Less is more

Well, it’s done. Or mostly done. Kelly and I purged the living room (which I thought was fine) the dining room (which I thought was fine) and the girls room (which I had no illusions about). Many, many bags went to Goodwill and plenty to the garbage and recycling. (No yarn or patterns were harmed in the purging of this house.)
Elizabeth and Gina both blogged about this massive purging of stuff from the house. I’m telling you, I don’t know how they did it without Kelly.
The woman is a machine. Things just fall into place when she does it. When I go through my stuff and toss useless things and organize the rest, somehow at the end you can’t really tell. When Kelly does it, pounds and pounds of crap are gone…and she manages to be so charming about it that you don’t really mind that she’s throwing out all your stuff.
A few times I balked a little, and said “but Kelly, what if I need that, what will I do?” Kelly’s reply?
“What would you do if you were a Rwandan refugee?”
Oh. Nevermind. I am so not worthy. That one statement made more of an impact on me than anything else. (More of an impact than discovering that I own five gravy boats. I’m a vegetarian for crying out loud. More impact than discovering that if I send three wagon loads of the kids toys and books to Goodwill, they will not be able to tell you what is missing..that’s how much they have. ) I suddenly felt so excessive. I felt enormous guilt, here I was, trying to keep my stuff, and feeling so broke all the time, and I have way, way more than most people in the world. That Kelly, she knows how to motivate.
Even without the guilt, I highly recommend purging tons of crap out of your life. Trust me, it’s holding you back. Kelly kept telling me how peaceful it is to have less, and now I see where she was going with that. It’s very, very restful and clean. My life feels way more manageable.
The boring cardie proceeds apace, one sleeve done, the next started.
I’m knitting as fast as I can, to try and entertain everybody, but the big clean sweep mission took a lot of time yesterday, and when I was done I couldn’t do much but collapse. Today should be better, assuming that I can ignore the fact that by comparison, the kitchen (which I swear I thought was my best room, very tidy and clean) is now a pit of filth and garbage.
I leave you now with this thought. Go sweep under your upstairs hall rug. Trust me, you want to get to it before Kelly does.

20 thoughts on “Less is more

  1. Congratulations – I can hear the relief in your ‘voice’ – you must must feel 89 pounds lighter!
    Is this the same boring cardi pattern as the earlier on

  2. I agree with you! I did the same thing at my house about 2 months ago – 8 bags of toys to the Goodwill. 8 bags! And not once have the kids asked where such and such toy is! I can now see the floor of the toy room.

  3. Alison, it is the same pattern, different size though, but it’s exactly the same. I use the “Patons back to basics”.
    Boring, but reliable.

  4. Do I hide yarn purchases? Not normally, no BUT I just got given 7 kilos of 100% wool on cones. Some “named” brands (Rowan, King Cole) some “mystery” yarn. So when I popped into my (newly opened) LYS I hesitated to buy more yarn and just bought a book. When I explained why I was dreading the day they really got their act together and had bags with the shop name on them (no more sneaking that bag into the house and hiding it) LYS owner replied, “Don’t worry, Kate, we’ll have special plain bags for special customers and they’ll be called “confound the husband bags”. Moral of this story is: get your LYS owner on-side NOW.
    Love your blog, love your work (and I don’t even like blue!)
    Kate in sunny Warwickshire, England.

  5. Is it possible to borrow Kelly from you???
    Congrats on the purge – giggling about the gravy boats.
    The cardi is lovely – it looks to be a very nice colour.

  6. Good for you! We did the same thing a year ago. We just went ruthlessly from room to room and ended up with truckloads of stuff to get rid of. Unfortunately it seems to creep back home; it’s time to do it again.

  7. Ohmigosh, Kelly is Rita from Ann Tyler’s Saint Maybe. I thought she was fictional…

  8. Huzzah on the purge. Maybe it’ll motivate me.
    Oh, and quickly, since I have to log off soon, re your email, the crochet hook is a Susan Bates, size 6/G, and it looks exactly like the Silvalumes.

  9. Oooohmygod you are totally making me wanna run home and throw EVERYTHING out!
    Can Kelly come to MY house?

  10. The major purge is SO uplifting! When we moved into our new house three years ago, we took that opportunity to get rid of a LOT of stuff. I’m ready to do it again, but not now. It is too hot here to spread my stuff out on the lawn!

