This is part of an on-going series Momma’s Soapbox and I are starting on Keeping Our Inner Aloha/Peaceful Life.)

Disclaimer: This posting is going to require Alpha Hubby to BITE HIS TONGUE and hold on to his fingers so he won’t comment and comment and comment.

I’ve been systematically getting rid of stuff for several years now. It isn’t that I had a lot of stuff. Really! It’s more that each time I did a pass through the house I’d decide to get rid of something that I thought I absolutely could not stand to get rid of just a month before.

I am a firm believer in donating. When I was a single parent, I lived in Salvation Army (SA). Back then, I had to and SA served me well. But it was so bad there was a time when my son said, “Oh NO! Please don’t tell me we’re going to SA again!” (And he was only 6!) I think the boredom of waiting while I dug through racks and piles and shelves looking for amazing deals gave him SA phobia. It is a testament to his strength that he is now a generous donator, too. I’m so glad I didn’t scar him for life back then.

You would think that after several years of donations I would have this amazingly organized, Zen-type house with no clutter or mess to deal with. Yeah, you would think that, wouldn’t you? It just ain’t so. And I don’t know why (and NO Alpha Hubby I do NOT need your input on this!). Truth is, I know but I am not going to tell-all today. You couldn’t handle it!

One thing that contributed to my delinquency is that I come from a long line of hoarders (& no that above picture is not a house I know, just from internet). My mom rinsed paper towels and dried them on the wood stove.  She had piles and piles of them she’d reuse until they just plain bit the dust.  She had every packet of fast food catsup and plastic wrapped plastic utensils she’d ever not used.  Dad was as bad with his nails, screws, boards, bits, pieces, parts, and whatnot.

The worst were the zippered baggies. We ALWAYS had to wash and reuse them – in the summer hanging them on the clothesline and in the winter, propping them open over glasses to dry. I SWORE when I could, I would THROW AWAY ANY BAGGIE I HAD USED WITHOUT EVEN CHECKING TO SEE IF IT WAS RELATIVELY CLEAN. It is freeing, I can tell you that. I do NOT reuse zippered baggies. Amen. That’s why you see so many in my new pantry. (Below, sadly, are only part of the boxes.)

Back to my non-Zen house. I am learning not to hoard. I am slowly learning to let things go and to give away anything I haven’t used in a year or 5. I THOUGHT I was doing a great job until we moved.

Why? Because as I unpacked I discovered everything I had saved and hoarded without realizing it. Take the zippered baggies. I thought I was out so purchased several. Then while unpacking, I came across the ones I’d packed up when we thought we were moving last year. THEN I also came across the ones I had stored in the laundry room in the old house. I don’t want to talk about it. 

This happened with all sorts of products – beauty products, cleaning products, candles (well, you can NEVER have too many of those) kitchen towels, and MORE. It has bordered on the ridiculous which is why Momma’s Soapbox (& her companion posting about this topic) and I decided to take a little journey into developing Better Me’s: get better organized and disciplined, simplify our lives, developing the “less can be more” concept, taking better care of our health, etc.

Alpha Hubby’s saying is, “There’s always another one.” I wanted to hit him when we were first married and he’d say that. It was usually after I lost a bid at an auction or something but I soon discovered, HE WAS RIGHT (please don’t tell him I said that).

The “organized theory” really is that if you haven’t used it or worn it in a year, GET RID OF IT. It may make you feel like you are giving away your first born child sometimes, but you can do it, sniffing and crying. It takes a while sometimes to get into the swing of it but it can be done.

I truly believe that Keeping Your Inner Aloha (see Momma’s Soapbox posting HERE) and living The Peaceful Life require organization and getting rid of excess.

So a little Peaceful Life tip is this: go through your house with an HONEST eye and start boxing up excess and things you haven’t used in awhile, if ever (yes, I had a lot of THAT, too – never used or new with tags still on it).  Remind yourself it is going to a good cause – helping those who can’t afford to shop at regular stores. Been there, done that and am so grateful for places like SA and Goodwill.

I’ll let you know a little more after I’ve finished unpacking and getting rid of as I do! I’ve had to really dig in and get rid of since this new place doesn’t yet have the storage capacity of the old place. It’s challenging but I finally had that epiphany – there’s ALWAYS another one and if I truly need it later down the line, I can buy a NEW one!

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