Amy Clark

There are Holes in My House Where My Clutter Used To Be

This corner of my garage has been housing our old dishwasher since we replaced it this fall. It was one of those things that needed to be taken care of, but I kept procrastinating on it. As long as I could get my car parked and open our doors comfortably, did it really matter that it was sitting there?

While the kids were enjoying some fresh sunshine in our front yard one day though, I started to organize our garage…a dumping ground of activity in our home. Don’t know what to do with something? Just throw it in the garage or basement until you can “figure it out.”

I started loading items right into our car that we were no longer using and could donate, other items were thrown into the trash. I filled our car up with the first load of stuff and made a pile for a second round later.

I flipped through our local paper and found a company that hauls your junk for free. We have one particular company that we like because they are very respectful and come when they say they are going to come. They arrived the next morning and picked up the dishwasher and some old doors that we had from our closets. The entire process took about five minutes and everything was gone. Yes, I completed this task while watching my kids play in the front yard- a half year for a five minute task, but I guess that is how I can procrastinate sometimes.

Feeling motivated, I started clearing out the basement, my closet and drawers of too old clothes, cleaned out both of the kid’s drawers and closets and loaded up four more loads of stuff that we didn’t need. Summer clothes were moved into the closets and an inventory was taken of what little they really did need for the warmer months ahead.

I sold $70 worth of Emily’s cloth diapers, $25 worth of her clothes, $10 in Ethan’s toys, and am making another $50 on our train table that the kids no longer play with. That is $155 that I made plus a nice tax deduction for next year. Although I might have done well with a garage sale, I really just wanted the items out so I could get on with life.

We miss none of the clutter and I am continuing to add to the car as I see things. I didn’t just look at the big things though, there were lots of little things too. For example, every single morning, I would remove this little toaster oven baking sheet that came with my toaster oven so that I could make the kid’s their bagels. I never actually used the little cookie sheet because I used my little stoneware pan if I needed to use something, but every single day, I would pull that sheet out to put my bagel in. It would rest on the counter, aggravating me until I could slip it back into its proper place. Last week I looked at that dish and asked myself, “Why do I do this every day?” I didn’t use it, it was a nuisance, it got in the way of what I needed to do….so I loaded it into the car. Guess what? It isn’t bothering me and I am glad to have it gone.

Is there something that is getting in the way of your life? Why not start a container in your car and fill it as you see things. When the bin is full, just drop it at a charity on your errand day. Start with a small tote and see if you could fill that. What I found though was that I started with a tote that turned into a trunk full of items that were not being used in our house.

Yes, I like the holes in my house where my junk used to be!

Published May 09, 2008 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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