Week 9 – Feelin Fine

More Dishes!!!

Before heading to my parents house this week, I stopped at Walmart to grab some plastic bins to store anything I bring into my own house.  You see, I have two kitties at home and they are not happy about the cat smell on the boxes from my parents house.  Therefore they have been marking (aka peeing) all over my house.  Not cool!!  I also decided to pick up a travel coffee mug since my mom was saving at least 10 used paper coffee cups so my dad could have coffee on the go.  How often does he need coffee on the go?  I would love to know this as well!  There is always another excuse, but I’m trying to eliminate them one by one!

In with the new..

In with the new..

Out with the old!

My mother was right on my tail as I walked into the house.  This isn’t going to deter me because I have a plan!  Even though I moved out about 5 years ago, I still have some items left in my brother’s old room.  A few of the dresser drawers were still pretty full, so I emptied them and declared that we would use them for gift wrap storage.  There are still numerous bows, gift tags, and ribbons scattered all over the room, so I started to put these items away in the drawers.  Surprisingly, my mother was quite helpful in organizing all of the wrapping paper and ribbon.  Of course, this didn’t come without a few hang-ups like the fact that she would not let me get rid of any scraps of gift wrap or a particular Santa Claus balloon.  My mother’s ability to have such a strong attachment to the most mundane and ridiculous items never ceases to amaze me.  It’s as if she won’t be able to survive another day without this deflated balloon.  I tried relentlessly to get the balloon out of there, but realized it wasn’t worth my energy.

After we got over the Santa Claus balloon debacle, I was surprised when my mother allowed me to get rid of a bunch of empty boxes that were sitting around the room.  My attention moved to a few computer screens that were sitting on the edge of the bed as one nearly crashed to the floor.  It was barely saved by a few boxes that were sitting next to the bed.  I looked at my mother and said “do we REALLY need the computer screens.”  These dinosaurs don’t even work with my parent’s current computer!  She agreed to let me take one, then two, and also an old TV.  I am shocked!!  I took them out to my car immediately in case she decided to change her mind.

Clothes from my great Aunt’s house. Most were from my uncle who died about 24 years ago and the other clothes were from goodwill when my great Aunt had to go into a nursing home.  Half are going straight to recycling and half will go back to goodwill!

In the end, I got a lot of bulky items out of the house and my mother actually helped me!  We had to have an important conversation though.  After this room was “done”, we would have to move to another room.  I commented that maybe we could move on to my parents bedroom next.  Immediately, I could tell that my mother was 100% against me going anywhere near her bedroom.  I made the point that we had worked together so nicely this week and I hoped it could continue to be a positive experience for both of us.  On my way out of the room I grabbed a bag of my great Aunt’s old clothes even though my mother said she would “like to go through the bag first.”  I think this is her favorite expression ever.

Unfortunately, for every positive there is still a negative.  My mother didn’t have any bags of newspapers for me this week, so asked her to pack up some random cardboard boxes that were lying around the house and grabbed a few pre-packed bags from the garage.  In general, it was a very positive week and I’m happy my mother helped me out.  She even made comments about putting a working TV into my brother’s old room after we clean it up.  It’s nice to hear she has high aspirations for her house, but I have to face the fact that my mother doesn’t know how to curb her hoarding tendencies.  Therefore, I doubt any of these dreams will ever happen since she really is her own worst enemy.

This week:

6 Bags of newspapers (only 1 bag from mom)

8  Bags of other items (plastic, papers, boxes)

2 Computer Screens

1 13 inch TV

2 Bags of clothes from my great Aunt

1 Box misc. plates

1 Stuffed bear (taken from the dumpster by my father)

1 bag of my stuff

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4 thoughts on “Week 9 – Feelin Fine

  1. Wow, you’re making great progress. Wrapping paper – yes – I understand. It seems so wasteful to throw it out. I found in my own house that substituting some ‘permanent’ types can help us let go of the temporary ones – collapsible gift boxes – they are decorative on the outside, fold flat, and can be reused many times, because they don’t require tape. Keep one in box shape to store ribbons, and fold the others flat.
    We’ve had a problem in our household with storing clothes, and I started instituting the Rule of 10. A person does not need more than 10 of any article of clothing: 10 pairs of shoes, 10 pairs of underwear, 10 coats, 10 pairs of socks, etc. Most of us get hung up on having bursting closets – walk in closets have become a ‘must have’ in new houses. But most of these clothes end up being things we barely wear. Outside of having a few bathing suits, or other special purpose clothing that can’t be worn except for a specific occasion (prom dress, tuxedo, etc, but who has more than one of these things?) most people can be comfortably and attractively dressed with no more than 10 of each item of ordinary clothes. Usually, if you’re clinging to more than 10 sweatshirts or 10 summer dresses, a lot of those items are years old, don’t fit, don’t look great on you, etc. If you think 10 is hard to manage, take a look at Anna Johnson’s book, Three Black Skirts”. The author believes all you need is three black skirts to devise a fashionable, functional wardrobe.
    http://www.amazon.com/Three-Black-Skirts-Need-Survive/dp/0761119396

    • Yes, I actually go to forever 21 for their reusable bags. They have cute designs and they are only about $1 each! I have been slowly trying to create some organizing systems for my mother as well. I have to admit that I’m a clothes fanatic so I’m not sure I could ever decide on 10 of each type of clothing! I’m guessing you don’t have girls? My friends and I were laughing the other day because we now try to buy clothes that are suitable for both work and going out. No more skimpy dresses! I have recently started to pare down my closet since I found a lot of my old dresses don’t fit anymore. It is so hard!

  2. wow, good on you! Maybe your Mum is beginning to secretly enjoy having a little less clutter? I know when I’ve had a purge in the past it’s made me feel better, but then I just let the clutter build up again! You’ve inspired me to spend another couple of hours on my place, thanks!

    • Someone else said this in the past and I’m starting to think you guys are right! I actually get home home from my mom’s house and feel the need to de-clutter my house immediately. It’s so hard as I feel like there is no time and everything builds back up. I have really been trying to put in a few minutes every day as it seems to make a big difference. If you read my upcoming post, I actually talk about starting to de-clutter my own place this week! So random! I promise I’ll try to add some organizing tips in the future! Thanks for your comment! I feel like these posts get to be mundane and boring every week, it makes me happy to know I’m encouraging and inspiring others.

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