by singlemomseeking on February 22, 2009

I don’t know if anyone really likes to clean. But the clutter has gotten so out of hand here that somethin’ has to be done, like it or not. Do you know what I mean?

Here’s a “before” photo of the inside of one closet, taken this morning. At least one of us was enjoying the clutter:


So, I’ve been going through clothes in the back of my closet. I also cleaned out my shed, while talking to Dr. Leah on the phone (thanks for the company!).

I’ve always been the kind of woman who loves to hang onto mementos from my past — including ex-boyfriends! — but at some point, I need to let go. This kind of baggage is not just material, it’s emotional.

If you want to be ready and open to a relationship, you’ve got to purge the old stuff, right?

As Dr. Leah mentions on Singlemommyhood today, we have both spent our weekends cleaning.

If you’re still holding onto “keepsakes” from past relationships, please read here.

If you’re still holding onto things from your “marriage museum,” what’s the first thing you’re going to purge?

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy February 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm

My ex-husband only took one suitcase (mine by the way). Over the three years we were separated – I tried to get him to take his cds and other things. For a good two years I didn’t even move his shoes from the foyer. Sad, huh?

So I have been purging. However, I have a large box that I am keeping some things for Sadie. Our wedding photos, some love letters, all of his baby and family photos. Since her dad will likely never be a part of her life – I think that box might be the only way she ever knows him. And, I am comfortable with her knowing that she was the product of two people who were at one time very much in love. But that box….man do I hate it. I put it at the back of the closet and let the cat sleep on it.

As for the general stuff – I just got new dishes this week. I’ve gotten new sheets, new towels, and painted all but one room. It too hard to look at that stuff that some well meaning person gave to us in 1998 at our wedding. And you are right – it does drain you.

Amy´s last blog post…Journal 124: February 2009 A Short Month


singlemomseeking February 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Susan: Thanks for pointing out that cleaning really “cleans” us in so many ways!

To all of you who are holding onto your wedding photos for the kids, I get it. (M has asked to see mine…and I don’t have any.)

Attaining Me: I narrowed down all the teenage mementos into one small shoebox. I’ve let myself keep that.

But I’m still purging… Thanks for all of your inspiration!


casualencounters.com/blog February 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I’ve held onto a lot of letters from ex-girlfriends, etc. Sometimes when I’m in a relationship I feel sort of guilty about it, but I was with a girl once who made me LITERALLY burn everything I had that reminded her that I hadn’t been ONLY HERS FOREVER and I regretted the bejeebus out of it after we’d broken up.

casualencounters.com/blog´s last blog post…Casual Encounters Web TV Show, Episode 2


GLSD February 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I purge twice a year. Spring and Winter. It’s a freeing feeling. If I haven’t used it in 6 mos then I put old clothes in bags and donate to the Good Will or Salvation Army. I can not stand a cluttered house.


SDMktg February 23, 2009 at 12:50 pm

My ex is being foreclosed on (her doing not mine). There are a handful of things there that I never got around to taking because I don’t really have room for them. Now I guess I’ll have to do something about that stuff. I’m forcing myself to get rid of things. I have the family pack rat gene. I always think I’ll need it one day.

I agree with MindyMom about the wedding stuff. It’s packed away somewhere. The kids should know they were born into a loving family and we were happy once.

SDMktg´s last blog post…Today is National Margarita Day


Attainingme February 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

Oh man. I have way too many keepsakes. I still have everything from my first teenage love. Everything someone has written me, etc . . .


Attainingme´s last blog post…A story in eyes


Debbie February 23, 2009 at 11:09 am

When i left my marriage I got rid of EVERYTHING! wedding pictures, mementos, gifts…I blogged recently that I wonder if I will ever regret it. But, truly it was freeing. I don’t accidentally come across something that no longer represents truth. I ‘purged’ it all. Took no prisoners and left no reminders behind….except 3 amazing children..I’ll keep them!:)

Debbie´s last blog post…Last look back…journal entries cont


dadshouse February 23, 2009 at 9:47 am

I’m not holding onto anything from my long marriage or past relationships, but I do tend to hold onto mementos from life. My garage is a mess!


Dr.Leah www.singlemommyhood.com February 23, 2009 at 8:51 am

Chatting on the phone with a GF while decluttering just makes the chore so much easier. While Rachel was tackling her shed, I was sorting through old make-up (what was I thinking when I bought that lipstick? – ugh!).

