Purge, purge, purge. Organize, organize, organize. Those six little words have summed up my life for the last 6 months. My husband and I are selling our house of 15 years with the hopes of downsizing, simplifying, and getting out from under the large mortgage payment. The kids are either in college or on their own, so it’s a good time to sell…if only the economy would work with us!

Every closet, drawer, and dust-bunny corner has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb. Some of these forgotten spaces haven’t been touched in the 15 years since we’ve owned the house. Other areas seem to house the “clutter gremlins” that undo all the work I did last year.

But enough about that! I want to share with you the contents of a small Ziploc that I unearthed from my closet. It contained receipts, carefully organized and hermetically sealed in a plastic zipper bag, and then tossed up on my shelf and forgotten until the cleaning bug hit me. You may have some of these baggies yourself.

The contents inside was what struck me and got me thinking. The receipts were for ‘things’, ‘things’ I’m sure I needed or wanted at the time, ‘things’ I was sure would make a nice gift, ‘things’ that came and went into and out of my life. Consumerism at its finest.


How many dollars (and they added up to quite a lot) could have been saved by not spending so much? How many hours of decluttering could have been saved by not buying so much? Especially since, for many of us, these must-have ‘things’ fade quickly into the woodwork, making way for more must-have ‘things’.

As I skimmed through the now faded strips of paper, I had a hard time remembering what items I bought. Not one item on any of the receipts was still in my house, or if they were, I couldn’t tell. Come and gone…forgotten.

Or it could just be my memory is fading.

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