Cleaning Out

The boyfriend is away on his annual two-week guy’s fishing trip. The timing is actually perfect, as it gives me a chance to stay home and work around my house before we start the last few big projects. My list seems endless, and there’s no way I’ll get everything done in two weeks. But, if I throw myself into it, I should be able to make a nice dent.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m getting the house ready to put on the market. There’s a long list of things that need to be taken care of, from replacing light fixtures, to installing trim and windows. Luckily I’m a fairly handy person, so I can do a lot of the work myself. My biggest concentration over the next two weeks though is going to be cleaning things out. With my small house I try to keep the clutter to a minimum. I’ll admit though I’ve gotten a little lax since I started spending most of my time at the boyfriend’s house. Lately I tend to “stop by” the house more often than I actually stay there, which lends itself to walking in the door and dumping things on the table. Paperwork that needs filed away. Christmas presents that I never decided what to do with. Seasonal items that need put away. I’m hoping over the next few weeks to be able to pair down considerably. As I’m running things through my head though, I’m having trouble deciding what I should and shouldn’t be getting rid of.

Some decisions will have to wait until I have a better idea of what the future holds. I’m 100% convinced that selling the house is the best decision, both financially and emotionally. Right now though, I’m not 100% sure where I’m going once I sell the house. I know, that sounds so strange. There’s a very good chance that the boyfriend and I will be moving in together. But, there’s also a chance that I may need to move to another city for a job. In which case, I’d be moving to an apartment/rental. I see positives in both situations. Obviously, what I need to keep as far as furniture and housewares goes will vary greatly depending on where I move. After all, the boyfriend already has dishes, a couch, a bed, etc. If we move in together, it will be a decision between the two of us on what to keep, and what to sell/donate. If I’m on my own, I’ll be keeping more stuff.

There are some things I’ll be keeping regardless; My mom’s china, my grandmother’s wedding silver, my great-grandmother’s tea set. I plan to scale down my wardrobe to what I actually wear, but obviously I’m keeping my clothes. And there are some things I’ll be getting rid of regardless, like the riding lawn mower. But there are other things that I’m torn on. I’d like to sell as much stuff as possible, to roll into my debt snowball. But there are some things that hold sentimental value.

Like my camera from college. I was very into photography in college, working as a photographer for the college newspaper, and photo editor for the yearbook. I practically lived in the darkroom. I was rarely seen on campus without my camera around my neck. It’s a 35mm Canon Rebel G EOS. I have the standard lens, along with a long-range lens.

Sentimentally, I love the camera. I love the idea that someday I’ll get back into photography. But, let’s be honest, film is a thing of the past. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with film. But it isn’t exactly easy to find. It isn’t easy to have developed. I’d have to get the equipment if I wanted to develop it myself, and I’m a long ways off from investing that kind of time and money into a hobby. Plus, I only have experience working with black and white. Then again, it isn’t like selling the camera is going to make or break my debt snowball. I could maybe get a couple hundred bucks out of everything, if I’m lucky.

It’s decisions like this that have me on the edge. At what point do you let go? When looked at individually, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But, if I held on to everything that I felt an attachment to, then it’s a much bigger thing. I don’t want to regret the things that I let go. But, then again, when was the last time I actually used the camera? 5 years ago? 10?

Over the next two weeks I’ll be going through the house cleaning, reorganizing, and clearing out. I keep reminding myself that not every decision needs to be made today. I’ll cut the obvious things, and think about the others. Some decisions will be easier once I know where I’m moving. Some decisions will be hard no matter what. But at some point, we all have to move on. Right?

– Cindy W.


  1. We desperately need to do some spring cleaning too. It was so cold when we moved that we just dumped a ton of stuff in our garage and didn’t go through it. Once it warms up, we’re going to sort through things and get rid of a ton of stuff!

    1. The weather has definitely not been helping! I got very little done this winter; It’s hard to stay motivated when it’s ridiculously cold outside and you’re dealing with so much snow!I’m more motivated now that it’s a little bit warmer. I’m hoping I can keep it up through this next cold snap!

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