Clean House Challenge
Hey friends,

This weekend Tom and I had the responsibility of cleaning out our sweet Peggy's apartment. Several family members and some of her closest friends were there to help us.
(Thank goodness).
Her church provides a wonderful service to church members, they will come and collect anything the family doesn't want and then once a year the church holds a community yard sale as a fundraiser. These sweet angels have this down to a science and helped us complete our task in just 6 non-stop fast paced hours.

On the one hand it felt good to get things cleaned up and out but on the other hand I felt much like a vulture as we picked through EVERYTHING she owned. There were particular items Peggy had promised to family and friends and then there was the rest of her things and there was a ton (literally) of it. We actually filled an entire dumpster with stuff no one could use, sell or donate.

Let me mention here, Tom and I agreed twenty years ago that we would never squabble over or fight other family members for "things" knowing there are a few who would insist on taking everything not nailed to the floor. We entered into Saturday's task fully prepared to give it all away and walk away with nothing. We started with Peggy's distribution list then moved on.

Why am I telling you all of this? All of this was a huge wake-up call for me. I would absolutely die (if I wasn't already dead) if my family members/friends had to go through all of my things.
Oh my goodness, I'm certain I have more "stuff" than I could possibly ever use.
After spending all day cleaning up and clearing our Peggy's apartment we went home and I cleaned out 6 dresser drawers. I'm determined to pair down and donate a ton (literally) of "Stuff"

I want to offer a Clean House challenge to each of you.
Over the next few months I'm committed to donating at least 4 bags or boxes of stuff each month to charity.
I hope you will join the challenge and will keep us posted on your progress.
I know we'd all love to see before and after pictures.
Remember my organized storage room?

I can't wait to see what you're donating.
Just think how much faster we will be able to clean our houses without all the stuff that needs to be dusted or washed or folded or put away.
Who knows I just might find the time to read a good book.
Got any goods ones to recommend?


Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Zoe,

Looks like you had a busy weekend. Just stopped by to tell you hello and let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.


Blogger Julie Coleman said...

Six hours!!! Are you kidding me?? That's totally awesome! We spent days and days cleaning out my dad's house when he moved in with my sister. It was agonizing. When you throw away their stuff, it feels like you are throwing away the people you love.

I am taking on your challenge. My house has gotten worse and worse since I left teaching and enrolled in seminary. I was studying day and night and was lucky to get the dishes done. Now that I have graduated, I was just looking around today and realizing how far I have let things go. This beautiful spring weather is motivation to get going on getting cleaned out!! No closet is safe! The basement had better watch out! Dirt beware! Your time has come!

Blogger Chef Diane said...


I can't imagine having to go through someone's things after they have passed. Never had to do that yet and don't look forward to it. However when my husband left I realized that there was a lot of stuff that was not needed. It has been a process of gradually packing up and not knowing where I stand. Living out of boxes for a couple years. But the one thing that I decided was almost along the same lines as you. I don't want people to have to deal with my stuff after I am gone.
I thought about the "collections" that were important to me. God has shown me that none of it is that important and that we can be just fine without it.
I admire your challenge and sure Goodwill will love seeing you as a frequent cleaner.
Don't get lost in the clutter,

Blogger Joyful said...

Zoe, I started doing this in January and I've made such tremendous progress. Gave away 6 garbage bags full of things just going through closets alone! It's such a good feeling to clear out. I posted pics of my organized closet, bathroom cupboards and computer room on Facebook in an album.

I've slowed down right now as family concerns have me busy all day...but I will get back to it.

Trust all is well with you,

Blogger JottinMama said...

I'm in for the challenge! We have WAY too much "stuff". I'm gonna start today. With another babe on the way - this is perfect timing.

Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed week.

-Kate :)

Blogger Chef Diane said...

Me again,

I was going through my knives and chef's tools my "stuff" today and I got to thinking about your post. When I did my training most of it was done under a Swiss Chef. He gave me so much in the way of knowledge but he also gave me two knives and a set of cutters. As I took the cutters (a set of circles to make perfect circle patterns) out to clean them, I thought about the day he gave them to me. I was only 17 years old. Those cutters and knives have been in my possession through all the years and been all the places since I got them. If they could talk what stories they could tell.
This past Christmas my oldest got the chance to go to the establishment where this Chef worked for a very long time. When he inquired if he still worked there, they told him the Chef passed away last fall. However the hostess remembered me (she must be really old). Anyway it brought back so many memories.

Zoe, there are two things I guess I learned today.
1) In light of the cleaning out due to a death, maybe it will make us take the time to look at our "stuff". If there is something that holds special meaning, tell a loved one the story,give it value. If you can't tell it, write it down. I think about the dumpster of "stuff" you threw away, wonder if maybe there was a lost story.
2) Be careful as you go through the stuff, you will get lost in those memories.

In any case thank you for triggering that memory,

Blogger Oh Dear said...

I am totally feelng it! I spend way too much time on STUFF in our home. We have 3 kids, one loves "stuff" and plays with it and another is just old enough to drag it all over the house. Not to mention family who love them so much (if you know what I am saying)! We have PLENTY to give!

Anonymous Lori said...

Hi Zoe,
I love organizing and decluttering! I'm trying something new this year; it was actually one of my resolutions...I don't usualy write them down, but for some reason this year I wrote 5 goals and placed them where I will see them everyday...One happened to do with your topic. I divided our home into 12 sections. Each month I do one section. I'm doing a real thorough job of cleaning the section, along with donating items we do not use...some areas are easier than others. {my closet being the most difficult.} Anyway, I've done Jan. & Feb., but not March. Better start thinking about that as this month is 1/2 over with already!

Thanks for your inspiring words!

Lori - Mesa, AZ

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