People & Places
I don’t think I’m unlike a lot of people when I say I don’t like to clean my house but I like my house to be clean.
With that said, my house is not dirty but it can get a little unkept from time to time. With a busy schedule and tendency to keep some things, I recently found myself in a bit of a conundrum.
OK, I know what you’re thinking: she’s a hoarder. No, not at all. In fact, I think of myself as the opposite for the most part.
Over the summer, I realized it was time for a deep cleaning. I needed to get rid of some stuff we had never used in our utility room, jackets from our coat closet and miscellaneous items in our junk drawers.
Realizing I had a lot of work ahead of me, I did what I assume many would like to do. I took off a week from work to clean.
Not really thinking of what I was getting myself into, I started on my tasks. On the first day, I tackled our coat closet and our utility room.
As I was going through our jackets, coats and sweaters, I thought to myself, “What the heck are we doing with so many? We live in New Mexico!”
It took me about an hour or so to separate which ones I was keeping and the ones I was donating. Then I tackled our utility room, which again was quite an easy task.
With the first day done, I took the first carload of items to the second-hand store. It felt great — I felt the first of my decluttering high.
The second day was a bit more stressful though. I tackled our closet, a couple of junk drawers, and two kitchen cupboards, including that ever-so-disorganized plastic food containers.
The second and third days were probably the hardest. There was a lot of stuff — clothes and shoes, bags and purses, books and pictures.
While there was a lot of items to go through, I found several lost treasurers — my daughter’s first pair of glasses, a cassette tape featuring my husband singing our song and an old work tape recorder I still haven’t listened to.
I had yet another two loads to donate, and a trash can full of items no one would want. I was really making a good-sized dent but my work was not over!
On the fourth and last day (I needed at least one day of rest) of my adventure, I tackled the catch-all room that used to be my daughter’s room and closet. Before Caitlin moved out of state more than two years ago, she brought a lot of miscellaneous items to store.
The room is also used as my home office, a playroom for the grandchildren, my craft space and our guest bedroom.
The closet, on the other hand, was a catch-all space for everything it seemed like. That’s where Caitlin stored her stuff and where we stored the stuff we didn’t know what to do with. So there was a lot to go through.
At one point while cleaning these spaces, I actually ran out of plastic trash bags.
It was hot, I was sweaty but I finally got it done. My home was and still is finally decluttered. In all, I took four trips to the second-hand store.
It feels refreshing to be done with this project, and knowing it will probably be another 22 years before I’ll have to do it all over again.
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.