Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hey You Guys & Gals! A De-Clutter Party!

Hi-de-ho Everyone! It's time for a party! What kind of party? A De-Clutter Party!
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I just turned 50 and I'm ready to turn over some new leaves in life. One of the most huge is to simplify, simplify, simplify!

I'm a merciful artist with a hint of prophet and this tendency translates, hanging on to things but feeling crummy about doing so, not really displaying the things properly or using them. I am also married to a self employed Realtor broker-George Bailey in Smalltown America. Hubs isn't a high pressure salesman but a man who enjoys people and working with them...

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?
~Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

All the while I desire simplicity and always have but I have a bit of a Depression era mentality, my parents and grandparents were Depression Era. Living in a Realtor home is much like living in a farmer's home, some years have good crop and some years have bad. I tend to keep a lot in store just in case...Plus I'm just not good about decluttering. Period. But that is going to change. Yes indeedie.

My wardrobe for winter usually consists of black tights, black skirts, wide black belt, black workout pants and my black turtleneck, maybe red, grey or green. Black blazer and cardigan. I hear CoCo Chanel usually wore black, very simple. Do ya think CoCo Chanel cleaned house with black workout pants perhaps with her pearls? lol Who knows, (I sure like CoCo Chanel Mademoiselle perfume though!) I'm not to a minimalist wardrobe yet, but I'm almost willing to bet I could pare down to these things alone for winter.

Anyhow, the name of the game here is Simplify-Simplify!

I've been scouring & perusing minimalists blogs & books and I am really on my way finally. I'm finally getting that perhaps I am missing out on life because of stuff. I'm not materialistic. Some of my favorite things are old and sentimental things not new name brand matchie-matchie poo-poo stuff. About the only name brand I like much is Chanel perfume, and throw in a few Avons too. And I know Amana makes good refrigerators. ; ) (I don't even have an Amana but I know they are good!)

For those just now arriving for the party, my Declutter-Simplify-Simplify game with day to day, morning, afternoon & evening finds are below my micro-bio. Enjoy & join the freeing fun!

My Micro-Bio:

I am half Italian and half German; both my parents came from hard working down to earth families from a small waterfront town...

The German side, my father's side; valued books, education and good music. My uncle went to Rice majoring in Drama if that tells you anything. My father did some drama and is a wood artist, speaker, writer, restaurant owner, one time city counselman, you name it, a major entrepreneur and smalltown dinosaur.

The Italian side, my mother's side, my small town Italian grandparents valued; family, food, good health and sweet laughter. My Italian uncle majored in Animal Husbandry to be a vet. My mother went to art school. She used to make some neat paper dolls with me and oh so lovely ballerina costumes...She managed to keep a neatie home too in an old 30s built house with hardly any closets.

Neither family cared one iota about the kind of car they drove, the size of home they lived in or the size of diamonds on their fingers. Thank the Lord they didn't.

Amazingly, all of these young people, both uncles, my father, my mother all returned to the small waterfront town...There was nothing like it at the time. My uncle told my mother he dreams about it sometimes...Both grandparents had waterfront businesses.

My Italian grandfather was an opera singer in New York in the early 1900s as a very young single, he was actually discovered when he was singing hanging clothes outside his city apartment. He was eventually called home to another state by his mother when she arrived in America from Bisaquino Sicily. He always loved the water and became a professional fisherman and shrimper and owned a fishing camp.

I think he was the Great Caruso of the Bay, a quiet sweet soul...But when he spoke he spoke and when he laughed he laughed and when he sang boy could he sing. When we had family get-togethers there was good food and laughing in their simple home.

Sometimes I think my love for animals came from my uncle and perhaps my dad too....Daddy loved our dogs something fierce, in fact our dog's Christmas card to the pound actually made it to 60 Minutes!

My dad rescued our dog from the pound after the new dog catcher captured her one day. In the small waterfront town you just didn't capture my dad's dog, Minnie Pearl. No sirrie bobbie. Let's just say the rescue involved my dad's pickup truck and a pull chain. ; )

Did I ever tell you that my dad was also a creative welder? I remember finding him in the mall bookstore; that was he and Mother's meeting place after an eve of shopping. He was there in his cardigan, pipe in pocket studying a book on a Civil War era canon. He made the canon to scale and he would shoot things out of it over the bay from his gas station for boats...Oh the stories I could tell...And did you know he also flew airplanes for a hobby? Oh it goes on and on.. Maybe more stories to come. I have them from the Missile Crisis, just all over the board. Amazing stories.

