All Our Ducks in a Dumpster

Posted by on Aug 10, 2018 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 6 comments

All Our Ducks in a Dumpster


A couple of mornings ago as I sat at my computer researching topics about which I need to know more, I remembered an article I wrote almost twenty years ago. It was never published and I thought it might be something I could spiff up and send out to a magazine. I knew it was somewhere in the files of my computer, but where?


Every time I get a new computer, I have Bruce move my files to the new one. It’s kind of like pulling a moving van up to the house and putting everything in:  trash, junk, things you don’t want—and  of course the ones you do.


So, now you know I’m not a very organized computer person. I do have some folders I’ve developed over the years for my books and speaking, but there is this massive file called “WRITING” that is kind of like the junk drawer in the kitchen or the back bedroom. It gets all the homeless, left-over pieces.


I started looking through the file and came upon documents that obviously belonged in another existing folder. So I moved them. Then I found documents that are clearly no longer necessary to keep, so I deleted them. Yes, I did.


As I worked through the file I couldn’t help but think of the process we are undertaking this week.

Yesterday morning a dumpster was deposited at our house by our trash company. I am beyond excited for this grand cleaning out. It’s a big step for us. We are cleaning out the back bedroom, the one that gathered all of the things we didn’t know what to do with. Quilting things that belonged to his mother. Old family items. Some of his brothers’ things. Old blankets. A worn out single mattress. You get the picture.


We’ve even found a few treasures like two antique portable typewriters and a lifetime supply of thread in every color imaginable!

Some things, like the treasures, we are finding necessary to keep. Others we will put in the pile to donate to the Salvation Army or give to family. And the rest will go in the dumpster. When we finish in that room we will move on to the basement to clean out the excess storage there. When done we’ll have space for the things we have in a storage unit. At least that’s the plan.


For the first time in our marriage we will have all our stuff in one house. I’m certain we won’t every become minimalists, and I know it doesn’t mean we will have all our ducks in a row, but it’s a start, isn’t it? Isn’t it?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Cindy Hagat

    It is, it is! But my heart did skip a beat, or two, when I read you were throwing quilting things away. Emptying out one’s nest can be difficult, cleaning out a nest started by a prior generation Is even more difficult! Take time to remember the family who belonged to these items, take a deep breathe, don’t have second thoughts about what you are about to do, and throw long and hard that no longer needed item, throw it far far away.
    May you and Bruce have a true sense of accomplishment when finished; congratulations once your treasures are all under one roof. Quack quack

    • admin

      Thanks, Cindy! We both have a horrible time letting go of things that belonged to people we love. As much as we can, we are giving away things and donating. . . but some stuff just needs to go! Thanks for the encouragement! (If you want gobs of quilting magazines I’ve got a deal for you.)

  2. Sandy Carlson

    Organization is such a good thing. Good for you, Miriam. You are a constant inspiration.

  3. Sarah Calhoun

    So proud of you both! Like you, our home will never be clutter-free, although we see the advantages. But I agree with Cindy — I started to panic a little when I read the quilting things part! I used to say that when I became a grandmother, I would make quilts. For several reasons, that hasn’t actually happened yet, although I have been a grandmother now for almost seven years. (!!!) My own grandmother and great grandmother each had needlework specialties, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. (Daughter Beth actually has done so, and is a skilled quilter and crafter.) My mother kindly passed on to me some of those old supplies and tools. I was thankful, as I continued to read your post, to learn that you and Bruce intend to donate or give away whatever is still usable by someone else. You can rejoice that those items are still being used and appreciated, while enjoying all that new-found space.

    • admin

      Yep. Just can’t throw away good stuff, although there have been a few discussions about what is still “good.” 🙂