Friday, January 18, 2019

Tidying Up

I'm documenting my work here, for myself perhaps more than for anyone else. The top of this cabinet was covered in papers, dog medicines, receipts, a dog brush even for the longest time. Yesterday, I cleaned it all up. And purged my jewelry box. 

When visiting Christina and Inga's country place in Sweden, I went under a birch tree and took this green picture. I look at it fondly when nature here dries up and turns brown. The girls are my great-nieces when they were younger. They are older now, Jasmine is in Junior High and Jackie is eight. The Dobermans are Gypsy and Red, the first two dogs of the ten we lived with during our marriage. 

The lamp was my grandmother's. My mother as a young woman and my two cat angels, Samantha and Sindbad. 

Errol and me on our boat and in Mexico, where we spent a lot of time and had a lot of fun. Pedro, the guy whose land we stayed on, gave Errol the horse.  Errol named him Renegade and was a wild rider, bareback always, with just a rope around the muzzle. Not my cup of tea, having grown up riding English saddle with all the appropriate gear. Pedro gave me a saddle but no bridle or anything just the rope. Since the horses were as mellow as Pedro, only problem I usually had was to get a horse to move at all.

I have this huge jewelry box, someone gave to Errol and he gave to me. I never thought I would fill it up, but somehow I did over the years. I don't wear jewelry much here, and had no idea what was in it. I sold my good stuff years ago when the economy crashed and gold was valuable. I have a few good things in my box at the bank, the rest, was in here. 

Those of you who have read Marie Kondo's book or seen her Netflix show about the magic of tidying up, know that the criteria for what to keep is this: An item must "Spark JOY." I'm using that part of her method here, but not taking it too seriously. Though it is helpful.

This is what I kept: The bracelets all come from local thrift stores at $1.00 a piece, the two necklaces are from Chico's in Los Angeles (yes, they all spark Joy).

The little round box contains a small gold four-leaf clover that someone bestowed on me when I was baptized. The Tiffany thingy and the red box are empty. None of this sparks any joy, so probably should be gone. But at least it's empty all around.

The large chunky necklace was a surprise. No idea where that came from. It may look OK on me, but no sparks of joy are flying. The one next to it I love and wear often. The other things are some pins that can stay and a couple of rings. 

The elephant earrings have a story: Errol and Glenn had a small construction business, while I had a good career at UCLA. Sometimes, usually depending on the economy, we had little money. At one such point in time, Errol decided, unbeknownst to me, to take what little money he had left and drive to Las Vegas to see if he could win some more. Most such wild ideas don't end well and this one didn't. So nearly broke, he spent his last money buying those earrings for me. I don't remember if I was angry or not, but I will never part with those elephants, that I know for sure.

 And these are the necklaces I'm keeping. Not sure about the JOY, but they will all stay for now,

I'm packing up some of the things I'm getting rid of and sending them to my great-nieces. They can either wear them or Jackie can play with them, dressing up her Barbies.

The rest goes to our Hospital Guild thrift store in town, where someone else can pay $1.00 and enjoy my old custom jewelry.

Finally, it brought me so much JOY to post again, to visit you, and to hear back from you my dear blogger friends. Buttons and Feral Woman too!! Friends bring more joy than all the stuff one ever will accumulate, for sure.....


  1. I always feel soooo good when I do what you did here, I love to see the tops all straight and everything inside look organized and I promise myself I will keep it that way and never do... I like the idea of sparks your joy. I enjoyed seeing all your photo memeories. I have a wall behind my desktop that has framed memories of bob's and my family, all the family memories are in the computer room, a dog wall in garage and in kitchen. you did great organizing and welcome back to blogland

  2. Hurray!!! I have company in the tidying process. My small space needed refreshing, I'm using the same "Spark Joy" method . . . it's slow going because my pupster had a healing process - for weeks we've had her crate out - kinda like having an apartment inside a little room . . giggle . . STILL - already I've donated a few bags. My place will never seem as gorgeous as yours . . . But, it made me happy to know we are doing something similar. love & love, -g-

  3. When we moved, we did that. It was hard and yet not. Kept exactly as you did: joy.

    Great post.

