you do it lol

    better get to work...


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