Out with the Old

In an attempt to make the most of my extra hour today I did some purging around the house.

(To be totally honest I slept through the extra hour…and maybe a couple of other hours…but THEN I wanted to be productive.)

I started out innocently putting the Halloween decorations away.  Then I saw the extra trick or treat bags that we haven’t used in years…and I was off and running.

Into a paper bag went the extra trick or treat stuff, and while I was in the pantry re-arranging things to put away the rest of the decorations I saw the bread maker, which hasn’t produced a good loaf of bread in at least a decade, so I put that next to the bag.

And then the George Foreman Grill, which is not all that useful to a vegetarian, went into the growing pile.

Then I added all of the plug-in air freshener plug-in parts that I have accumulated for years and haven’t used (whether Goodwill wants such things I do not know…but I was on a roll.)

And then the S’mores Maker that looks like a snowman and theoretically toasts marshmallows over a tea light candle. In case you were wondering, no, that doesn’t work.

From there I started checking expiration dates on things and threw out:

  • 7 boxes of pasta (Some expired in 2012…I didn’t even know dried pasta expired at all)
  • 3 boxes of Jell-O (2010!)
  • A tub of wild rice (yuck)
  • A box of Flax Meal (I don’t even know why I had it in the first place)
  • Ancient bottles of Frank’s Red Hot and Tabasco
  • A multitude of mostly empty tubes of colored icing
  • A can of green food spray paint used to make a baseball field cake 2 years ago
  • Stove Top Stuffing (2013)
  • Candy from last Christmas
  • An open box of Milk Duds from some movie outing ages ago
  • A pile of wrappers that for some reason were living in the candy bin…

Since I was packing things up for Goodwill I went upstairs and gathered up the clothes and shoes I had been accumulating for the past month or so (I’m reasonably good about going through that stuff before years and years have passed.)

Then I was weirdly inspired – in a very positive way.  All of the cleansing.  All of the cleaning out.

I went into my closet and took out the plastic bin that has held my wedding bouquet (untouched, unopened, mostly forgotten) for 18 years.  I opened it (sort of hoping it would be a moldy pile of dust.)  It smelled faintly of roses, not mold.

And I took it to the trash can in the garage.  Gone.

Then I went into the guest room and took out the two cross-stitched wedding samplers that have been in limbo in there for the past 4 years.  And I took them to the trash can in the garage. Gone.

I thought it might be sad to permanently get rid of these things.  It was not. Not even the tiniest bit. It felt good. Right. Light.

I recently relocated the trunk of other wedding paraphernalia out of my family room into a dark corner of the office.  Those mementos don’t really deserve a place of honor in my house in this (extremely awesome) version of my life.  I had to hold myself back from going in there today and emptying the whole darn thing out.

A lot of it should go.  Maybe not all of it.  Although maybe yes.

Maybe my next Goodwill run will include a wedding dress and shoes.  Maybe my next recycling run will include a pile of pictures and RSVP cards and other bits and pieces.  Clearing out the past felt pretty good.

Out with the old, more room for the new. Not a bad way to start the season.

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, more than 40-something (don't make me face the number), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer, proprietor of an emptying nest Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my one child while Snapchatting the other and yelling at my dog

4 Responses

  1. Janey

    Love it ! I absolutely believe you have to clear out the old to make room for the new. In September I did a 30 day challenge – you throw out/donate/sell one item on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd, 3 on the 3rd.. etc.. etc.. I got rid of 375 things in one month.. It should have been 475 (or something like that).. but I figured 375 was still pretty good !

  2. I’ve always felt purging is good for the soul. With all of our moving, over the years, we’ve had lots of opportunities to purge. I could identify with your pantry items, since we just did this a few months ago. The only problem with it was having to replace all the staples. It just didn’t seem worth packing half full boxes of baking soda, flour, etc. and paying to move them. But, replacing them kind of made it a wash.
    Still…purging lightens the soul!

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