Lessons from the Flood

by Ouida on March 24, 2010

It was June 2007.  I returned home to find water running down my driveway and out my front door. In my house I heard the whoosh of water and felt the water soaking in through my shoes.  Four inches of it in my home, every room.  The laundry room was the epicenter.  Dry wall ruined.  A water hose on the washing machine was the culprit.  In a moment, my plans changed. I was supposed to be headed out of town.  Insurance company called, flights cancelled.  I called a friend and we began to bail my home out.

I picked up my floating belongings, ruined books, papers hard drives and computers and realized then that I had way too many personal possessions.  That was a tough realization for me.  I consider myself frugal.  Frugal people don’t buy things they don’t need, right?  Many of the things I found floating round my home were things, books especially, that people had given to me.  My closets were littered with clothes that I hadn’t worn in years, yet had not sorted through to give away.

You don’t appreciate the amount of junk, clutter in your until you have to empty your home in 2 hours,  Once I filled the garage, everything else had to go in the back yard;  a friend of mine came by and told me that my back yard looked like a scene from Sanford and Son.  The lesson from the flood what that my house was filled with junk pain and simple.

I vowed to de-clutter and stay that way.  For a time I did it.  Now I look around and discover un-filed papers, unread books and unviewed DVDs.  For a brief moment I considered buying a cabinet to house them!  But I have come up with a better plan, I think.  In the next 60 days, I am going to host a de-clutter party.  I will cook for friends and in exchange, they can hold my hand while I empty out shelves.  I am declaring a moratorium on buying books for the next 60 days, until I identify the ones I will never read and determine a place (not inside my home) for them.  I am also going to add up the cost of those books and post it around my home as a reminder.  I will make a reading list and read the books I haven’t read posting them on this blog so that you can cheer me on as I check them off.  I will also let you know how the anti clutter party went
complete with pictures.

Let me know your struggles with clutter and what you have done about it.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathydeegan March 25, 2010 at 8:00 am

Your post came at a very good time for me…I was looking for my 2008 taxes & it wasn’t with my other tax records from previous years.
I had to dig thru stacked boxes of stuff I saved to sell, articles I’ve meant to read, filing cabinet full of useless information.
I realized I have GOT to get rid of this stuff!
Yes, I finally found the 2008 tax …


Ouida March 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm

That is great and your story made me smile. Glad you found the returns. Clutter is like a stalker. It keeps coming back even though you swear you got rid of it!


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