More stuff means more things to dust

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why is it that the longer we live in one place, the more stuff we collect, and the more stuff we collect the harder it becomes to clean around?

     Since all of our children have finally moved into their respective homes, my husband Dennis and I have been downsizing what we have left.

      When the kids moved in temporarily (for almost five months), we cleaned out rooms, closets and drawers to make room for more people and their things. I’ve found since they’ve moved out that I have more room.

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      And If I’m being honest here, since they both have moved into their new homes and are decorating and moving furniture around, it has really got me in the mood to make my house look pretty and do some decorating.

      Dennis keeps saying we’re going to have a yard sale and get rid of some of the junk we have accumulated. I’m thinking let’s either donate it or throw it away. I mean, who wants this stuff and does he realize how much work goes into having a yard sale?      Since Dennis and I married, we’ve been collectors of things. He has his eagles and I have my “toys.”

      Dennis has designated one of our guest rooms as his “eagle” room and I have moved all of my “toys” to my home office. And when I say toys, I actually mean toys. I have a modest collection of Mr. Potato Heads and some “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” figures. I have recently taken a liking to Angry Birds. I guess that’s just the kid in me.

      The rest of my house can look like adults live here, but my office looks more like a nerdy geek’s room … not that being a geek is bad. I’ve been closeting my inner geek for decades.

      Over the years I collected many things. I used to be into carousel horses and had a pretty good collection. I grew bored with them and during one of my “less is more” cleaning fits, I got rid of most of them. Now I only have a necklace with a lone carousel on it.

      For a few years, back in the early 1980s, I was into the country look in my home and I collected all types of geese and ducks. Everywhere you looked in my house there was some type of white fowl lurking. Well, I ended up giving a lot of those away and the rest were broken during a move from one house to another.

     Another time, I collected baskets and had a pretty impressive collection hanging from the ceiling in my kitchen. I had several hanging from a pot rack and others on shelves, etc. Do you know how hard it is to clean baskets? It isn’t easy. And do you realize how much dust they can accumulate, which isn’t very sanitary for a kitchen. So after several years of torture, they too were history.

     My motto had become work smarter not harder. I’m beginning to remember that motto again and I’m going to stick to it.

     Of course, the cleaning products industry is making items more convenient for cleaning. I especially love the Swiffer-type products. The floor cleaning sweeper with the magnetic cloth is great for quick cleanups and the hand-held duster with the extender is great for getting up high and dusting between small items on shelves. Of course, you still have to take items off the shelves occasionally and give things a good dusting. I also love the Clorox wipes that come in the pop-up container.

      I think Dennis was smart to move most of his eagle figurines to a spare bedroom. There’s less traffic in there and therefore less dust. We can also shut the door when the youngest grandchildren are here. There is less breakage that way and Pawpaw and Nana don’t have to say “no” or “don’t touch that.”

     It amazes me where all dust can settle. I have a huge bookcase in my living room that has sliding doors with glass fronts. It stays shut all of the time, but dust still settles on the items enclosed in it, although not as fast as things outside the bookcase.

     I told Dennis  a few days ago that I was going to buy a few totes and go through the house and start getting rid of things to make it easier to clean – less is more.

      He still says he’s having a yard sale.

      And how was your week?

      Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILY LEADER at 601-833-6961 ext. 134, by email at or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602.