Monday, November 25, 2013

The Great Clearing

This weekend unexpectedly became a time of big change. Really our household has been in a state of flux for weeks (or maybe always) since my husband I decided we needed to finish projects, clear clutter, and basically put life back in order.

So we've changed light bulbs that had gone dark, returned things that needed returning, cleaned things that needed cleaning, tucked the patio furniture away for winter, and cleared closets of unworn clothes.

Then on Friday morning as my husband headed out for work, he casually mentioned that maybe it was time to trade in my car and our minivan, both older vehicles, for one new mom-mobile. We've been talking about it for a year now, so it wasn't out of the blue. It was, however, the pivotal moment of moving from an idea to actually happening.

He then spent Friday and Saturday discussing options with his brother (who conveniently sells at GMC). Meanwhile my husband raised another concern.

We had a stack of bins in our hallway waiting to move to the attic- Halloween decorations and hand-me-down clothes waiting for my toddler to grow bigger. My husband confessed he hadn't yet taken them up because the attic was a disaster. What once was organized no longer was.

So, up he went to the attic handing down the pack-n-play we no longer need, a 13-year-old grubby plastic toybox, an equally old but in good shape kids easel, and other odds and ends.

Then we switched places and I went up to reorganize the Christmas bins and return the Halloween bin to its rightful place. I passed down boxes of my 16-year-old's old toys, as well as two boxes of my old toys. (Yes, I said my old toys.)

It was about that time my brother-in-law showed up with our new car. What?!?! I know. Crazy.

So out we went into the dark cold night to see the new mom-mobile. The wind that I'd heard howling against the attic walls turned out to be carrying snow flurries, which I thought maybe was a sign hell was freezing over from our progress.

Bundled in coats and gloves, we looked at the car/truck/SUV - I'm going to call it a truck - and took it for a quick spin around the block. Then we loaded up my 11-year-old car with a bunch of our 16-year-old's old toys (to be passed on to our nephews) and my brother-in-law drove them away.

And just like that, the car that I bought soon after college was gone. The car that I moved across the country in. That saw me through divorce, my own apartment, new love, marriage, and having a baby. 11 years. That means I was 25 when I bought it. It was a whole different era of my life.

I came back into the house feeling excited for the new, but sad for my loss of the old. I called my best friend. I looked at my husband with wide eyes.

Then I soaked up the feeling of change and went upstairs to go through one of my old boxes of toys from the attic. Specifically, Barbies.

Despite weeding it out a few times over the last two decades (mostly of doll clothes and furniture), I still had a whole box of Barbies and their stuff. And now I was ready to let some of it, maybe even most of it, go.

So I pulled out every doll (all 20), every piece of clothing, every tiny little shoe, every small chair and hanger. I arranged all the Barbies (and Kens and Skippers, Craig, Dana, Becky, and the rest) for a photo. This is how I will preserve the memory from now on.

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Then I chose a few favorite dolls, a sandwich baggie's worth of clothes, the wicker chair set and placed them back in the box. The rest I packed up in a donation bag because maybe there is someone else out there who will be able to enjoy them.

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We've purged before, but it's different this time. There is a definite shift in the way we feel about our home.

We are lightening our load here in the Hutchins household. We are making space. Clearing out the old, unneeded, and underappreciated.

We are making room to love the things we love- to see them, to use them, to enjoy them. And isn't that kind of the point of having them in the first place?

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