The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I get by with a little help from my friends

When I was young, I had a best friend who lived down the street from me.  If one of us had to clean her bedroom in order to go play, the other one would always help.  It was more fun with two, and it got the job done faster so we could play sooner!

Fast forward 40 years and now I'm trying to sell my house.   My big house that I've had for over 11 years.  My big house with one toilet too many, and a spare bedroom that has somehow taken on the role of "extra closet" for us.

Don't want to deal with all that stuff you cleaned out of the laundry room?  Put it in the spare bedroom. Don't want to sort those papers just yet?  Put them in the spare bedroom.  Don't want to get rid of those newspaper articles or curriculum guides or photos that aren't scrapbook worthy?  Put them in the spare bedroom!

You can see where I am going with this.  It wasn't to the level of that TV show about hoarders.  I mean, there was still carpet showing for pity's sake!  I could have fit so much more stuff in there, but I didn't really want to.  I wanted to clean it out so it looked ok for showing the house.  I'm trying to downsize my life, not just my mortgage.  I'm trying to get rid of stuff.

Enter my friend, G.  She's about as organized and crafty and ruthless as she needs to be with other people's stuff and I asked if she had time in her calendar for some "sorting and purging".   She had time, she assured me, and not only that, she would bring dinner over so we wouldn't have to stop in the middle of purging and go get something to eat.  This should have been my first clue that she was going to enjoy this far too much.

We started in the spare bedroom and then graduated to the office area where I do crafts.  Stuff went flying into drawers, boxes, bins, and totes.  Things were labeled, filed, repaired, and repurposed.  Some non-important memorabilia was kissed goodbye, while some important ones were given a place of honor.  Having a friend help forced me to look at the clutter with new eyes and measure every item against the new smaller house I want.  (Is it new house worthy?)  We laughed about the stupid things I kept, and we noted the irony when a "Storage and Organizing" magazine was uncovered in the mess.  G was great about keeping it moving and not letting me get too sentimental.  She also never judged me, and more than once mentioned that some of the things I had were exactly what she would have kept.

Five hours later, we had two big bags of trash, one bag of recyclables, four donation boxes, and a box of things to sell on craigslist.  :->

Friends.  Don't clean your home without 'em!


  1. How amazing to have a friend like this! It warms my heart!!! And don't feel bad - you should see our computer room. I was just telling my husband about how disgusted I am with all of our clutter. It's EVERYWHERE! Behind every door there seems to be a little bit of clutter . . .

  2. My tiny hobby room is the current dumping ground for our unsorted stuff too... it started when we were renovating and thought we would just stash stuff there so we wouldn't have to move it too often... guess what, a year later it's still there!
    I'm deliberately putting it off whilst I have study to do and whilst I still have too much pain standing for longer periods of time, but as soon as I can my little room is on my hit list for de-cluttering.
    WELL DONE for getting a friend in to help you get the business done in your spare room!!!

  3. Hi! Just stopping by to wish you and your beautiful daughter a very Happy Chinese New Year!!!! Celebrate!!!!

  4. What a great story! It is good to have another perspective on what is and may not be important to keep. I hope the house search has been fruitful!

    I did want to let you know that your emails are no-reply blogger which means no one can reply directly to you. Sometimes blogger switches and I don't know why.

    1. Hi Kim, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm not sure what you mean by no-reply on blogger. Is there something I can (or should) do to change that?