The Big Clean Out

One of my goals in retirement has been to start the big clean out. That’s what everyone says you need to do when you retire.

Of course, I could have started during all those months in isolation during the pandemic, but instead my husband and I built shelves during that time so although there was not less stuff, at least it looked as though there was less stuff.

But as the philosopher says, “The longest journey begins with a single step.” Or something along those lines. So, I started the big clean out with a few little clean outs. At this point, the basement is still a little too much for me to tackle.

I decided to start with a few junk drawers. It was interesting to see how many drawers had been designated as junk drawers. And what had been designated as junk.

The greatest revelation has been how many pairs of scissors we own – 10. What is most surprising is that when we need them, we can never find them. Maybe that’s how we ended up with so many. I don’t know what the perfect number of scissors is, but I’m going to going to say that it is less than 10.

We also seem to have a need to measure things. (Keep it clean people.) We have multiple rulers, tape measures and large tape measurers for measuring rooms. I don’t have the final count, but it’s definitely in the double digits.

But we have no yard sticks. Do people even use yardsticks anymore? Since I think most people only used them to spank their children, they probably don’t sell them anymore. Let me know if you own one.

The tool boxes (yes plural) have been a revelation as well! Four hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches that I’m afraid to count and two levels. And of course, we saved every allen wrench from every piece of IKEA furniture that we have purchased during our 36 years of marriage. I may have to take up welding and create some sort of allen wrench monument to use them all.

I am very confused by finding so much stuff in my house. I have always considered myself organized and when my staff took me out to celebrate my retirement, they commented, multiple times, on my propensity to clean and organize. So, what happened? How did all these things get into my house and what do I do with them now that they are here?

If I were able to throw them out, I would have, but it seems so wasteful. Is there a place to donate these things?

I feel as though I am failing retirement 101 and I haven’t even gotten to the hard part. Calgon take me away!

Starting the Next Phase

I am currently working on my closet and have to restrain myself from throwing away all my work clothes. I really think I should keep a few just in case.

Another problem with my closet is finding things that are no longer “useful” but hold such great memories. For example, I heard bell bottom jeans are making a comeback and I’m sure after a few weeks on Weight Watchers I will fit into them again. Right?

I’m not making head away.

I think cleaning out my husband’s closet would help me clean out my closet. He doesn’t agree.

So far, I have emptied one tub. I guess I shouldn’t mention I emptied it by taking books out of it and putting them back on the bookshelf.  Still, it felt good to see an empty tub.

Maybe an electronic cleanup of our computers would be easier.

I hope to have an update in October that I have successfully completed Stage 1 of the big clean out. At this point, I am gathering these items in my daughter’s old room until I figure out what to do next. Pretty soon, I’m going to need another room since my husband has prohibited anything else going in the basement.

All advice appreciated!

If you have any ideas for my blog, please email me at ksparis15@gmail.com

Published by Parisgirl

Finding my path into the next phase of my life and helping others do the same.

2 thoughts on “The Big Clean Out

  1. I found a thrift shop where the profits go to support children in foster care. Knowing I was donating to something like this helped me decide to donate it. I wrote a post about this topic called “Decluttering Discovery.” I like to think I am organized, too, but our basement is a big project waiting for me. Good luck!

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