  11. One of the major tenets (wrong word?) of Feng Shui is that having too much *stuff* around you interferes with energy flow. Now, I’m not sure how I feel about the energy flow thing, but I do know that clutter gets in the way of creative thinking. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool thrower-outer, and I think I have a low threshold for clutter, but when things start to pile up I get antsy until I get it cleared up/thrown out.
    I do have a way of dealing with the kids’ stuff: I gather it up and put it in the attic. If, after a few months, nobody has asked for anything, out it goes. If anybody does ask I say “Oh, let me look, it’s here somewhere,” and then miraculously come up with it. If they *knew* that was the plan, they’d be checking on the pile on a weekly basis!
    I’m a new reader, and a first-time poster, so let me introduce myself (MaryB in Richmond), and say that your blog FREQUENTLY makes me laugh out loud in a way that makes people ask me what’s so funny! I love that!
    Thanks for inviting us all in!

  12. Oh, please send Kelly over, I desperately need help to purge. I can barely walk around my bed (lots of bruises on my thighs), but have to crawl over it most of the time. My stash is under it so it’s not my stuff.
    I love the Cardi!

  13. I’ve just started my summer break, and purging is high up on my to-do list. Thanks for adding inspiration. I need all the motivation I can get.

  14. Aw heck, I’m a horder. I can see owning 5 gravy boats. (I own at least 3 butter dishes that I can think of, 2 “everyday” and 1 “fancy.”) But I do know the lightness of which you speak. I purged the excess from one-half of one room recently. Took most of an afternoon, but I’m quite sure I could have scaled El Cap and not been any prouder.
    Miraculously, however, yarn, needles, and knitting books all nestled back to where they had been. Several months after that exercise, it makes me all the more puzzled, what exactly DID I throw out? I know there were bags and bags…but what was in them?
    When I was 20 and home from college for the holidays, a fire broke out a few doors down from my parents’ house. It was a particulary nasty one, whipped into a frenzy by winter winds, and the firemen told us to take everything we couldn’t bear to lose and put it in a car and move it a block away. It was quite an experience, walking through your house and picking the 5 things that had to be saved. Turned out to be not at all the 5 things I would have listed if I were writing an essay or chatting with friends. (I try to remember that night, sometimes, in between the exercises in accumulating stuff.)

  15. I’m trying to purge a bunch of stuff as I pack to move halfway across the country. It’s tough, but I’m making progress. I took four small bags of clothes and clutter to Goodwill a few weeks ago, and I have three boxes of books for the used bookstore tomorrow. Knitting and all kitchen items remain, however. Because I might need to make another 14″ cake… Someday…
    Without a husband and now without a boyfriend, I can buy as much sh*t as I can afford. Since I’ll be a grad student starting in the fall, I’m accumulating (or at least spending) now, kind of like eating a lot in the fall to prepare for hibernation.

  16. Isn�t it great??? One feel�s so relieved afterwards. I decluttered one of our livingrooms last sunday, and got rid of at least 80 book�s and a lot of useless crap I have been saving, for no reason at all. By the way it was after reading Karen Kingston. I don�t know whether energy flow�s better around now, but we do!

  17. HEY!!! I was just reading the latest copy of Spin Off and interestedly devoured an article… I guess you know which one huh?? YOUR article!!! I found it very intriquing from a local stand point, I live in Chilliwack, about 20 min. from Abbotsford.. That your grandfather took his fleeces to the Indians for spinning (I wonder which Nation??)and the vintage photos of a ‘local’ shepherd. Very enjoyable article and imagine my surprise when I got to the end and read the little bio.. I did not recognize your name but Yarn Harlot got me.. Congratulations on being published in my favorite mag :)) Made me proud to have you on my blog list 🙂

  18. Wow – that is a lot of junk to get rid of. I’m impressed. I keep trying to gather up bags of the kid’s toys but they’re too quick for me. They’re never out of the house long enough for me to finish and always start rescuing things before I can get them away to the charity shop.
    There must be something about being vegetarian. When we got married 11 years ago, we got 3 electric carving knives as gifts. Go figure.

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