It’s that time of year again.  Time to take a hard look at the accumulation of stuff around the house.  I don’t think we have a lot of clutter, I mean, the stuff is stashed in closets and the doors do close, so it’s not really clutter, right? Where to start? I always think garage, but Monty watched one session with Marie Konda and is convinced everything in the garage brings him great joy.  How can I argue with that?

In our twenty-five years of marital bliss, I have suggested numerous times we might sort through the clothes closet we share.  Monty meets my suggestion with a smile and proclaims great joy at having every shirt he owns hanging where he has easy access.  The mere suggestion that we create a change of season box for winter/summer items is met with a firm NOPE.   Periodically I cull some of my clothes but Monty looks a little anxious when I announce my stuff is going to find a new home. He laughs and asks if he has to peek through the bag to make sure none of his shirts are being re-homed.  He’s joking, but I recognize the anxiety in his voice. 

Re-homing some of my clothes is a joke really.  I mean the good blouse I wore to work in 1999 is still my good blouse. A girl can’t just get rid of the good blouse.  No one else would grant this distinction to my favorite blouse so I just keep it.  

A couple of weeks ago my good friend Susie, proudly showed me pictures of her closet and drawer re-do. It was magical, socks rolled to perfection, everything in color coordinated bins with easy access.  Her shirts were hung like a rainbow.  Marie Kondo should award Susie a gold star.  I was in awe of the whole thing.  I admit a little closet envy snuck into my voice as I congratulated her on a great job.  It’s just never going to happen at the Bonello residence.   

Since nothing was going to change in the clothes closet I took on the   mission to sort through the travel closet, yes, we have a closet devoted to travel. It is filled with Motorhome magazines, each one with yellow stickies touting the wonders of a trip to . . .  almost anywhere a motorhome can take you.  We have old fold-out maps for almost every state and topo maps for the West.  The maps take up a lot of room because I don’t have the required PhD in map folding. 

The task of clearing  brochures, flyers, and assorted pages from various magazines some dating back to 1995, is not a simple job.  You’d think with all the information available on the Internet we’d simply chuck all this stuff, but that yellow sticky with the hint about a roadside attraction outside of Memphis  might be just the thing to tickle our imagination  for our next trip.  

Long before we retired in 2002 I started saving travel articles.  We have a huge accordion file with fifty folds.  Each one represents a state and contains information on State or National Parks, must see  waterfalls, and scenic drives. When the file got too heavy for me to lift I resorted to marking magazines with tabs identifying the travel articles by state.  I can pull a stack of magazines and quickly flip through the tabs. Then there are the four 16 gallon rubbermaid boxes marked, Northeast,  Northwest, South and Southwest.   Let’s face it nobody gets too excited about a trip to Kansas unless grandkids live there.       

 I resolve, this time I’m going to be ruthless with my decluttering and toss the Mississippi 2004 events catalog.  On second thought many events are held yearly and we might want to be reminded of the Crawdad Festival the second week in April.  I better save that one.  Oh, and then there was that special trip to Maine we loved.  The list of the ten best lobster shacks in Maine will never be tossed out.  No surprise, I didn’t make a significant dent in the travel closet.  

Some people might think it is foolish to save all this stuff, but it brings Monty and I great joy to remember past trips and plan for new adventures.  I think even Marie would say it’s OK to let it be.

 One thing for sure, wherever we go, we are going to have clothes for every season at our finger tips.   The clothes closet will never get a re-do

 

14 replies
  1. Susie
    Susie says:

    Marie would definitely give you a gold star for going through your travel closet and confirming that it truly gives you joy…all of it! 🙂 Way to go Carrie!
    But, to be clear…..I’ve seen your house and it in no way represents clutter or disorganization. So Marie would be hard pressed to find areas that need her expertise.
    XOXO

    Reply
  2. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    I love reading all of your musings, Carrie, but this one hit particularly close to home. I keep trying to clear out and meet the same sort of resistance from Roger that you do from Monty. Roger has a HUGE container filled with every map, handout, magazine info, etc. for every trip we have ever taken — 49 years worth. When I suggest cleaning it out, I’m met with…”Huh, we might want to go back to those places sometime.”
    All of my stuff, on the other hand, brings me JOY so it’s not going anywhere either — no matter what he suggests!
    Oh well — this will give our kids something to do once we venture to the great beyond!
    Thanks for sharing – I love your musings!

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      The kids will just have to throw up their hands and surrender to the Goodwill. I hear Roger, Monty won’t even get rid of holey socks!

      Reply
  3. Anne Wood
    Anne Wood says:

    Carrie, I do wish this article would inspire me to “get to it” but I am afraid the wheel of antipathy “I’ll get around to it” has won the day.
    Anne

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      I love the wheel of antipathy “I’ll get around to it” When I was working I had a round circle on my office door that said “Round to it”

      Reply
  4. Ruth Riggs
    Ruth Riggs says:

    You saved me. About noon today I decided to organize and discard some of the clutter at my house. First, read my e-mail. Luckily you had sent me notice of your “Amazing Musings.” I decided if Carrie can’t do it, neither can I. On to another venture today. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. sandy lorenz
    sandy lorenz says:

    We are flying to N.J. next month to visit & do some sightseeing. It’s been 7 years since we last visited. We had the most delicious Italian meal but couldn’t remember name/exact location. That’s why we save all those special pamphlets, travel literature. Looking forward to another evening of great homemade pasta specialties & desserts.

    Reply
  6. Cindy Lutz
    Cindy Lutz says:

    I too cannot get rid of items I probably may NEVER need or use again. Luckily Bob is a bit better about “somethings” we can get rid of. Actually those items might be all of mine, now that I think about it. Haha. I wish I could invite people into my house for a decluttering day. Although that would probably be too overwhelming even for them.

    Good read Carrie. Have a great summer. Hugs Cindy

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      Monty worries I’ll get crazy and toss something he might want. He even keeps holey socks but as long they are in his drawer I guess it doesn’t matter. Life is grand!

      Reply
  7. Pat
    Pat says:

    Had a friend who said she had a rule…….for every new article of clothing that entered the closet an old one had to go. Her husband said that was true but the trouble was that every time she bought something new, something of his disappeared.

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      That’s priceless, I love it. Monty looked through his side of the closet and decided the crowding problem was due to empty hangers so he got rid of those. Ya gotta’ love him.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *