People & Places: A hard but refreshing task


Clara Garcia

People & Places

I don’t think I’m unlike a lot of people when I say I don’t like to clean my house but I like my house to be clean.

With that said, my house is not dirty but it can get a little unkept from time to time. With a busy schedule and tendency to keep some things, I recently found myself in a bit of a conundrum.

OK, I know what you’re thinking: she’s a hoarder. No, not at all. In fact, I think of myself as the opposite for the most part.

Over the summer, I realized it was time for a deep cleaning. I needed to get rid of some stuff we had never used in our utility room, jackets from our coat closet and miscellaneous items in our junk drawers.

Realizing I had a lot of work ahead of me, I did what I assume many would like to do. I took off a week from work to clean.

Not really thinking of what I was getting myself into, I started on my tasks. On the first day, I tackled our coat closet and our utility room.

As I was going through our jackets, coats and sweaters, I thought to myself, “What the heck are we doing with so many? We live in New Mexico!”

It took me about an hour or so to separate which ones I was keeping and the ones I was donating. Then I tackled our utility room, which again was quite an easy task.

With the first day done, I took the first carload of items to the second-hand store. It felt great — I felt the first of my decluttering high.

The second day was a bit more stressful though. I tackled our closet, a couple of junk drawers, and two kitchen cupboards, including that ever-so-disorganized plastic food containers.

The second and third days were probably the hardest. There was a lot of stuff — clothes and shoes, bags and purses, books and pictures.

While there was a lot of items to go through, I found several lost treasurers — my daughter’s first pair of glasses, a cassette tape featuring my husband singing our song and an old work tape recorder I still haven’t listened to.

I had yet another two loads to donate, and a trash can full of items no one would want. I was really making a good-sized dent but my work was not over!

On the fourth and last day (I needed at least one day of rest) of my adventure, I tackled the catch-all room that used to be my daughter’s room and closet. Before Caitlin moved out of state more than two years ago, she brought a lot of miscellaneous items to store.

The room is also used as my home office, a playroom for the grandchildren, my craft space and our guest bedroom.

The closet, on the other hand, was a catch-all space for everything it seemed like. That’s where Caitlin stored her stuff and where we stored the stuff we didn’t know what to do with. So there was a lot to go through.

At one point while cleaning these spaces, I actually ran out of plastic trash bags.

It was hot, I was sweaty but I finally got it done. My home was and still is finally decluttered. In all, I took four trips to the second-hand store.

It feels refreshing to be done with this project, and knowing it will probably be another 22 years before I’ll have to do it all over again.



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