Okay, that's my partial eclectic background story...You can't really put me in a box when it comes to stereotypes you see. Just ask my hubby. With a smile, he'll tell you, you can't put me in a box, except when it comes to loving God and my family. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Love God and hate sin. : )

Now.....About that party.

I'm going to post things here on this entry that I am donating to charity or throwing away if unfit for charity.

I thought it might inspire me and others to de-clutter and simplify.
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One-Two-Three and Away We Go!

I will now commence to this game of Simplify-Simplify!
You too can comment here and let us know what you are de-cluttering if you like! We can encourage one another!

My List & Quandries:

This past weekend:
*All the decorative doodle-dandies from under my guest bathroom vanity....Christmas, Valentines, Easter figurines. Several fragrance lotions well over a year or two old.
*All Christmas ornaments deemed "ugly" by my girls unless they are antique or sentimental. Any ornament or anything that has "To: Mommy" or "I love Mommy" will not be given away no matter what dear daughters (dds) say.
*A blazer with a collar that looks like wings. A pink fuzzy robe from '93 when my last baby was born. A green terry cotton robe. Three dressy tshirts that don't fit that great.
*A set of Beatrix Potter paperback books.
*A hardback of "A Child's Garden of Verses"
*Several platters, plastic and stoneware forgot I even had.
*Three pair of nice leather clogs, since my back injury the clogs cause more back pain. Go figure.
*Two jumpers, one black, one seer-sucker...My girls shook their heads when I tried them on and murmured frumpy-frumpy. I did keep a cute one with button straps, yes I did. It will be nice with sandals in warm weather. I still love it.
*Tossed 2 chipped mugs, they were pretty but chipped.

1.4.11 A Christina Rossetti book, featuring "Goblin Market" (Who wants to read about morbid goblins?) Plus the book doesn't even have, 'What Shall I Give Him" or "Who Has Seen the Wind"

1.5.11 So far...3 plastic containers from my master bath cabinet never re-used. I also donated 4 little chef-men pairs who held 2 of the white pillar candles. I don't use them any longer for decor and the poor dears were sitting all alone in the dark living room cabinet. Someone else will be blessed by them. Stay tuned...Dear Daughters?

1.6.11 AM *Another pair of clogs; used to be touted for comfort but after putting these on for only minutes realized even these are no longer that great for my back. *Two bars of perfumed Red Door soaps still in cellophane. *Pair of navy hosiery, hubs can use them to strain paint. *Undergarments that are not comfortable...Hopefully adding more throughout the day! Stay tuned... PM: *An angel frame I've saved for years to use, still in box. *A knit top, too short. *My dds decluttered a boxed set of Resurrection eggs, that will be a definite blessing to a young family. *We shall see what we shall see for tomorrow...Trying on a few things.

1.7.11 AM *Oh yay, happy day, happy day, I'm doing good today. I donated my soft lined capri workout pants. The way I see it on lined capris is...If it's cold enough to wear lined pants they need to be long ones! : ) I also donated a nearly new black velour pair of lounge pants, the velour is not that flattering and they weren't as comfie as lounge pants should be...On with my decluttering...Okie-Dokie it's officially 1:30ish PM. I'm sipping on Duncan's Donuts Christmas Mint coffee I snagged for 70 cents clearance. Yes indeedie, made it double strength in my French-press, no weinie coffee here. ; ) Decluttering so far: Many white fitted tshirts, I just don't look that great in stark white or round necklines. Pink winter p.j.s. I had forgotten I had. Getting ready to give many like-new Christmas Target-Christmas long sleeve tshirts away, I'm just not wearing them at Christmas time like I should be. Someone else will love them. I may keep one favorite and probably be able to wear it since it's not hidden in clutter. A Christmas mug with a ceramic snowman standing in the cup. Cute but no one uses it, the snowman is a hindrance of sorts. I must tell you that one main way I've decluttered is to NOT buy anything that is not in my favorite family of colors. Also passed on a pair of shoes, 20% off w/free ship. Did I need them? No. I also passed on a pretty floral brown toned skirt, no. I don't need to have to hunt for a brown shirt to go with it, plus I do much, much better in blacks & greens etc. On with decluttering...3:45ish PJs not being worn, if they are not really loose, super comfortable around the waist, donate. Gave some cute Old Navy striped cotton ones, they aren't knit, I always go for cotton knits first, the others make me feel bound up when I sleep. I figure gee whiz, sleep comfortable for pete's sake. : )

1.8.11 AM *Good Morning Folks!* So far I've decluttered by NOT buying a blouse. It's a spring/summer weight blouse but it wasn't on sale, but was tempting w/99 cent shipping.