Chatting on the phone while decluttering is also a powerful reminder that you have friends in the present–here and now–who love and support you. That’s a helpful reality check as you “let go” of your past.

Dr.Leah http://www.singlemommyhood.com´s last blog post…Beware of the “marriage museum”


BlueBella February 23, 2009 at 8:51 am

Great post! I keep finding little baby daddy artifacts ferreted away in my house . . .and am slowly but surely throwing them away. It’s starting to feel quite good to have them gone and for some reason I’m a bit superstitious about it . . .like bad karma is attached to these objects and when I can find them all and purge them I will be finally free.

I know, it’s silly, but it helps me get through the emotional side of it.

BlueBella´s last blog post…More Kitchen Stuff


MindyMom February 23, 2009 at 8:41 am

I’ve purged every time I’ve moved, which has been four times in the last fouteen years. Getting rid of clutter is such a good feeling!

All I’ve saved from my marriage are the photos of our life together. They are put away in boxes but I know my kids will want them some day.

I don’t belive in throwing out wedding photos when you have kids. It’s good for them to know that at least for a time their parents were happy together. Samer goes for my youngest daughter’s father, but any other past relationship momentos are long gone.

MindyMom´s last blog post…Coming Home, Motherhood & the ER


Legal Editor Mom February 23, 2009 at 7:22 am

My house is amazingly clutter-free from when we moved in almost four years ago. I purged the few things my ex-husband left behind immediately, and the only remnance of him are pictures that our daughter has in her room.

SHE, on the other hand, is my biggest problem when it comes to clutter. At five she’s become quite the packrat, and I’m constantly having to go behind her asking her to keep it clean. I’ve finally resorted to threatening her with a huge trash bag…which seems to work. She then scurries and cleans!


Shannon February 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm

It must be a purging weekend because I did some tossing out myself. Four bags of clothes to Goodwill.

I am on a mission to have my house organized in 15 weeks. When my mom comes for the first time.

It is an scary yet awesome feeling when you let go of the junk, clutter, ex-person stuff 🙂

Shannon´s last blog post…No fancy title tonight …


Laura February 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I purge regularly – I need order so I clean out all our cupboards – kids too and throw out old stuff!

I do keep things that hold meaning but they are neatly stored somewhere 🙂

Laura´s last blog post…Friday Night at Cranks


Janet February 22, 2009 at 8:29 pm

My “marriage museum” (pictures, my wedding dress, gifts) is all stuffed into a closet.

I plan to leave it there when I move out (the ex is supposed to eventually be moving in with his gf).

I figure they can go through all of it. 🙂

Janet´s last blog post…Hope is the thing with feathers…


T February 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I did most of my purging when I moved from my old house into my current home – which is half the size. It was very much an emotional purging as well… I did find old cards, letters, photos and all from my happier married days. It also brought back memories of when my marriage was ending and I was not focused on my infant and toddler. I felt a lot of guilt over that.

I still have a few boxes to go through but it feels much lighter to have purged it all. Much lighter in many, many ways.

Love the kitty. The only kitty in the world that didn’t make my allergies go nuts.

Miss ya.

T´s last blog post…"Back in the day" isn’t so far away…


judy February 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm

sorry, one of my DD fear is I will be down to one chair, one bed, one fork/knife/plate….you get the picture. I hate clutter.

My closets are my cleanest yet i still go through them 4 times a year and heave. I realized a few years back I had more kitchen gadgets then I knew I had…I got rid of all that had not been used in the past year. Including a bookshelf full of cookbooks.

If you are skeptical then pack it away and if you do not need to open that box in 12 months then off it to Goodwill without opening it.


Oakland Mama February 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Wow – what a coincidence. My sis came down this weekend and helped me purge the entire contents of my ex-husbands and my office which served as a junk room for the last year. It was incredibly painful happening upon the wedding albums, photos, tax returns of happier (and more economically viable) times but when it was all over I had created the most amazingly beautiful little playroom for my kids. I turned something sad and depressing into something beautiful!


Susan February 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Cleaning clutter is supposed to be good for EVERYthing that ails you. I’m cleaning my clutter so that I can lose weight!

Susan´s last blog post…Poll: Help me Pick a Column to Read!


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