We are down to the wire in organizing our household for a giant leap to life in New Hampshire and things aren’t going so well. First, there’s the little worry that we’re moving north when the New England weather is a bit unpredictable. I assured the moving company that the driveway will be clear of snow and ice… and I hope we can guarantee that.

But that’s not the big problem. The biggest headache comes with downsizing. mister gardener had no problem parting with material goods saved through the years. Purging the furniture was easy for me. I marked items we can’t take with green stickers and invited siblings to a gifting party. They came for two days and maybe a third day soon. mister gardener has visited DAV many times in the last couple of weeks. The local humane society will soon come for more furniture for an auction, the public library has dozens and dozens of our well-loved books and clothing wardrobes have been reduced. And it makes me happy to see the faces of the happy recipients.

It’s personal things that are giving me trouble. Am I an honest-to-goodness hoarder? You can’t see clutter when you walk in this home. All the cache is hidden neatly in closets and drawers, behind cupboards and well-organized in plastic containers. When I’ve watched the TV show, Buried Alive, I shake my head in disbelief at a homeowner’s inability to SEE the worthless piles of possessions.

But the emotions I have when having to let go of sentimental items connects me with those Buried Alive folks. Every personal item I handle evokes emotion. My solution is to purge in layers. The easy things go first. The things I must handle and say goodbye to go second. I’m on level 3 now. Personal possessions are in piles. I stare at them a lot. My childhood dolls stare back. I am looking through years of children’s Mother’s Day cards and their kindergarten schoolwork, two dozen photo albums, letters from friends, newspaper clippings of family members, wedding invitations. Emotions…. Memories…..

Those who help hoarders say to imagine your house is burning and you have minutes to save possessions. What would you save? I answer that I might not survive the fire because I would have a hard time making up my mind. It’s painstaking and slow but it will be done.

4 thoughts on “Purge-atory!

  1. Possessions are only things; memories are precious..
    Reminds me of these lyrics from a Simon and Garfunkel song.

    “Time it was and what a time it was it was,
    A time of innocence a time of confidences.

    Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
    Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.”


    • Sometimes we need those Mother’s Day cards from our kids to remind us of those memories though. I don’t think I could part with those, but Annie, you seem to be in a place where you can. I admire your fortitude.
      And Tides, that S&G song always moved me. sigh…………..so simple and to the point.


  2. Moving is such a hard task especially when a big downsizing is necessary! I feel your pain as I feel the same way about some of my things!! I think you will feel better once the purge is over. I always do!! Good luck!


  3. Wow, a sweet, and tough to read, heartfelt entry. The new homeowners obviously appreciate the home, river, and the horticulture as much as you did, and your making each planting personal to them will certainly assure their being well taken care of.


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