The De-Cluttering Express

Sunday Morning, August 28, 2016

After I ate breakfast, I read the paper and washed my hair. That done, I made a run to Walgreens for some black plastic bags for discards. Lauren, the lovely black girl, was working the register. I made it a point to smile and tell her good morning and the smile was returned.

Then I set to work, filling a black garbage bag with trash. Then I put things that no longer brought me joy into boxes to donate on Tuesday morning. I find this a wonderful exercise. For a while, longer than a decade, I kept many of Bob’s mementos from his life. Today it gave me more joy to let them go than to keep them. Among the discards: A pair of his black plastic glasses from the 70’s. I kept the last pair he wore in case Rob should want them. But you can’t win in these things. If I asked, Rob would probably have wanted the plastic ones. So I have to make the call to let them go.

I got rid of several bags worth of clothes that no longer give me pleasure to wear for different reasons. Feelings of guilt arose, but I reminded myself that someone would enjoy them. Yesterday I de-cluttered the kitchen hutch and built-in desk shelves there. I felt very good about that paring down. Right after Bob died, I declared the hutch to be a brand new space for me. And through the years, it got over-filled with beautiful things. So now I have less there, which is more.

In the bathroom I got rid of some accessories, a wooden madonna and a stained-glass angel. They shall go to the two women who clean house for me. And last of all, I took a ceramic angel that I gave Bob for Christmas long ago and put it out with all of the other discards. As I recall, he was not especially fond of it. Besides he is an angel himself now.

“My burden is easy and my yoke is light.” Jesus

Vicki Woodyard


  1. Interesting and helpful for me to read as I approach the 8th year since Linda’s death I am beginning to see glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel yet still struggle to let bygones be bygones. I am a hoarder by nature so it remains one step at a time but your approach of discarding things that “no longer bring me joy” is simple and direct making it a little easier to let go of the past while allowing space for the future to be a new lease on life.


    1. Hoarding must be awful. If anything I tend to throw away things before I need to. Bob left the basement for me to declutter and I used it as therapy.


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