Defeathering Our Nest

Our Colorado son texted me a couple of months ago, asking if I knew where his lacrosse gear was, and could I send it with his friend who was coming out to ski next week?


Any attempt on their part to take their possessions out of this old farmhouse is welcome. Our attic is divided into 3 sections: One that has my seasonal decorations and extra entertaining supplies, the middle one with all the left over high school/college crap of 3 boys, and the largest section has remains of the life we have lived here for 32 years.

The first section is pristine and the most easily accessible, I use most of that stuff at some point during each year. The largest section is my work alone to do: I have saved every Lego, Playmobiles, stuffed animal, farm tractors and attachments, dinosaurs and all the rest that make up the life of young boys. These items were discarded through every developmental stage of growth. They were carefully and thoughtfully stored (or so I thought). There are also unused items that I decorated with during the years, our boys baby bed, high chairs, beach equipment, camping equipment, coolers, camp stoves.

We are not even campers.

Why didn’t I get rid of all that stuff when I was supposed to, you ask? I don’t really know that answer to that. Maybe thinking about future grandsons (cause heaven knows we never counted on a Harkins girl!)

I am not (by my own estimation) in any way a hoarder. All the attic crap is organized. My mom says that I have a fortune in Rubbermaid containers. She is probably right. When I get the largest attic section defeathered, my kids won’t have to buy storage boxes.


I won’t even address what the hub has in the barn and spring house. You would think that our family motto is “Better save this, might come in handy.” We might have, once or twice, even purchased items that we already owned, sitting in orange Home Depot boxes up in the barn attic.

I won’t point fingers.

But I could. If I wasn’t such a sweet wifey.

Enter: my conviction to start the path to becoming a minimalist. I stumbled upon a blog from an Aussie young chick a couple of years ago, and she made some really astute points, about keeping stuff for the life you used to have, or one that you hope you’ll have in the future. And how that stuff is so cumbersome in the present. She was right!

With that as my charge-I started going through the 2 main floors of our house. Anything that didn’t bring me joy, or have a function (towels) went to Goodwill or our church thrift store. I started with my own closet and with the help of my sister, was ruthless in discarding little worn clothing, shoes and purses.

Ruthless. 3 garbage bags of ruthless.

I tried to do the same to the hub’s closet, but he was having none of that. Besides, as mistress to every other area in the house, I had plenty of other areas to get to- I’d deal with him later.

I went from room to room, culling items that were just collecting space. I had to make second and third passes through the rooms and closets, but finally after a couple of months, things were feeling lighter. More spacious.

While I was purging I was reminding myself that when I’m gone, it will be my sons and daughter in laws having to handle each possession I leave behind. That spurred me on. I need to make that job as easy for them as I can. I can just hear it now: “Why in the world did your mom keep this old thing?”

To offset some of that I have started a Rubbermaid box for my granddaughter. I’m putting in my grandmother’s quilts, my favorite dolls and special keepsakes just for her.

She’s 10 weeks old.

Send help.



This entry was posted in Family, Farm, Midlife Maze. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Defeathering Our Nest

  1. LB says:

    This delights my soul dear friend.

Please follow me and come sit on my porch!

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