  4. I always feel so good after I have a good cleanup.

  5. This clearing out and cleaning out must be catching. Earlier this year younger daughter took a heap of "stuff" back south, and last weekend older daughter took tents, air beds and some jewellery. Next time they visit,more jewellery will be divided between them. I love your cabinet with those special items out there, to be seen and treasured every day.

  6. I love peeking into your jewelry box!!The elephant earrings are adorable, and what a story comes with them!! They are my favorite. I spotted your lamp right away and love it. Your mom is beautiful. Funny, I just went through my jewelry box! I have quite a few pieces that belonged to my mom. Some I really don't like, but can't get rid of them just because they were hers. I think a lot of jewelry we keep not for the actual piece, but for the memories they have. As soon as I throw away one of those little jewelry boxes, I find I need one for a gift.

  7. The wood on that cabinet is so beautiful and shiny and you did a great job of tiding up. Your place is looking so clean and tidy. It makes me feel good just to look at it.

    I love those elephant earrings too and the story behind them. I think it's great that you use the Joy factor to know what you keep and what you get rid of. I inherited a lot of jewellery from my daughter Nicole and will never be able to wear it all because I seldom go out anymore. Maybe some day I'll start to go out more.

    I need to do what you did and spruce up my house but right now we are bracing for a major menacing snow storm with prolong period of freezing rain, ice pellets, potential for blizzard. Over 60 centimeter of snow, around 2 feet of snow in some places.
    I wish you a good weekend with Samson and Faith.
    Hugs, Julia

  8. "a spark of joy" - It seems Marie Kondo got a bit carried away. It's something we have to do (decluttering). There's no particular joy involved in it or in the items we're considering keeping or getting rid of. Perhaps, only some kind of satisfaction for a job well done.

  9. Hi Inger - what a delightful post to read ... I love the story of Errol buying you those elephant earrings ... appeasement to his love. A fun selection of 'goodies' to bring back happy memories for you ... but tidying up - certainly helps hugely - I must do that this weekend, finally finish some things off. Take my mind of the gloomy day - which I know you'd love and would bring you much Joy. Your times in Mexico with the boat, the animals and being able to be together look just amazing - I'd love to visit that part of the world ... unlikely now - but good to imagine and see through yours and others' eyes ... have a good weekend - cheers Hilary

  10. You've made everything look so nice and I know how good it makes you feel to lighten your load. I read the book and followed the method...up to a point. I wasn't as severe as she suggests! lol Enjoy your weekend sweet friend!

  11. I love reading your memories of the photos and jewelry. I'd keep those elephant earrings forever too. The boat and horses and Pedro are another wonderful memory. Thanks so much for sharing. Great job decluttering!!!!

  12. First off, I love that lamp. Beautiful. Love how you are recycling you jewelry to family or the hospital Going through all those things brought back such sweet memories. Payment for a job well done.

  13. Just one comment of my own ~ I still have so much to do. I have been only half-well this past year so nothing much has been done. Things piling up everywhere. There will be more pictures and posts as I, hopefully, am able to tidy up my entire house. Posting about it afterwards is now becoming an award of sorts for a job well done, something we all need I think.

  14. That blue necklace in the bottom picture is lovely. Are you keeping the mirror I made for you?

  15. Oh Inger, I love your photos and reading your memories of the things that are treasures of your heart and bring you JOY. --I've been seeing a lot of the "decluttering and JOY" and am working towards doing that as well. It's time, and I need too, and winter is a perfect time to do it.

  16. Dear Inger, your saving the jewelry that sparks joy speaks to me. I'm in a decluttering mood this year and hope to slowly, but systematically go through the house and garage in the coming months and discover truly that less is more. My jewelry box will also be part of this journey into letting go and opening my heart and mind to the future. Thank you for inspiring me. Peace.

  17. Sparks Joy is a good basis to use when clearing out stuff, plus usefulness of course. I have lots of jewelry I am keeping, especially items my husband gave me, like your elephant earrings that have a story. I did give some to my friend who was going on a mission trip and she requested jewelry to give as prizes to the kids there.

  18. HAHA!! We are all doing the Marie Kondo method this winter! Your Jewelry box was fun to go "through" with you, and I agree, sometimes when it doesnt spark joy, let someone else feel the joy :)


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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