I am so embarrassed to show y’all this, but we’re all friends here in the blogosphere and I know you won’t hold this against me even though I cringe every time I look at this picture and think about all the stuff we accummulated through the years that now is going to end up in a landfill. After 15 years of living in this house and raising two daughters and four cats here and then getting married to my college sweetheart who so graciously and patiently tried to fit himself in a house that never really was his, we have moved. One of the biggest parts of getting ready for the move was decluttering and cleaning out. And everytime I thought I had done that sufficiently, more stuff somehow magically appeared. Such as this pile we pulled out of the Scary Spider/Stink Room. I promise you that all this — and more — was stuffed into an under-the-stairs basement storage area. And it all had great meaning and value at one time, such as my daughters’ Sesame Street and Pound Puppies sleeping bags, which kept them safe and warm through many evenings of cuddles and TV watching. But they’re 26 and 24 now and really don’t need their old Sesame Street and Pound Puppies sleeping bags. The memories — and photos — are enough. I hate adding to the world’s trash load, but maybe somebody came by and at least rescued the sleeping bags from the curb before the trash truck came by. I only hope the rescuers washed the bags very very well in steaming hot water first. And as you can see, even with all our decleuttering, we still managed to fill a moving truck with Essential Items We Can’t Live Without. I shudder to think how many trucks we would have needed if it weren’t for the three yard sales and numerous clean-out campaigns we waged during the year our house was on the market. Jeremy — our moving guy in the photo top right — would not be smiling in that case.
And speaking of moving, Older Daughter graciously took over my newspaper column this week to give me an unpacking break. She is an awesome writer and did an homage to this house she grew up in as a farewell/break-up letter. Brilliant!
Let’s just say, for instance, that you’re in the midst of decluttering and packing up your house of 15 years to move to a new house about half the size. And let’s just say, for instance, that you’re also trying to get your normal jobs done and sneakily trick impress the people who sign your paychecks by making them think you’re organized and responsible and can handle moving and writing a food story about pumpkins-as-ingredients and your weekly newspaper column at the same time. And let’s just say that you’re also trying to do your normal life things and keep up with friends and family and the cat-feeding schedule while you’re rationing boxes and figuring out if you need packing tape or sealing tape. But, despite all that, you still want to write a thoughtful blog post. What do you do? Recycle! Point your readers to other things you recently have written but they may not have seen. They won’t notice it’s second-hand material and they’ll be awed by your juggling skills and entertained by your mindless babbling well-reasoned insights. Not that I would ever do anything like that. I’m just saying.
Success! Our yard sale this weekend was great fun. Plus, we sold a bunch of stuff. I mean, our garage has not been this clean and uncluttered since we moved in. This is all we have left. Compared to what we started with, it’s amazing. Yup, it was hot. Yup, it was miserable. Yup, folks thought we were crazy for having a yard sale in 101 degree heat and threats of thunderstorms. But the rain held off and, really, once you’ve sweated so much your T-shirt has become one with your skin and your hair has no resemblance to anything human, then you get sort of used to it. The most popular items at the sale that people asked about and I had to pry out of folks’ hand? Our bottle of hand sanitizer and our table fan. I know exactly what to stock up on for next time.
Tomorrow, this mess is going to be all organized into the Best Yard Sale Ever. Or, if it rains — a garage sale. We’re flexible that way. I’ve called in all the troops: Husband, Younger Daughter, Older Daughter and 2-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable to provide plenty of abundant adorableness. In addition, we’re having Bargains Galore. I promise — things you will not be able to resist. Also: I am not hauling this stuff back into the house. You have been warned. If you’re anywhere near northwest Alabama Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, c’mon over. We’ve got clothes, books, jewelry, home decor — tons of things that would look wonderful in your house!!!