I said to self:

"Now self, you do not need that now. The online store will store it for you, it is a regular item there. There will be free shipping in the future, hold tight"

I'm eyeballing decorative baskets up in my laundry room, decorative baskets that probably aren't deep enough to really do neat things like berry picking etc. Also a red plastic booster seat for tots. Canopy bed netting my dd21 has stored may be going if she doesn't have plans for it...Okay, now to warm my coffee up...see you back here later with more declutter victory. : )

Alrightie...the net canopies are up in dd17s room for her to decide. I've donated 6 skirts. Several are nice skirts but not that super-long tea-length that I so love. One of them is a dressy silver-grey taffeta, it's neat, it crinkles & swishes, but it's not my length, and wore only once for a dressy occasion. Out it goes to bless someone praying for a dressy skirt. One hawaiian looking jumper sleeveless type of gauzie dress. Dd16 looked at it and giggled, "Oh Mom...I can't believe you are even considering that... One skirt still has tags on it, it was a gift from my girls 2 yrs ago, it's just not long enough to wear bare legged, and it's strictly spring/summer. I hate to give it, but out it goes for someone else. I should have taken it back but was going to try to make it work. Shucks.

2:34 Oh goodness shazzam... I have definitely done damage to the clutter world here, at least in my closet: 2 pair of hawaiian capris, (won't go in to dd17's reaction LOL) white capris. Lavender long formal satin straight skirt, long formal black velvet straight skirt, they just don't look that great on. Black velvet tunic jacket and straight dress. Dress doesn't fit right and tunic jacket doesn't have a waist, ya know, why do I want to wear a jacket with no waist when I have a waist? Pink & black suit jacket I used to love but it looks huge for me these days, just dated for some reason. Longer green skirt that looks like a Buick on. Polka dot skirt, that I loved; hubs gave it to me with an aqua cardigan set, it's all going, haven't worn it in a while, skirt's too short for my now lower heels. Black velvet dress too short to wear with lower heels. Several and any other sweaters with shorter sleeves if they make my arms look weird. That's the wrap for now...Wowza.

6:59 PM
Supper's being tweaked: & I'm tuckered out. A pink sweater several years old with satin collar never was worn this winter or last...I think it will bless someone else. And to all a sweet sleep & peaceful night.

Here's a lullaby and prayer for you on my other site, VisionForaGodlyHome. Amen.

Today. 1.9.11 Sunday AM:
Good Morning this fine day in the Lord! Will be starting homechurch in the hour, so no decluttering at this time, but the Lord has alerted me to some things I need to pull out of my closet. So later I will be checking in with my finds. So proud of Dd17:

My Photo

...Yesterday I heard clinks, clanks & rumples, not to mention a few boom-boom-booms. Dd17 decluttered her room in less than 30 minutes. There is a glorious pile of stuff on the back porch ready to be donated, outgrown but nice books, purses, decor including a hilarious pile of netting and material from a retired vanity skirt.

3:13 PM Back from a drizzly, cold outing to a quick lunch with hubs & girls. Naptime now but will soon be doing a light declutter item or two. ; ) Evening high-heels look-out....

5:15 PM Haven't quite dove into my closet for those heels yet, it's Sunday and I'm sipping on some hazelnut coffee and eating hot banana bread Dd25 made...Enjoying beautiful music with Dd25 & Dd17: "Radio Ballet" by Eluvium on Pandora. Pandora is a great way to declutter and not buy an excessive amount of cds. Try it. Pandora. ...Be back hopefully with some heels in hand.

5:55 PM Just went in to seize those heels. They are in a shoebox under several other boxes. It's Sunday so it will wait, I like to keep things restful on Sundays & God centered. Yesterday there were a pair of pj bottoms in nice shape that will make it to donations since dds don't need them. Also, yesterday I had found yet another white cap sleeve top! Oh my goodness, did I think there was going to be a prohibition on white tshirt tops? *smiling shaking head* Well it's late now, supper time is upon us. I think I will keep it simple and warm Progresso Tomato Basil soup with some Pita bread sandwiches of some sort. The Greek grocery store has the best fresh pitas ever...They roll down a conveyer belt from an uppper story bakery!

