Detox follow up: Yard, Closet, Kitchen, & Books


So, maybe that detox wasn’t so stupid after all. (See Stupid Detox)

It just wasn’t my body that needed it. My home and yard were bloated with unneeded stuff that was clogging up the works around here.

My house is far from cluttered; mostly because I am not a decorator, I suck at crafts and before Sophie we thought our next move was to a boat. But, lurking in the dark corners of my home were redundant items, along with dead, dying, old, unused, beaten, and no-longer-loved stuff.

Sound familiar? Any extra stuff overcrowding the good stuff in your house? Here’s what happened when I detoxed my home.

First up, the yard. I had been putting off cutting things back because I was holding out for that last bloom to close up. My holdout meant a lot of ugly, browning, and crumpling flowers. I started whacking away the last of the black eyed susansblack eyed susans. Within 24 hours new blooms appeared. When I cut back an overgrown, sunburnt lemon balm plant, I found three mums struggling for air. Now they have ample sunshine just in time for fall blooms.

It went on like this…when I cut back the old stuff that had completed its summer job beautifully, new growth was there. Hmm…what a great metaphor for life.

I moved inside. I go through my closet a couple times a year, mostly because I’m so messy and need to throw out stained clothes so it did not need an overhaul. But, I was shocked at what I found: a sports bra from right after Soph was born. Wishful thinking that these size “barely there” boobs are ever going to need a C-cup sports bra again. In the back of my closet, lived a pair of shoes I had not worn in 8 years! I kept them because they reminded me of the special day I bought them and the adventures we went on (yes, the shoes and me). I hugged them before I threw them out.

Time to let go of the things.

cupboardTo the kitchen. Did I need 3 sets of measuring cups? So many mugs. So many holiday plates. Dan and Soph helped me pare down to just the good stuff: a pretty tea set from my sister to replace all the chipped, fading, old mugs; a set of nicer everyday dishes my brother gave us as a housewarming gift that were smooshed in with melanine plates from Target; and our wedding china which I thought was buried in a box somewhere but had been on a high shelf above my head in the cupboard the whole time.

Now my cabinets are filled with pretty, practical dishes instead of multi-colored, beaten, almost falling over stacks.

The bookshelf. Cookbooks I kept for one recipe needed to go. Books I see at the library, which is conveniently located next door, needed to go. Books that had not been opened in years needed to go. I was hanging on to so many books because I might need them (as though google is not my go-to research tool); because I loved them (but had not read them in years), or because I simply liked having that author or title on my bookshelf. (Apologies to my dad and father-in-law who have helped me move tomes of Shakespeare and English Lit 6 times.) I really only need one copy of Pride and Prejudice, not 3.

I did keep a few things that I do not use a whole lot. That’s because my mom and my grandmother made them. They are holding up just fine and I want to be sure the kids in our family have them for their tables some day.

Two car loads to Good Will. Someone will really enjoy the books and kitchen goods. The yard waste will compost over the winter for new beds next year.

It felt like a weight was lifted. Just like a good detox–no more bloat.

Take a look at your stuff.

Think about the beautiful blooms and quality items hiding beneath the junk at my house. You could be surrounded by useful beauty instead of just more stuff.

Do you have things that no longer work or that you no longer need? Ask yourself why you hold on. Dan likes to say, “It’s not an antique just because its old or from a dead person.” A gift? But do you use it? Cherish it? If not, are you holding on just to please the giver? Is that a good reason for you to keep it? Only you can decide. It’s your relationship with your stuff. If you’re not ready for a trip to the charity bin, maybe bag or box up the bloat and move it out of sight for a month. If you haven’t needed it, could be time to go. If that sounds too hard, start with redundant items like my 3 sets of measuring cups.

After detoxing my home, I had to put on my “fancy” pants for a meeting. Funny…they felt loose. Getting rid of all that old stuff, made me feel lighter too.


2 thoughts on “Detox follow up: Yard, Closet, Kitchen, & Books”

  1. Ang,
    I, too, have learned the metaphor for cutting back to reveal the beauty. I learned it when I was caring for a hybrid tea rose bush that came with the house we bought. Oh no, I thought, what a time waster for little or nothing in return!!! How wrong I was! I learned that roses LOVE to be cut back and HARD!!!! A few weeks after a hard trimming, that tea rose presented me with a ribbon-winning bloom @ the local fair!!! Imagine the beauty we reveal when we release our “dead weight” whether thoughts or things!!!

    1. How perfect!! And such a beautiful prize at the end. Great metaphor for life. Thank you for reading and sharing!

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