I can't remember the year, but maybe close to 14 years ago, our home was in the pathway of a fire storm. One of our labs was sleeping in our bedroom and was whining at the door. I woke up and smelled smoke. It was about 6 a.m. We ran outside and the yard was hazy with smoke. Embers were flying through the air so my husband jumped on our shake roof and started wetting it down.
We called two friends who were in the volunteer fire department in the little town we lived in for info. They said they were just heading out and to prepare to evacuate as the fire had just jumped the highway north of us.
Our house had about 3300 square feet of floor space and we had lived there about 15 years. We also had a 3 car carport out back with an attached pool room/storage room. We had lots of stuff. Lots!
We packed up pets (4 labs and 5 cats), musical instruments (except piano) and family photos, camera equipment and some of my favorite books. Ready to go, we wandered around the house looking at all the STUFF left that I was not willing to pack, ready to let it be destroyed in the blaze headed our way.
The fire came to our little road from three different directions. All the men had stayed and as the fire came they helped each other save our homes.
After the fire, my husband and I had a long discussion about our collection of things-we-like-but-wouldn't-save-in-case-of-evacuation! I wondered why I dust so much crap I am unwilling to rescue. We soon sold the house, down-sized to 1970 sq feet and rid ourselves of lots and lots of stuff.
We have lived here for about 10 years. Though the house looks clean and neat (mostly) it is still out of order due to circumstances this last month. I decided to dedicate this weekend to putting things back in order and cleaning house. As I was sipping my Dutch Bros Kicker, I scanned the surroundings to make a little To Do list in my head.
Holy Crap! We've done it again! We have collected a ton of stuff, again, lots of it is not where it belongs because there is no place for it to belong! Today's cleaning will be accompanied by a box (garage sale items) and garbage bag.
My attitude: Would I pack you to save you from a fire? Would someone else pack you to save you from a fire? Depending on answer, I will find a place for it to "belong' or the item will go to box or bag.
P.S. My darling husband, I know you can't stand a counter, ledge or table that is clear and clutter free! Come with me to see my therapist so we can work this out. I know for a fact that seeing the top of a table or ledge is not fatal!