Saying Goodbye

August 1, 2014



I just threw away several large white tablecloths. Yup. You heard me. I threw them away. I did not donate them, I did not upcycle them, I did not pass them on to a neighbor or friend. I took them out of the linen closet, put them into a giant garbage bag and tossed them.


It was very freeing.

I have discussed my recent quest for a simpler life before, a home not overrun by stuff, but filled only with treasures that I deem essential. Of course, I still want to look at family photos and cherished pieces from my dish collection. I just no longer want to spend my potential free time dusting an endless array of tchotchkes and climbing over boxes filled with items I may (or most likely may not) use someday...

 ...which brings me back to those tablecloths.

I have cleaned out my super teeny tiny linen closet so many times over the last decade, I can't even count. Every single time, I'd pull out those cloths, look at the HUGE stains all over them, stains I had tried numerous times to get out with no luck, shrug, fold them up and put them back in the closet.  Plain white tablecloths, they were not expensive, I don't remember where I got them or who may have given them to me, so they were certainly not sentimental, yet I could not throw them away.  Until today. What changed, I don't really know. Or maybe I do.

Sad news, a move...they were the kind of events that get you thinking about what really matters. Suddenly stained tablecloths became extremely unimportant. Their value diminished to almost nothing. I thought about how many hours I wasted arranging and rearranging that closet to make everything fit. Then there were the hours I wasted thinking about the overcrowded space, stepping over clean laundry baskets filled with the sheets that wouldn't fit inside, because of the stained tablecloths on the shelves. I don't want to waste hours stressing about silly things like that anymore.

Last night, I sat in a recliner in my mom's room. We watched Modern Family reruns with other family members and laughed...a lot. Even my mom. I cut flowers from my garden and brought them to her the night before and fed her fruit. When I came home, I cuddled up on the couch, held my kids close, breathed in their delicious scents while we watched a movie until the wee hours. These are the things I want to spend time doing.

It took me a mere ten minutes to organize that closet today. I was mercenary as I went through each shelf. Now, every single item in it is important to me or necessary and more importantly it all fits easily. No muss, no fuss. I guess sometimes you have to say goodbye to the unimportant things in your life to make room for the stuff that really counts.

Besides, I'm really more of a placemat girl.

  


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36 comments:

  1. Oh m word, good for you. I just did the same thing with my linen closet and my chest in the breakfast area. They were both full and now they aren't. They are filled with the things that we really use.

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    1. I love the feeling after I purge, Marty, but the actually purging is hard to do! :)

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  2. Good for you! I usually repurpose or donate things, too. But I have definitely been there when something is just GOING! No guilt, no regrets, just freedom. Over the years, I have become so much more selective about what I bring into my home.

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    1. I think that is the key!! I have become more selective, as well, but I have years of binge home décor shopping treasures to weed out! ;)

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  3. Hi Kim,
    Congratulations on the freeing clean-up!

    It feels really good to simplify like that, and it also feels like a personal victory every time you see a storage closet where everything fits easily.

    Happy Friday to you:)

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    1. I agree Constance, that is just how I felt...like I had won! I hope I can keep it up! :)

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  4. Hi Kim, good for you at least you were busy and productive today cleaning out things and organizing closets! You must feel really good! Enjoy your weekend.
    Julie

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  5. Hi Kim,

    Well done - it can be very liberating getting rid of things like this. I have to do the same thing around my home.
    Happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. I am determined to simplify, but it's always harder that I anticipate to say goodbye to my stuff!

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  6. Ha ha!! How many placemats do you have? I'm just kidding ya. I have a pile of those placemats too. They were my husband's moms and he thinks they are important. We've never used them and they have stains. One of these days....

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    1. Haha Stacey! I hear you loud and clear! I actually do use my placemats often and sometimes, I have used old ones to make pillow covers. Those tablecloths however...ugh...they just sat in that closet FOREVER. I'm ashamed to say that I think I moved with them!! Stains and all!! What was I thinking?!?! Good luck with your placemats!;)

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  7. Oh, Kim; I've done so much of the very same thing the past couple of years! It feels great to fit in our space, doesn't it?

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    1. Yes Nancy, it certainly does and I LOVE your phrase...to fit in our space. Amazing how easily we overfill our homes, isn't it and with what?

