It Doesn’t Always Feel Like Progress.

It Doesn’t Always Feel Like Progress.

There’s a line from The Glass Menagerie, or part of one anyway:  Please don’t think I sit around.

It’s important for you to know that when I think of that line, I think of it being performed by The State. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s really sad because The State is awesome.

So anyway, I haven’t been writing as much, but please don’t think I’m just sitting around. Quite the opposite actually, and I have the aching hips to prove it. And knees. And ankles. And back. And shoulders. Pretty much the only thing that hasn’t been hurting lately is my hair. What’s that? You’ve seen my hair? Oh, then you know that’s been hurting, too, just in a different way.

My word for 2014 is Purge. I’ve been working on purging our house of every inessential thing. That has made me very, very busy.

I recently had a yard sale. Here are two of my massive piles of stuff:


photo (4) photo (3)

And here you see it all on display on my front lawn. And my driveway. Not pictured is the other side of my lawn and my neighbors driveway. That, my friends, is A LOT OF STUFF.

photo (5)

I’m happy to report I sold about 75% of it. I mean, who can’t do without a little extra income, right? I donated a full (and I mean FULL) carload as well, so I would say about 90% of what I started with did not come back inside. 100% would have been better, but there wasn’t any room left in the car.

After lugging stuff out of the attic, down to the first floor, and more from the basement up to the first floor, then outside, then some of it back in, then out, then even-less-but-still back in, it took me 3 days to be able to walk up stairs without wanting to cry.

This weekend I have to work on my son’s room which feels like a landfill sometimes. He’s sloppy and has a lot of toys and such, which becomes a deadly combination. You can have a lot if you’re neat. You can be a little sloppier when you don’t have that much. But you can’t be both. I mean, I guess you can because he is, but I can’t deal with it in my house.

The other task for the weekend is prepping my basement for a revamping of our French drain, adding an additional 19 feet to it, and installing a new sump pump and well system. I have to move everything from the walls (more than you’d think) and make sure the workers can get where they need to be. It’s more work than I feel like doing, but it needs to be done.

Why do I tell you all this? For a few reasons:

1. This is what I’m doing instead of blogging. Obviously I’m blogging right now when I should be doing those things, but give me a break, would you?

2. This is all part of my path to a more minimalist lifestyle which I’ve decided you all need to read about.

3. It’s all I’ve been doing and I’ve neglected the blog, so…

4. (Here we are, bringing it full circle back to the title!) Sometimes it just doesn’t feel like I’m making any progress. I do and I do, and I go and I go, and the next morning I look around and there is all this doing and going that still needs to happen. But that’s life, I suppose. If you’re feeling it, too, I guess it’s good to know we’re not alone. If you’ve got a story to tell me about how you were once like me and you ran out of things to do and reasons to go, I’d love to hear it.

The purge is on, my friends, even when I’m too tired to tell you about it.


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18 Responses to “It Doesn’t Always Feel Like Progress.”

  1. Erica M says:

    I love this post! For me, purging tasks so much mental and physical energy. It’s easier to step over everything and hope I never have to send my dad over to pick up extra clothes while I’m in the hospital or something. So my real goal is to drive very very carefully at all times.

  2. The Reedster says:

    Never ever ever done. And if you feel caught up you find that your family has again chosen to wear clothes and use dishes.

  3. Vanessa D. says:

    I started purging once last year – I managed to get all of my fat clothes and some books boxed up. The boxes of books are still here and the fat clothes are being worn again. Maybe I’ll box up my thin clothes the next time.

    • michellelongo says:

      Ha! My clothes were one of the first things I did. It was easy because almost everything was stained or had a hole. It’s time to do it again, but then I’ll have nothing to wear. I think you should try the thin clothes :)

  4. Only you could make a post about spring purging something interesting; and that, my friend, is a gift. Purging takes up so much of my energy, I can’t see why you haven’t been blogging.

    • michellelongo says:

      That’s a sweet comment, Natalie. I hope it’s interesting anyway! It really is an exhausting process and my only hope is that once it’s done I don’t bring more stuff in and have to do it again.

  5. I go in spurts of purging but I like stuff so it’s hard. Quite an impressive yard sale by the looks of things.

    • michellelongo says:

      I sold a ridiculous amount of stuff. An embarrassing amount, really. I like some stuff, but I’m trying to be more careful about what I have. What helps is thinking that I may someday have to move stuff. That helps me keep my inventory low!

  6. Yay for purging, and yay for minimalism. Keep it up lady!

  7. Sam Merel says:

    I read this piece last night after I did 5 loads of laundry – all the laundry in the house I had been avoiding for god only knows how long because I hate doing laundry. I felt so amazing and accomplished until I remembered that I would have to change my clothes before bed, and there would once again be dirty clothes in the hamper. So it was funny that I read this when I did because the truth is, there is always something more to do. And maybe the best we can do is just to start accepting that every step is one in the right direction.

    • michellelongo says:

      That is the worst feeling when you finish putting away the laundry and the hamper has more stuff in it. I have gotten rid of most of my wardrobe so I have to keep up on the laundry or else I will be naked or wearing really dirty clothes. But you’re right, we have to take steps in the right direction for what they are and not look too hard at the bigger picture.

  8. Oh boy! I need a purge that has yet to come. Hooray for you, non-hoarder. I need to follow you cue!

  9. I am in awe. Have you considered that it might have slipped into obsession or addiction? And if so, can you start the 12 steps AFTER coming over to my place for a few weeks?

    • michellelongo says:

      It might have slipped into obsession. That’s possible. I can come over to your place, but I’ll have to charge you a fee 😉 Or we could just hang out.

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