Monday, August 8, 2016

Putting my house in order

Normal people use their time off from work going to their favorite vacation destination.
The 7MSN is my favorite vacation destination, so if I spend my time off at home,
that makes me normal, right?

I take most of my vacation time in one-day increments, usually in the summer on Fridays.
Think three months of three-day weekends. This summer, compelled
by a need to have something to show for all this time off,
as well as a need to unburden myself of way too much accumulated stuff,
I've embarked on a room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer house purge.

It's long overdue. This October will mark eleven years of living in the same place.
I try to move at least every ten years if for no other reason than to declutter.
Since I'm not planning to leave here for at least five years (a subject for another time),
I thought it best to declutter in place.



 Happiness is a clean closet.



 I don't subscribe to any one theory of tidying up 
and tend to apply whichever one works in the moment.
"When in doubt, throw it out" works particularly well when I'm being indecisive.
"Discard everything that does not spark joy" is helpful,
but do I really want to toss my mortgage papers 
just because they're not particularly joyful? I think not.

Not counting the garage, I'm about a third of the way through the great purge of 2016.
(The garage will require the rental of a bulldozer, a dumpster and an entire summer off.)
The process has been liberating, and the house already feels like it has lost weight.
I'm stacking all the stuff I will donate in the guestroom for now. 
My next houseguests arrive in November, so I've got the incentive to wrap this up by then.

 I must admit, some things are harder to let go of than others, but since I haven't repurposed
these worn-out boots into a Pinterest project yet, what makes me think I ever will?
Thanks for the memories, first pair of western boots ever. I will miss you...
but not enough to keep you hanging around in my closet collecting dust.



Farewell, ruby slippers. I only wore you once, 23 years ago,
but I'm willing to take the chance I will never need you again.
(But I do love what you do to Smooch's nose.)



 Smooch: I'm liking the looks of this. Guests must be coming.




27 comments:

  1. You like red footwear, interesting. Yes, please, discuss your five year plans. Not that I would blame you in any way, but I would miss your little ranch. But I do understand, I have plans to leave the farm, move closer to the ocean and family, and just keep one horse and my dogs. It feels like giving up my life, but it feels like it could be a new life too.

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  2. good job, i like the look of both closets and so does smooch. we have lived in our house for 27 years so just imagine. i am a regular purger so the house is ok but the garage is a DISASTER and belongs to hubby. i shudder to think how long it would take to empty it.

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  3. Michelle from Vancouver8/8/16, 7:09 AM

    Love your red boots ! What size are they? If you're going to get rid of them, I'll buy them....seriously.

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    Replies
    1. They're probably size 8 but seriously, they are worn out - there's a crack in the top leather on the side and my toe was starting to stick out.

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  4. Looks like the purge is well under way. I have shed shoes lately. Felt good. No need for heels here either, but never had those fancy red ones. I do have a pair of worn once shoes that may have been too small to begin with. I know the pain started almost immediately and continued through the wedding mass and reception.

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  5. You could repurpose the red boots as a outside planter, fill with dirt and plant a succulent type plant , hens and chicks work well.

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  6. My rule is that it needs to be either useful or loved in order to stay

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  7. Turn the cowboy boots into planters for your porch!

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  8. With all those birds around your place looking for a home........birdhouse cowboy boots make sense. BUt I so understand the joy of weighing less when lots of "stuff" is gone and living somewhere else....far, far away. xoxo

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  9. Have you seen the purses - so - so cute made out of cowboy boots. You can't get rid of those boots!
    https://www.google.com/search?q=cowboy+boot+purse&rlz=1C1ARAB_enUS529&espv=2&biw=1344&bih=735&tbm=isch&imgil=BByK9RScAdeaoM%253A%253BohWKwG9Ceic8sM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.diamond57.com%25252Fpage%25252F20424196&source=iu&pf=m&fir=BByK9RScAdeaoM%253A%252CohWKwG9Ceic8sM%252C_&usg=__Y7K87jaKmImCe-WMgweEnXUVrs4%3D&ved=0ahUKEwiSnaWZibLOAhVN5WMKHe9BDZQQyjcIUw&ei=1pyoV5LaI83KjwPvg7WgCQ#imgrc=Kcy1gSZn7AJXKM%3A

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  10. OK, she will make your purse for you so you don't have to out of those beautiful red cowboy boots. Go for it!
    http://www.diamond57.com/page/20424196

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  11. I can't believe you never showed me your ruby slippers!...you think you know someone ;-)
    I'd leave the boots next to your garden bench filled with rocks you found so snakes won't curl up in them.

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  12. Great job! I did my decluttering last month and since then, I feel so happy for the first time in my place. I just noticed though how difficult it has become to give things, not many places will accept old clothes and for domestic objects, even lesser places.

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  13. Oh this is my favorite subject...when in doubt throw it out! I love those boots, you must plant succulents in them! Perfect patio centerpiece.

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  14. You know, I need to do this...step by step, little by little! Right now I'm still donating my stuff from school (I retired after 30 years of teaching in May). I have one more load to donate, THEN I can start on the house.

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  15. Wow! Everything looks great! But PLEASE don't put those ruby red slippers out. I can totally envision a fancy nighttime (possibly glow-in-the-dark) photo shoot on the Back 40 very soon.

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  16. An American in Tokyo8/8/16, 6:03 PM

    I think your red cowboy boots are so beautiful! And doesn't everyone have a pair of ruby red slippers in their mind? Hee hee!

    I wish you could teach me how to purge. I'm trying to go through my stuff now (18 years' worth?), but I have absolutely no motivation whatsoever! Ha ha!

    Looking forward to seeing who your guests are!!

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  17. Birdhouse? Planter?
    http://www.birdsandblooms.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Cowboy-Boot-Birdhouse-Horizontal.jpg

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  18. Ok, I can't believe nobody has asked where you wore the ruby slippers.... I just can't see you in them... What event were they for?

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    Replies
    1. Bill Clinton's Inaugural Ball, 1993.

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  19. Have you ever googled "hens and chicks in boots"? Great way to finish off the life of old boots (or shoes even). Just sayin' ... those old red boots would look AWESOME on the porch!

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  20. What size are your red boots? I may want to relieve you of them!

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    Replies
    1. I think they're size 8, but Michelle from Vancouver called first dibs above, and as I told her, they're seriously worn out and I don't wear them anymore because my little toe sticks out on one of them.

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  21. I can't believe only one person commented on your 'five year plan'. I think I've been following you for five years and time flies! So will you share with us? Because there are many questions: moving further out or further in? Will the donkeys go with you? Are you retiring in five?
    Are you going to buy out that old crab who wouldn't sell Ethel her house? Questions, questions, questions.

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    Replies
    1. The short answers: Not sure yet. Absolutely. Maybe. No.
      I do plan to share the long answers soon because I am desperate for outside counsel from my people.

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    2. An American in Tokyo8/9/16, 5:53 PM

      I didn't want to ask because I don't want to think you'd move after you put so much work into your place! And I would miss the spectacular photos!

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