Saturday, February 4, 2012

Organizing Challenge: Emptying The Little Green Dresser

Yesterday I did the hardest thing in the whole Organizing Challenge.

I emptied the little green dresser.

The little green dresser has always been a part of my life even though it's only lived at my house for nearly 12 years.  It belonged to my Aunt Erna.  She kept an assortment of crafting supplies and tools in it.  It was in their apartment in Downey and then moved to the spare room in their Fresno house.  I spent a lot of time with it just being in the background.  For the majority of my life it sat just outside the bathroom door off of their second bedroom in their Fresno house.  When it came to my house I put it where?  Outside of the bathroom door in our master bedroom.  It just seemed like it ought to be there.

It's not a fancy piece.  It's very plain and utilitarian.  It's '70's green.  Aunt Erna also had a little step ladder she used as a stool at her breakfast bar in the same shade of green.  You had to have known my Aunt Erna to understand that this little dresser was a bit out of character for her.  She was a woman that liked pretty things.  She worked hard in her younger years and purchased some beautiful things that now reside with me.  I love things with family and history attached to them.  I have a lovely swan head antique sofa from her home that I cherish.  But what makes me cherish it even more is the photograph of her, her sister (my Grandma Mildred), and their mother (my Great-Grandma Rose) all sitting on that sofa.  Oh, how I love those women!  And I also have pictures of me sitting with Aunt Erna, Grandma Mildred, and my little brother on that antique sofa.  One of my favorite pictures is of my daughter sitting on it as well.  Back to the little green dresser.

I decided to begin the Challenge in our master bedroom.  Two days ago I cleared off the antique desk and the old sewing cabinet.  Yesterday I looked for the next smaller area to tackle.  Clearing that dresser took all day.  Why?  Because that dresser had become the catch all for family things.  All of my inherited linens were in two of the drawers.  There was old jewelry and a few photographs in another drawer.  As I sorted through the items it became clear to me that I didn't need to keep all of it anymore.  I could let much of it go and still preserve my love for those people attached to the things I was going through. 

I chose to keep only 7 of the handmade doilies and embroidered linens.  I kept a bit more of the jewelry but not much more.  And I'm satisfied it's "enough".  By clearing out the drawers I quickly realized that this dresser could now be the place for the huge amount of family photographs and original documents I have.  I'm the family historian and thankfully my small family trusts me to keep all this stuff that they aren't sure how to throw away.  They know that it's safe somewhere.  All the aforementioned stuff is scattered throughout my house.  Now it will have a place altogether. 

What a blessing!

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