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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Great Purge of 2014

For the last three weeks, I have methodically severed myself from anything I didn't truly need or love.

Greg is a big-time pack rat, but I'm just as guilty--albeit to a much lesser degree. With everything stacking against us for the last few weeks, I decided it was a good time to release myself from the past. I needed to lighten the load.

If I didn't throw it away, I gave it away. The rest has been stored in Greg's workshop for a monster garage sale set for whenever he comes home for good. (No way am I doing this one alone.)

I am done collecting stuff. All my life I've hung on to these little bits of this or that thinking I'll use them someday, but reality finally sunk its teeth.

Let's face it, I was never going to turn those nice bed sheets into dinner napkins. I don't sew, so who am I kidding? I don't have the slightest talent for needle and thread even if I did have delusions of Martha Stewart.
Nana when she's not a blur.

And all that furniture we had bought over the years to furnish two homes? Most of it is now awaiting the garage sale to end all garage sales. If it doesn't sell, it'll go straight to Goodwill. I'm not keeping anything I don't truly love. 

(I guess that means Nana is staying too.)

I was just as ruthless with my email. I deleted close to 6,000 unread emails. Most of them were from groups that post several times a day, but I finally admitted to myself I was never going to go back and read those things. 

I deleted all my emails from my old newsletter job. After six years it was time to let them go. I have no plans to go back. Enough time has elapsed that the new newsletter editor can handle it from here on out.

In short, I divorced myself from anything that had worn out its welcome.

It was liberating, but also a little scary. I've never been this fierce about letting go.

I'm not sure if combining two households pushed me over the edge, or if deep down I felt it was time to let our stuff be loved by someone else. 

If it weren't for Greg, I probably would've unloaded way more stuff, but he's on a 12-step program for pack-rattery. It's much harder for him to let go. :grin:

There are more deletions, purges, cleanses, and exorcisms in the future. I want a fresh start.

Have you ever done a purge? Was it draining or cathartic?
I promise to take pictures when I set up my garage sale. It will be AWESOME in scope and size.

In other news: My mother is in a convalescent home for physical therapy. She's got another week there and then they'll let her go home.

Maggie is doing great after her run in with Nana. And Nana, that little monster, has been good as gold since we had a 'come to Jesus meeting' between us. 

Maybe this is a sign that things are getting back to normal. I hope so.


Angela Brown said...

Letting go can be very cathartic. I'm not much of a pack rat. When I divorced my ex and decided to move to California, I didn't take anything that couldn't fit in my car. Everything else was given away. Chipmunk fit in the car so she came with me.
I did the same thing when I moved from California back to Texas. It's like a release to let go of things that aren't going to add to your future or to let go of things of duplicity. It can be a little scary, but well worth the weight of burden freed from your shoulders.

And glad Nana is behaving and Maggie is doing well. Hugs to Tank and Iko!

Marian Perera said...

Good to hear your mother will be going home soon,, and I wish I could be around for the huge garage sale. I already have too much stuff, but I could never resist a bargain.

Mason Canyon said...

I'm a terrible pack rat and need to purge, but can't quit make myself yet. I will. Glad your mom is doing well and will be back home soon. Good to hear Maggie is okay and Nana's good behavior is continuing.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: I've done the occasional spring cleaning, but never anything this extensive. It was scary at first, but I kind of like having less to tie me down.

Re:Chipmunk fit in the car so she came with me.

Good call! :o)

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: You should see the stuff that's going on sale! And there are going to be many bargains because none of it is going back in the house.

Maria Zannini said...

Mason: Greg can't part with anything either. He's very nostalgic over his possessions and can tell you a story about each and every one of them.

Me, not so much. LOL!

If it don't fit, it ships.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Oh yes, I have done a great purge! It's wonderful. We sold or gave away nearly everything when we moved to Guatemala. Now we can move if we need to in a matter of hours instead of weeks. It is very freeing.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's great to hear about your mom.

I love to purge! We have Big Brothers BIg Sisters come and pick up stuff from us at least every 2 months. (No joke!)
And we STILL have junk and clothes I'm still not wearing. It's amazing.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Hugs to Maggie

not related to your topic...but I'm sitting here bummed. In a funk after learning my neighbor's pup, who played with my Rott all the time, was hit by a car Sat...died yesterday.

Why am I so sad about my neighbor's pup?

But anyway...hug both your pups for me. I'm off to brush all three of my girls.

Jackie Burris said...

