Hoarding in Vonnie Land

Good Monday Morning!

It’s me again because we have 5 Monday’s in this month – and this time, I didn’t forget.

Yay me!

It may be later in the day than I usually post, but I’m here now.

The last two weekends have been brutal. Let me rephrase that – Sandy’s last two weekends  have been brutal – mine was just this one.

In 2009, Sandy and I moved down south – after culling everything we owned down to 2000 pounds, from Washington State. That’s harder than you think but necessary for the price point available to us at that time. It was a moving company that “shares” the truck space by putting in dividers.

I thought that was hard!

In 2012, we moved from Alabama to Texas – another long story that isn’t for this blog. Anyway, that time we used a medium U haul and Sandy drove. (She’s a terrible passenger, she never lets me drive.) It was the two of us and four dogs laying on a pillow between in the cab.

The house we moved into was bare – for a while. We had three bedrooms, and not much to fill it. We’d moved her tools, a minimal amount of furniture, and a few liquor boxes of my treasures (Hey, they’re very sturdy!)

We spent many a day combing garage sales to fill our house up.

That was five years ago and what a difference it makes. I turned around (feels exactly like that) and our house is overflowing.overflowing-closet

We’ve been saying (okay,  me – I’ve been saying) we’re going to have a garage sale for over two  years now. I’ve dutifully packed boxes and put them in the closet to save for that “someday.” Then I forget what I’ve placed in them.

So, the problem is: When I open them to see what’s in the gray (red or blue) tubs in the closet – I love everything and want to take everything back out. “Oh, LOOK at this! – I love this!” I take the item back out, and put newer stuff back into the gray (red, or blue) tub.

And the process repeats.

After promising Sandy again and again, I gave a roaring battle cry – This is the  year!

And became so overwhelmed at the sheer volume of stuff – I shoved everything back into the closets.

I’m a surface cleaner – and not ashamed of it.

Most of the time.

My patient Sandy (Saint – remember?) Finally takes control and picks a date for our years-in-the-making – garage sale. She wrote it ON the calendar – in INK.

Holy crap.

We don’t really have junk – it’s nice stuff – and I’d love to keep it all, but I’m tired of dusting and the upkeep that having lots of pretties takes.

She took the bull by the horns and cleaned her garage, sweltering in the Texas heat, she was ruthless.

I sat in the air conditioned house, paralyzed with indecision, and the sheer volume of work involved of going through each room, and culling my treasures. The boxes came out of the closets – and well, you should know what happened by now.

Oh LOOK at this! I love this! I can’t get rid of that.

I finally asked Sandy for help and she cautiously agreed. Why you may ask? Because I’m fickle and contrary. I don’t mean to be, I really don’t, but at least I’m honest about it.

you can get rid of that


After she finished in the garage, it was time.

Dear God, it was time.

I’m not going to go into the panic and stress about it all.

But it was there in full force.

We started easy in the kitchen – which was a breeze now that I think about it.

She lulled me into complacence. Sneaky Sandy.

Then she called me into each room in turn and as she attacked her stuff – my shame kicked in… (Recovering Catholic – it’s innate)

The sheer volume of stuff was mind boggling.

Something amazing kicked in. I was enjoying this.

I know, right?

We spent hours and hours sorting and pricing.  Sandy bribed me – It worked.

She put a beautiful weekend trip in my head. We haven’t had a weekend trip since our tenth anniversary seven years ago.

I started looking at my treasure in a new light.

Isn’t that cool?

Well, it was for me – and I began to rejoice as each box and blue (red and gray) tub made it out into the garage. Don’t get me wrong, some of it hurt – bad. There are memories attached to things. So and so gave me that – that was so and so’s.

Then it came to my books. MY BOOKS. The ones I had to keep – MY BOOKS.

It felt almost sacrilegious but my office is tiny, and we’re taking a huge credenza out of it so I can have more room. One reason being she’d bought me a very cool chaise lounge and there’s no room for it.

It was full of MY BOOKS and that’s not counting the tall bookshelf in the hallway where most of them had to be moved to.

ONE Shelf for all MY BOOKS.

Feel my pain.

I sat on the floor, and quickly started handing them to her before I could change my mind and she (very wisely) took them out of the room and packed them into another box.

I’m not going to dwell on it.


After I was done, there were two HUGE boxes (the equivalent of 4 gray, blue, or red tubs) of MY BOOKS in the living room.

On one hand, I had palpitations and on the other, I was so proud of myself. Sandy was too. And I can’t really put into words how it almost made it worth parting with my have-to-keep books.

And you can be proud of me too – I only took ONE out after we were finished.

Whew, just sharing that made me freak a little.

My wise Sandy packed those boxes, taped them up.

Not really – but it sounded good.

Here’s hoping I won’t pull any treasures or books out of our sale next weekend.

Have a great day – I’m going to stay far away from the gray (red or blue) tubs this week. And – God help me – my assignment this week is to go through (gasp) my clothes!


  1. Whew! Feel your pain! We’re going through our garage now (think huge “closet”!). It is cathartic, though. We cleaned one area so far (we’re on a grid system and it’s working), and it feels great to have it done. May your garage sale bring you riches. (Monetary ones, no trade-sies. LOL!)

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  2. It’s hard to get rid of the things you once held precious, but I can’t say anything is ever more liberating than freeing oneself from the Things holding us down. Once upon a time, I had to move out of a full, three-bedroom house into a small, kid-sized bedroom. Almost everything had to go, and I was devastated for a long time. But now? Now I’m constantly going through the house my family lives in and declaring things redundant or useless. It gets easier. 🙂

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