Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Cardboard boxes

In keeping with the "theme" of January which is Order (for you Simple Abundance fans I am sure you can tell what books I have recently put back on my nightstand) the Clean up/Clear out continues.


It took me longer than usual this year to put away my Christmas stuff, takes me forever normally."Why?" someone asked? Well cause I have 27 tubs plus other boxes plus things that don't fit in boxes to organize and put away. "You have ornaments and maybe a Santa candy dish, plus a few strands of lights..that's why." No judging here of course keeping in mind every one's got a different sized plate...they started it.


But this year I needed to go through every tub and really take a look at why I keep so many things that every year stay in the box and don't come out. And take a look at the things that I usually find SOME place for, that this year I put back in the box. So it took awhile and not only because there's still a million things going on...but because I needed to take out everything and think about whether it was staying or going.


For example, I have about a 1/4 tub full of what I label "Kids Creations" with kid made decorations dating back to about 1995. I didn't save EVERYTHING I said a 1/4 of a tub! I used to think I had to put all of it out. Now every year I take out a few and hang them on the basement door. Now 20something year old friends get a kick out of the cotton Christmas tree made 15 years ago. I do too. I ended up with about 3 empty tubs when I was done. To be honest it was not easy for me. Some of the things I got rid of are from when I first got married (yes 20 years ago). And again if I am being honest, I don't even know who the woman was that bought some of these things. She was, I would suppose brand spanking new to this holiday decorating thing and bought "cutsie" things cause she was a cute newlywed..if you could imagine. Well she has had her day...and out went some of those things. I wouldn't say I tossed them either...I kind of placed them in the black garbage bags. (they really weren't anything I could donate) So onward to the rest of the house now that Christmas is all tucked away.  


I will be in this house six years next month. I still have "stuff" in cardboard moving boxes. I have always known they are there, just didnt know exactly what was in them. I have ignored them for almost six years. This year I feel different about the new year...I feel the need to get everything in my life in order. On the outside I can appear to have it all together...but some days? Yeah, not so much.


I love the quote "The truth that a woman's home is the most accurate barometer of her emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual well being can be as unsettling at times as it is reassuring."  Ain't that the truth. I know when I am feeling particulary twisted about something, if I look around my kitchen it looks like a tornado went through it, kind of how I am feeling inside.


Sometimes things get particularly messy, and it happens to all of us, kids=mess...end of story and I don't care how old they are...have you met Hurricane Diva? When that happens either it makes me feel unnerved or it's because I have been feeling unnerved.


But sweeping the kitchen floor, or Windexing the dog slobber off the front door is just scratching the surface. You have to tackle the cardboard boxes that are way down in the back, dark spidery part of the basement. You have to open those unlabled (I could not have packed those!!) card board boxes and see what's inside. Take a long hard look at whether it makes any sense to save every single first birthday card. Not really. But taking out the baby sweaters knitted by great-grandma are keepers for sure and should be put in appropriate water proof boxes so they will be ready when the time comes to take them out again for a great-great grandchild. That set of cool margarita glasses that always pop into your mind when you have company on a summer night, should be washed and put somewhere accessible.


It's really about those sealed up cardboard boxes that need to be opened up and dealt with. See the analogy? Yeah, I'm trying to too.

Jenn's two cents:  Over Christmas break I went through every  box in my attic - a few were still from the move 2 years ago.  Most of it was kitchen stuff I just have no room for - some was kid stuff that they had to bring with but no longer want.  I no longer have cardboard boxes in my house - it's a great feeling and I even have 4 or 5 empty plastic storage bins!  It's amazing the stuff we hang onto - you know if it was up to me - it would all go out the door. 

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