by Victoria M. Johnson
I wish I could tell you that I recycled and donated most of the items from our living room. As it turns out, I purged very little from this room, yet still had two large boxes of donations of mostly hardcover books from the bookcases. Since I didn’t have a fireplace in the new home, I packed up my treasured heart collection—many years worth of gifts from friends and family resulted in beautiful, unique heart boxes and various heart candleholders—into one box. My Day of The Dead collection was coming with us, but not the credenza that they were displayed on. I donated the frames on the shelves and kept the photos. I wanted to keep the bookcases, even though they wouldn’t fit in our new place. They were hard to find. I would never find Spanish style bookcases with that many shelves, and that wide. The only furniture coming with us from the living room was a cute wrought iron and Spanish tile mosaic table and chairs. We had used them for reading since our living room had functioned more like a library. Now the bistro set would be our daily table for eating meals. From the walls, the heart painting that hung over the fireplace and my cross collection were coming.
The dining room was easy. The antique dining room furniture would make some other family happy. It had a rare table with two connected leaves that slid under the table. We had pulled the leaves out for parties, nearly doubling the size of the 52” long table. Partyware in the china hutch were packed, along with the crystal stemware that hung from the wine rack. Both the hutch and wine rack were Spanish style and they had a place in the new home. The pinkish-purple and orange striped drapes that I had added Swarovski rhinestone studs to for dazzle were packed, as was the Spanish style crystal chandelier that I had searched over a dozen stores to find.
When the two rooms were done, several boxes held keeper items that wouldn’t fit in the smaller domicile. I’m telling you all this for two reasons. First, if you’re in a situation with a daunting task, you can learn from my experience. Getting started is hard—it’s the hardest part—but once you’ve begun just keep going. Try not to be overwhelmed with the BIG project. Take it a piece at a time. I started with a ‘bookcase.’ That’s easier than starting with the ‘living room.’ I passed on things that others could find useful. If it’s tough for you to part with items, donate them. Knowing that someone else will get use out of them makes it less painful.
Secondly, when I glanced in the family room, my spirits sunk. None of the things in there could go with us. We were gong to have to rent a storage unit. A storage unit is cheating, I know. Don’t be disappointed in me. Allow me to explain.