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  8. I appreciate the sentiment of this post, Kim. "The important things in life aren't things" is a quote I saw a few years ago, and one I keep in mind often. I'm glad you had a time of laughter with your mom, and cuddling time with your kids. Building more lovely memories. Good. xxx ~ Nancy

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    1. Exactly Nancy ~ that quote hits the nail on the head! I just need a reminder every now and again! Thanks for the heartfelt comment, as always! ;)

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  9. Ouch! Kim, you hit a nerve! My linen closet has two shelves, stuffed full of things rarely used. That certain table cloth or other shower curtain might come in handy, you know . . . someday. NOT. I guess today would be a good time to purge. Too hot to work outside. Thanks for the push.

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    1. Hi Cheryl, I just couldn't look as those cloths anymore. I was honestly never going to use them. No idea why they were so hard to toss, but I am glad they're gone now!

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  10. makes perfect sense to me! If they were stained, a mission or thrift store couldn't sell them...and sometimes you just have to DO it! :) I use a tablecloth 2x per year...Thanksgiving and Christmas..that's about it! :)

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    1. That's what I thought, Deb! I have friends who told me that someone would buy them and get the stains out, but they weren't vintage, so I figured the store would just chuck them anyway! Thanks for making me feel a bit better! :)

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  11. I hear you......I need to do that with coats!My coats share the linen closet..............I will get there!

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    1. Oh you are a brave girl, I am not sure I could be as mercenary with coats!! Good luck!

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  12. I gasped when I read that you threw out two tablecloths. As I read further it made perfect sense, thank you.

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    1. Sandra Lee, it was hard for me, believe me, I am not a "throw away" kind of girl...but there may be more to this story. Stay tuned! :)

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  13. Kim, you are a woman on a mission, and there's nothing that's going to get in your way...especially stained tablecloths! KUDOS for tossing them out of your linen closet and out of you life! Yes, now there's more room in your mind to really do some soul searching, instead of trouble shooting what soap will get out those stains! Enjoy your newly found freedom, my friend!

    Poppy

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    1. I am on a mission, Poppy!! The more I toss the better I feel...I love when everything has a place and clean up is quick so I can move on the better things! Like emailing friends!! ;)

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  14. Kim, not only do we share the love (and past) of the dance, but of a simpler décor sensibility. I too am a "tosser" so much so that when my parents passed away, family members RUSHED to me to ask if they could have this, have that, for fear that I would toss things without any bit of sentimentality. I did keep precious family photos and heirlooms, but like you have stated, I too only have certain objects of interest that are either vintage, antique, or eye-catching. My home is a place for me to breathe and think, move freely and not have so much to clean!

    Bravo to you for not feeling the slightest compelled to hang on to those tablecloths. I use mats too on a worn but waxed farmhouse table. I love it!

    Thank you so much for stopping by this morning!!! Anita

    Thank

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    1. Anita, the older I get the more space I need around me. We recently cleared my mom's home too, when she moved into (and recently out of) a nursing home. There was SO MUCH stuff and most of it was unnecessary. I came home and looked around and realized that less is so much more! I have a worn farmhouse table, as well, and those placemats allow the beauty of it to show!

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  15. Good on you for finding the courage to get rid of unnecessary things. It's not as easy as we think! We are right in the middle of doing just that, and are doing our best to be ruthless! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Val @ artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca

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    1. Ruthless is not in my nature either!! It has been tough, but it feels great! Good luck!

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  16. You are sooo right! Loved this post. I have been doing the same thing for the last week. The trash company is not liking me much about right now. :) I don't know why I find the need to hold on to things I know I will never use.

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    1. I think it's a universal habit, Maria, especially among the crafty people! I think we are sure we can use it sometime in the future for some great project! I just don't have the room, or the patience to manage it all anymore! :)

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  17. Yes! I feel the exact same way. I am getting tired of holding onto things for the sake of it. I have the feeling a big home purge will be happening soon!

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    1. It's not easy, Debbie...well not as easy as I thought it would be...but it was so worth it! I love the way nothing falls on me when I open a cabinet or closet. Good luck!!

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  18. Good for you! I should purge mine too, I am a placemat girl by heart always, and I really need to purge my linen closet soon since that will be my nursery closet!

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