I'm also placing all friendship hurts, usuries & disappointments at the Father's feet we have experienced this year. Yes, we need to declutter those things too from our minds, and ask God to help us do so. God is Just, He is very capable of taking care of those who despitefully use us. We can hop on the Father's lap and tell Him all about it...

To all a good night. Sweet sleep to all. Check out the beautiful lullaby on my

Jesus is Life, He loves you and me. ~Amelia

Things weighing in the balance:
*Snowman cookie jar, a bit chipped, slghtly cracked...Aren't we all? lol Maybe I can use it at our new house in the country? I love snowmen...He is so loveable...But he is seasonal...Help meh somebodehhhh...I think I love the little guy.
*A stoneware gravy dish & saucer. Dds think it's uggy. I think it's practical because the only other one I have is my china one. But how often do we use a gravy dish? Maybe we could use it now that we know where the blasted thing is?
*One white pillar candle perhaps as a storm candle.

Come on back now and see what I've added and decided. Let me know of some of your decluttered items and quandries too! I hope to keep a running total of things here. Let's encourage one another and lift each other up! Amen. : )

Blessings to All! ~Amelia


Carmen said...

My house isn't cluttered because I organize it all in containters for the storage or garage. (Red face Grin!) So, it is on my list to do before Spring gets here. So, I am with you, Mrs. Amelia. ;)

Mary R. said...

Wow, thanks for sharing about your ecclectic family! So interesting and varied! Oh, de-cluttering -- I stopped doing that when my husband retired from the military -- no more incentive. I have now lived in the same house for 11 years, and boy, is it full, and I keep adding more. Some day, I may declutter, but not yet. You are brave, indeed. Congratulations on turning 50! It's not so bad, is it?

Miss Barnard said...

I am so glad I found you since leaving Xanga. I was teachingmissb on there. Well, not I am a Mrs. That's right, my husband and I were married in July and expecting a baby in June! What a year!
Boy do we need to simplify! His oldest son tolds us the other night as we were rummaging through boxes in the basement looking for something-"you could take all of this to goodwill and get a good tax deduction." Yes, we could and we need to before our newest bundle of joy arrives!
Like I said, I am so glad I found you again! I had missed your posts. I'm glad all is going well for you, your husband and children.
God's Blessings, Julie

Amelia said...

Hi Carmen! Oh yay! You will be joining me in Simplify-Simplify! : D I am watching one blog where the lady gets rid of one thing a day. It's interesting...She takes a pic of the item, whether it's a pair of shoes or old antique picture. Some days it's a gadget etc. I learn so much from the minimalist blogs, I need radical minimalism to balance myself out. So freeing! *happy sigh* I'm not there by any means, I'm not even decluttered but I'm on my way though. Thanks so much Carmen!

Hey There Mary! Thanks! Yes, 50 is a different sounding number, but that's okay, I'm still me. : ) Yes, oh yes, 11 years in the same home, I know how that is. We've been here for almost 10 and oh we accumulate, especially with the just-in-cases. : ) Even my gift bin has become a bit pear shaped. ; )

Mrs. B!!! Oh Yay! So glad we crossed paths! It sounds like things are going great for you! A new baby! How exciting! It is really good you are going to join in Simplify-Simplify, and get nice & decluttered before the new little one arrives. : ) I wish I would have been more minimal when my girls were little.

Blessings to you Julie! Please come by again, I so enjoyed hearing from you!

Carmen said...

Mrs Amelia. I would like to peak into that blog. It sounds delightful. My Aunt is also decluttering so she would probably enjoy it as well. ;)

Amelia said...

Hey Gal! One of the blogs is: http://www.365lessthings.com (The one where she posts her declutter items)

Two others:

The Gardener's Cottage (So enchanting, check out Ms. Doris's house) : )

Also there is missminimalist.com

And of course our beloved Flylady!

Lea said...

Well... let's see... do mental lists count? I am not at home at the moment so I can't physically "discard" of this item now.

But if I were at home, I think my item of the day that should go would be a nice brown top that doesn't fit very well.

