Living in Purge-atory


I have been wanting to write about this for some time, but as you can tell from the title, I have been purging all that is called my home for some time.

Yes, it is that time of year for us, as it may be with many of you. We have been purging our house for weeks in preparation for our PCS NEXT MONTH!!!

DH and I "talked" about all that needed to be done around the house for many months. Then reality hit (i.e. time ran away from us and we realized we had to actually DO all the things we talked about needing done).

We've discovered many things in our journey through "Purge-atory."

1. We have waaaaay too much crap!!! That's the obvious discovery. But beyond this we realized something else: We didn't do much purging before we moved to our current duty station 3 years ago. Why? Because DH was still in a rather acute phase of recovery from being wounded and I was doing my best to just get through daily life and the move itself. Hence, we have been going through about 7 years of stuff, rather than just the past 3.

2. DH discovered a bin full of letters from people when he was deployed to Iraq and later at Walter Reed. He became rather silent while looking through the bin. I asked him, "Is it weird seeing those letters again?" He answered, "Yes." And then I let him continue looking and thinking in silence. Then he found a letter from an awesome Soldiers' Angel that was dated June 19, 2005 - two days before he was wounded. We just so happened to see this Angel, Sandi, the following weekend. DH forgot to bring the letter, but he told her about it and the emotional waves were very intense for a few moments. It was one of those experiences that you just can't put into words.

3. I have deemed myself the following: A "picture frame pack rat." I have found upwards of 30+ picture frames in boxes that were never unpacked. PLUS the picture frames I have bought while living here, but the pictures never quite seemed to make it inside the frame. What the heck?!?!?! I think I need some serious help... needless to say, Goodwill is now loaded with picture frames (of course, I did keep a few of the nicer ones).

4. Our kids have helped us purge as well (surprisingly with little complaint). A while back we went through all the movies in our house. I wound up taking 3 kitchen sized trash bags of VHS and DVD movies to Goodwill... and we still have A LOT! So to save space, I bought zippered DVD sleeve cases and got rid of all the cases for DVDs and CDs. Why did it take me so long to figure that out? I have no idea, but now we have an abundance of room for storage (and still too many movies).

5. Our current focus is the basement. And we have a HUGE basement! We have boxes that have never been opened since we moved, but I just can't bare to get rid of them without going through them first. I know, I know, not a good idea. But I have this fear that something of importance may be lurking in one of those boxes (like our tax records, which you are supposed to keep for 7 years). Yes, I found them, thank goodness.

We have PCSed 5 times in the last 12 years (and today is our 12th Anniversary, by the way). It seems like every time we PCS I am doing it for the first time. I forget a lot of the "little things" that make it easier.

Anyone else living in Purge-atory? Have any good tips for me or anyone else?

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