Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The words I thought I'd never hear.......

" Well, just get rid of what you can, if you can. If you can't, well, we will move it and you can get rid of it later if need be"......those were the words my husband spoke softly to me this evening. The same husband who has spend years complaining about my habit of bringing mismatched dishes, do-dads, vintage finds, linens, and so forth just looked at me and spoke those words. And the most heart warming part of it all, I know that he meant what he said.

We are going to put our house up on the market and I am trying to clear this house out and do so quickly so we can get it listed with a Realtor. We have found a house we want to buy, and I need to sell our house. The main problem is, there are 30 plus years of stuff to sort through and purged and ready for a sale. Then, the stuff I want to keep needs to be packed to be moved. It's really nothing new to the world of moving, it is just very new to me. We have lived in the same house since before we were married, so you can imagine the daunting task of it all...and as most of you all know....I have lots of stuff that I love.

This evening I sat on the floor of our living room sorting boxes of dishes. I'd have a plate in hand and move it to the toss pile and before I could sit it on the top of the box, I'd swing my hand to the keep pile. I seriously found myself remembering when I purchased certain pieces and I could actually recall specific details from when they were purchased. This went on for several minutes and I began to sweat and feel an anxiety attack coming on. My husband glanced at me out of the corner of his eye and I just burst into tears. The look on his face said it all, I am sure he knew I had truly lost it after all these years.

I really could not get a grip on what I was feeling. I tried explaining to him, I knew I wanted to let go of this stuff and not take it with me. I knew I had no plans to use it, or need for it. I knew all of these things, but the thing that stirred me the most was the fact that all of this stuff that I have acquired was more than just stuff in a box. So much of all these vintage treasures were things that filled my life with a little happiness during a very dark time in my life. So in a way, it might be like saying goodbye to a therapist once you were able to let the things go that had a hold of your life. The good news in all of this is I am no longer in that dark place and have moved past it for a good while now. It was confusing as to why this was bothering me as I sat in the floor surrounded by so many things I really did not need or want.....but I did not want to let them go either.

But during my total meltdown, my husband spoke those words and something in the way he said them, changed my feelings. It was the tone in his voice that spoke volumes to me and turned my melt down into determination to finish what I set out to do this evening. He even offered his own advice when I asked him if we should keep this or that...and we have a huge pile to sell, and only a couple of boxes to keep. Out of all the china plates I sorted tonight, I kept only one pattern of small plates because I truly love that pattern and only five large plates. I put over fifty in a pile to get rid of.....and I have boxes upon boxes to sort still.

My family has teased me for years that my collecting is a sickness and we have joked about it more times than I can count. They may well have been truly right in that statement, but for the first time, I think I am on my way to getting over that sickness...and I have the boxes piled high full of treasures to sell to prove it.

~ this is going to be a journey like none other!


  1. Good luck on your new adventure! We have lived in our house since 1978 and I cannot imagine packing it all up at this point. Although it does sound like a good way to clear out all my collections, too. Your husband is a sweetie! I sometimes get overwhelmed with my treasures , too (you can't keep everything, but you can't part with the memories either) and his response was so sweet. What a guy! Keep us posted on the journey!

  2. AWL- dear Suzanne - what a sweet tender post. I am SO with you on collecting, and trying to purge and downsize.

    I am sending up a little prayer for you, and I know you and your wonderful hubs will work it all out and your move will be smoothe.

    Hang in there and good luck with everything! Hugs!

  3. Hi Suzanne. Good for you sorting your stuff. Last week I had to go through a lot of things for a garage sale and it was painful. But I do feel better now. I hope you will start posting again. Hugs, Dianne

  4. Just went through this...had to cut all my collections by over half. The true treasure is the memories attached to these items. I found that if I took a picture of the item/items it will suffice to trigger the memories. Object not needed. I had to get rid of stuff I never used. I have to tell you, Suzanne, since the move, I haven't missed a thing. Hang in there, it can be done. I also enjoyed buying some things for the new house with the proceeds from the auction that got rid of the sell pile!

  5. As always, you said it perfectly. I am not moving, but going to try and get rid of more of my "keepers". You both will probably get lost in a bigger house. Let me hear from you.

  6. Oh my, it's so good to have you back in blog world. You've been missed. And I fully understand the problem of parting with treasures that have been collected over many years. I keep trying to pack a lot of them up and give them away, but not too many things seem to leave. Hmmmm, I'm working on that.

    Good luck with selling your house and getting the new one. I'm looking forward to more posts. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  7. I am so glad you have such a supportive husband. Mine is the same way, thankfully! I need to get rid of somethings myself. I find things I have not had out a tub or box in years. If something happened to me oh what a auction it would be!

  8. I know you have your hands full sorting through all your found treasures.You will find things you forgot you had tucked away.
    I am not moving and have been purging and selling things I have collected for years,just in case I move

    wish I was there to help you and see all treasures.
    Your husband is doing good through the process of down sizing
    My son in law thinks I have always been a hoarder because I have so many collections of dishes LOL

    keep us posted

  9. Don't loose focus, don't despair, remember that this too shall pass and that your husband loves you.
    We put our house on the market after 20 years and we had to pack a lot of stuff real fast so the house showed better so we rented a locker and this was a godsend, it kept us sane! I gave away at least 30 boxes to various church based thrifts and I know that as I unpack I will give more stuff away.
    The house was sold in only 9 days! and we just moved last Saturday, I already have 2 boxes on their way to the thrifts and I offer treasures to friends and family that drop by....Stay strong

  10. once you have your sell you should buy something specific for the new place like a nice hutch or cabinet to display the things that you wanted to keep and this will bring more enjoyment from them. It could help you marrow down the things that you keep once the unpacking starts.

  11. My take on letting go -- I had a beautiful blue glass art vase -- special because an acquaintance from work had given it to me in a holiday gift exchange. I knew it couldn't have cost much due to the spending limits we had imposed, but the idea that she had picked out something so perfect for me overwhelmed me. I loved it, and it had a place of honor on a bookshelf. Then there was an earthquake. My beautiful gift went the way of many other pieces of glass, mirrors, etc. I was grateful that none of my family was injured, but cried over the loss of the vase. Since then, I have never let myself get so attached to any object, no matter where it came from, how much it cost, or who gave it to me. Maybe to my detriment. However, over my career and into retirement, I've had to make many moves -- the last one downsizing into a "retirement apartment" -- and, for better or worse, I've been able to let things go without the grief I experienced after the earthquake.

  12. I know just how you feel. Take care.

  13. My heart goes out to you. I have been trying to downsize. My husband & I have been married for 40 years. He has been talking about moving..Can’t imagine that. But one thing a Friend said to me when I told her I’ve been trying to downsize, and had such a difficult time giving things away, Many are sentimental. I can remember everything I bought, when & where, and how it brought so much joy to me. My friend said to me, “Okay you have enjoyed it all these years, Now let someone else share that joy with those items. “Pass the Joy Forward.!”
    That certainly made a lot of sense to me. Yes, It’s hard letting go..but believe me...You will see the Joy in that person’s face as you did.
    When giving the things up...Say to it...Thank you for giving me such joy..so now I am passing it on.: Hope that helps.


Sometimes someone says something really small, and it's like it fits into this empty space in your heart!

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