I've recently started a new giveaway bag which I hope to finish filling up soon! I hope to go though clothes in my white chest and my closet again soon... and my shoes too. I'm learning that it's wonderful having less stuff... a few things that I really like. So much easier when deciding what to wear and doing laundry too! ; )

Yay for getting rid of the green robe, the jumpers and the chef candle holders!!! : D I vote ditch the snowman cookie jar and you know my opinion about the gravy dish and saucer... ; )

Amelia said...

Yay Li-Li!

Your thoughts are right on Dd! I always had just a coat size closet when I was a little girl, and it was so nice! I remember being horrified to see my cousin's house and the 3 sisters' closet that stretched across their bedroom wall, (mirrored sliding doors) which contained literal hills of shoes every which-way piled!

As I grew older, things grew but I was always a minimalist in many ways. Many weeks I would wear the same blue jeans all week with different cute tops and then wash the jeans again.

What hoppened to me? LOL

Maxine said...

All I can say is, I get convicted every time I hear about someone else de-cluttering. I have many needs in this area, but I'm not there yet. It's a long story.

Keep up the good work, dear girl.

Amelia said...

Thanks Maxine! : ) I've been decluttering for years...It's like a drip-drip system for me, a very, very slow process for me. I have a real struggle too so I can sure sympathize...My grandma saved everything. My grandma tells stories of the Depression when she waited for the chicken to lay an egg to make an egg sandwich for my mother's lunch to take to school. Our family lives very 1930s-40s-like but it's a treasure, at least our girls will be able to say, they were taught what was truly important in life. A loving family. I appreciate you coming over to cheer me on! I need the encouragement and prayers too dear friend! : )

Missionfieldof5 said...

Hi Amelia (((Hugs))),
On January 2 of this year...yep 4 days ago...lol...my husband and I loaded up his Ford Winstar van and the back of my Tahoe minus the two back seats full of stuff and took it all to Goodwill...we had been saving for having a garage sale....ummm over a year ago....so we just got rid of it all...

boots, heels, old pasta maker, candles, candle holders, vacuum, kids toys, old boppy pillow, un used car seat, old printer, large bag of scrap fabric that I received off of freecycle...

and more... I cleaned off one of the diningroom bookshelves and made it strictly homeschool supplies. I tossed out 3 bags of stuff and have a grocery bag full of assorted books to go to Goodwill.

I have in my entry hall closet several formal gowns that I need to donate.... On the dining room wall I have a large tapestry to sell, I have a decent sized coffee table that needs to go as well..it is taking up space in my daughters closet...it takes up too much room in the family room and with a new little one on the way the pointy corners are a hazard...I wish we had the foresight to look ahead when we buy furniture when we are single!!!

There is more I am sure....oh unused kitchen utensils that was another big bag I got rid of... I know there are goodies for the offering under both bathroom sinks!! If it hasn't been used in the last 6mo. it needs to go.

Have a blessed week!!

Amelia said...

Oh my! *standing ovation* : D

So gald to hear from you! (((hugs!)))
That is so inspiring! I've been a regular setting up pick-ups for the Vets etc. It is SO wonderful! I was recently recently at Goodwill with my girls on an expedition and I am so glad to know they have a drop-off window there. I may take advantage of it too.

You are doing great! Thanks for giving us inspiration, I too gave up on garage sales and ya know? It's so much easier to give to others knowing you will bless someone in one way or another.

Bless you!

Carmen said...

Mrs. Amelia. I will post my "Organizing" on Saturdays. Sometimes it will be in "real" time and some times not depending on our business trips. This week, I will hit the Kiddos toys.

Thanks for the blog sites. (hugs)

Amelia said...

Oh Yay!!! Can't wait-can't wait!

Muah! (kiss on the cheek) : )

Marianna said...

Okay, I have a whole bag full of items on their way out in my room... and a laundry basket full of items that need to be tried on hanging in the balance.

But, since The Challenge has begun, I have given away a brand new flower blazer that still had the tags on.. which I've had for a few years. Suddenly, I realized that it looked like something my grandma would enjoy, and because of that simple fact, it was certainly reason enough why she should have it.

Today, I opened a lonely drawer of scarves, and gave away *10* lovely scarves that I didn't need or love. Now they are set free into the world to bless someone else with. ;)

Amelia said...

Mariannii!!!!!!!!! Yay!

It's a cinch by the inch and hard by the yard right? Wow. And some of those scarves are so very Victoriana too. But if they aren't the right size and you aren't using them and know you won't because of the size...then it's great you will be able to bless someone else! xxxooo