Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dealing with a mountain of decor

A few items that made the cut to come with me. The Edison lights on the patio are new :-) 

Two weeks in, we've almost won the war of the boxes. That's partly because we stuck more than a dozen of them up in the attic.  They may be the same boxes that have traveled with us through multiple moves, containing very useful stuff like old trophies, karate belts, clothes for Cabbage Patch kids, Lionel trains, erector sets, and 99,000 photos, give or take a few. 

I'm taking the Gone With The Wind route.... “I'll think of it tomorrow. I can stand it then. After all, tomorrow is another day.” 

Somewhere along the line of moving enough times that I could have moved every other year for my entire life, I figured out that handling old decor is possibly the worst part. (Except for the exhaustion and every part of your body hurting night after night.)

We women love decor. So we buy it. Then we can't part with it, because we either paid too much, bought too much, or it's still darned cute and should go somewhere. But it doesn't. 

So for anyone out there about to make the horrible decision to move over school break, let me impart some wisdom. Take as many big boxes as you need, and start pulling all the decor from your house. It doesn't matter what room it's in now, just pack it all up together. Mark the box 'Decor'. 

While you're doing this, if you don't really, really, really, really, really love it, give it away. To girlfriends, to people you don't like, or to Goodwill. Just don't take it to the next house because you won't like it any more there than you did at the last one. 

If it has a lot of sentimental value, but doesn't go with your house at all, take a photo of it, and give it away anyway. If the person who gave it to you ever comes to see you, you can tell the teensiest of white lies and tell them it must have gotten lost in the move. So sad! Not that I'm necessarily confessing to ever having done this myself. 

Then when you move, have the movers or volunteers or people who owe you big time unload all the decor boxes (marked accordingly) into a spot in your garage. Don't unpack a single bit of it, until you have all your furniture in, your pantry stocked, and the washer and dryer hooked up. 

Then send everyone away for the day if you can. Take your decor boxes into your house, one at a time, and unload them all onto the dining room table (kitchen table will do, but not as good), and then let the fun begin. 

Start shopping through all of your old decor, and remember that you don't have to use something the way it was used in your old house. You don't have to put stuff back in the same rooms. It should feel like a free day at the Home Goods Store, or Hobby Lobby, just picking and choosing from the table and putting stuff out or up on the walls of the rooms of your new house. 

And when you're done, whatever is left over, give it away. All of it. To someone. To anyone. Just don't keep it, because if you didn't set it out at the beginning in this new house you never will. 

I read a book by Anne Ortlund, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, over 30 years ago, and she said that anything we hold on to, but don't use is a blessing we withhold from someone else. 

So go bless someone else. 

By the way, you can do this even if you're not moving. Go through your house this spring (while you're doing your spring cleaning that I personally never do myself) (which is okay since I apparently move all the time). Take down any decor you don't love anymore, or you're tired of how it looks. Pile it all up in one spot (again, preferably the dining room table) and shop to redecorate rooms in your house. Then what's left over - get rid of it. 

Go bless someone else. 

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