Where Did We Get All This Stuff?

Our move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina last year was fast–less than three weeks after the job offer came in, we had escaped the frozen tundra of the northeast for the more temperate south. It was a whirlwind of figuring out what needed to go in the car with us, making sure the house was ready to go on the market, and visiting family and friends.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Luckily, our relocation package included having a moving company to pack all of our stuff, which was one less thing for us to worry about. The downside is that everything we owned came with us on the trip south. We had no opportunity to clean out anything.
Our house in North Carolina is a bit smaller than the one in Pennsylvania, so we ended up with a lot of boxes in our attic and garage that we have ignored for the past eighteen months. We said we would get to them eventually, but they were out of sight, out of mind.
This weekend, we decided to tackle the attic as we prepare to (hopefully) move in the next year or so. Hubby told me he refuses to move it all again, so until we go through everything, we can’t move. Visions of bigger kitchens danced through my head, and were all the motivation I needed to keep moving this weekend. 😉

mage courtesy of Iamnee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Iamnee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We sorted through twenty-six totes and four boxes–for two people! By the time we were done, we kept four totes of stuff–mostly extra dishes that don’t fit in our tiny kitchen and decorations that get switched out seasonally.
It took three full carloads to get everything else over to the donation center. The biggest culprit of our attic clutter? Clothing.
Every time I gain or lose a few pounds, I go buy new clothing, but keep the old stuff, in case I need it. How often do you think I go in the attic to get the old clothing out? Hint: not often. And, I’m not the only one. Hubby had quite a bit of clothing up there, too.

Image courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You should have seen the face of the guy at the donation center. The first load, he commented that we had a lot of stuff, but was very appreciative. When we came back with the second car, his eyes bugged out. By the third, he just shook his head.
I have to say, it feels good knowing all our clothing is now in our room, either in a closet, a dresser, or an under-the-bed tote (for cold-weather clothing like sweaters. Which we can wear soon, because fall is coming!)
Out of all the clothing in the attic, do you have any guesses how many pieces we kept?
Five.
Hubby kept one; I kept four. In total, out of the six lawn and leaf bags worth of clothing that we donated, we found five pieces that we would want to wear again. I may need to reevaluate how much clothing I am buying. Seriously.
So, our attic is mostly empty. Now we just have to tackle the garage. And we may want to find a new donation center, since this one seems to already think we are crazy. 😉

Do you fall into the trap of storing stuff you don’t need, or do you get rid of old items (donate or trash) as soon as you are done with them? Do you have any great organizing tips for us? Anyone want to help us clean out a garage? 😉

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Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at http://susiborath.com or follow @susiborath on Twitter.

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