Maria purging is so cathartic for me it is almost scary, however after learning the hard way back in 2011 just how much stuff was "nostalgic" rather than necessary do not have the tendency to "hoard" things as much as we did in the past.

Good girl Nana, happy Maggie is getting there on wellness front and your Mom as well.

Giant Garage Sale, so glad it is you not me as that is a huge undertaking. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, good job! I hate to keep things, although I've learned to at least wait a little before tossing. While Himself was taking care of his dad, I culled four huge boxes of old clothes (all mine). I also dumped the 15K emails in my deleted files folder. Maybe there's something in the water.

Glad your mom is healing and dogs are behaving! You deserve a break!

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I love a good clear-out. It always makes me feel so much lighter! Good luck with yours, and I hope your garage sale goes well.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Nana is such a gorgeous girl. As a kid, I had a dog a lot like her - black and white, endless energy, completely loyal. Glad she's seen the light :)

I adore getting rid of things. I have to be careful when I start clearing things out not to go overboard. So I hear your pain (and Greg's LOL) but don't share it. Nothing worse though than getting rid of something only to discover you DID need it. Ouch.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: I'm hoping I can inspire the husband to follow my example. I'm looking forward to an uncluttered home.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: It's win-win as long as this stuff goes to people who need them. I have no attachments to anything.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: How awful!

Every time I see a dog or cat on the side of the road, I say a prayer for them and hug my guys when I get home.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: You had to give up all your stuff the hard way. I still think about that terrible disaster. At least all of you walked away from it.

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: I've been too lax with my email boxes. But I'm done. From now on I'm living in the present.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: It did make me feel lighter and less burdened. I wish I could have the garage sale this year, but I'll probably wait for the spring. Greg still has furniture at his place I want to sell.

Maria Zannini said...

Nana is a goof, but she's so loyal to me it hurts. A lot of my dogs have been attached to me, but Nana thinks the sun rises and sets over me. She can't stand not being able to see me.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Purging IS cathartic! Moving regularly in the military forced us to not save so much. But now that we've settled down in one place for 17 years, it's easier to just put stuff aside. One of these days, though... :)

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: That's what my husband needed. A military family! Maybe then he wouldn't hang on to so much stuff.

Carol Burge said...


I'm a huge pack rat, too, so I can sympathize. I'm especially bad when it comes to email and links and programs and such. Last year I was without internet service for about nine months, and I cannot begin to tell you how much email I accumulated in that time. I was unable to go online unless I went to a family member or friends house, and then half the time I didn't have my passwords with me to get into any of my accounts to check them (I keep a small alphabetical index file of all my sites and passwords. They are all different and all scrambled, so they're impossible to remember). Anyway, long story short, when I did finally get back online and access my emails, I can't even begin to tell you how overwhelmed I was. I had thousands of emails! It was then I decided it was time to go through everything and delete, delete, delete. Even though I was uncomfortable getting rid of old groups, courses, classes, emails and such, it felt really good to purge and get organized, and I'm glad I did. When I got my new computer recently, I promised myself I would NOT stuff it with unnecessary files and links and programs (so far so good). I do hate a sluggish computer. Hopefully, after all these years, I've finally learned. :)

Best of luck with your purging and garage sale!


Maria Zannini said...

Carol: 9 months without internet? Holy cow, I'd have to slit my wrists.

I am hoping all this deleting and chunking will lighten my load. I feel like I've been carrying the weight of the world lately.

Glad you're back online!

LD Masterson said...

I've done a couple purges of my stuff and loved it. A little harder doing Mom's stuff. And, of course, now I have Dad's.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: It's way harder to do a purge of a loved one's belongings. You can't go through them without thinking about their history.

Mike Keyton said...

I'm glad things are working out for your mum and I'm already tensing for your 'come to Jesus' moment with Greg ref pack-rattery. If I had money to bet on this...?

Maria Zannini said...


Re: I'm already tensing for your 'come to Jesus' moment with Greg ref pack-rattery.

We've had several already. None of them pretty. :)

Gwen Gardner said...


1) Glad your mom is recuperating
2) Glad you and Nana are on the same page.
3) I started purging 10 years ago. When my close friends lost their house in the California fires and we were close to losing ours, it brought home what was important and what not. When we moved to the forest in Colorado, we had the threat of fire from May to about September every year. We had our bug-out bags packed. All the important stuff was stored by the garage door for a quick escape. Amazing what becomes important.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: The same thing happened to Jackie Burris. They were lucky to escape with their lives when those fires ripped through central Texas.

It's a sobering experience to decide what's really important in just a few minutes.