Chuck It


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Dear Sisters,

Happy Spring! Would you believe we had a nor’easter yesterday? It’s still very winter like in many parts of the US and I know some of you got snow right along with us. Will it ever end? Of course it will! In fact it’s supposed to warm up along the shorelines for the weekend bringing rain that’s sure to send Old Man Winter packing for good! What’s a girl to do when she’d rather be outside digging in the dirt? I’ve been taking advantage of the cold weather to get some much-needed spring cleaning done. And I’m not talking dusting, mopping and fresh towels for all the bathrooms. I wish! Nope. I’ve been knee-deep in boxes in the recesses of our basement. Do you think I found any treasure? I found a few things I can’t live without, but I’m giving the rest the ole heave-ho! Well, most of it anyway…

Honest to Pete! Where does it all come from? Wait! I can answer that. It’s me… I am the culprit behind most of the ” stuff ” in our basement. I can’t help it! The artist, Junker, flea market goer and lover of cast offs “with potential” in me has a hard time passing up a good find. But, as time ticks on I’m beginning to realize there is truly only so much time in a day, hours in a morning or afternoon that can be filled with creative and purposeful endeavors and I must be choosy about which ones I’ll devote my time to. And that includes having ” stuff ” I don’t use and projects hanging around which I may never get to.


Those of you who read my blog regularly know that from time to time I LOVE to cast off the bow-lines and try new things. Sometimes I do this not really knowing where I’m sailing to! To me, that’s half the fun of the adventure but sometimes it can come at a price. Hence the closing of my booth Burlap and Bling in the Antique Mall this spring. My reasons for closing were two-fold.


Creatively speaking I LOVED having a little space to fill with vintage treasures and my hand-painted furniture and I LOVED the hunt of finding new things to add and dabbling in the art of display. But, when it came right down to it I DIDN’T love cleaning, pricing, and hauling all that ” stuff ” back and forth. It became cumbersome in a hurry and my enthusiasm for being a vintage booth dealer began to wane. In other-words, it didn’t speak entirely to my creative soul.  I DON’T want to be anchored to “things” that don’t set my spirit free. And I wasn’t feelin’ free! I learned once and for all that I am a ” maker ” of things. Even so it hurt to let it go and I felt like a failure. After all, I WAS so excited in the beginning. Finally I mustered up the courage to be honest with myself and admit that the parts I DIDN’T love were becoming more of a drain than a boost to my creative energy flow.


As the old saying goes, ” Nothing ventured, nothing gained!” I don’t regret giving it a try.

As hard as it was to say goodbye to Burlap and Bling I’m happy with what I learned from the overall experience. I’m ready to make way for new uncharted territories! My heart ( navigational system) is telling me there’s more art, cooking, gardening, furniture painting and writing in my future and that feels good AND right.

It’s a funny thing how playing a good game of chuck it can cleanse the soul and make you feel new again! And, it’s not bad for your basement or brain either!

Do you believe that every-time you walk by an item that needs to be repaired or stored properly it draws energy away from you? I sure do. My brain goes into major problem solving mode with an over load of questions such as:

  • Where can I put that?
  • Will I ever use it?
  • Who else could use it?
  • Do I love it?
  • Can I fix it?
  • Do I want to fix it?

Do I have time to fix it?

  • Shall I paint it?
  • Can I sell it?
  • Do I want to sell it?

And I love this one from sister Raynita Lee, ” Can I plant something in it? ”

It’s hair-pulling trying to figure it all out so I do this: I get three boxes or bags and give them each a purpose. Donate. Keep.Trash. PERIOD! This system has worked out wonderfully over the years for moving out day-to-day items that are no longer useful and for  my kids out grown clothing items. But there’s still room for improvement! As my hubby and I approach our empty nest years I’m becoming more interested in the psychological reasons behind why we clutter and why it’s so hard for some of us to just chuck it once and for all!

I came across a new book called Unclutter Your Life! How to Tame your Mess, Calm Your Mind and Lighten your Load. Author Jen Williams explores the difference between ” life clutter ” and clutter that piles up over the years. She even offers an action plan to get you on your way to a clutter free life.



My favorite place to donate is Savers Thrift Store. They fund over 150 charities annually with the monies earned from our donations. I get peace of mind knowing that my items aren’t ending up in the landfill and the satisfaction that others can make good use of something I parted with. Even if it was reluctantly! And, they have some of the best vintage dishes if you hit it on a good day! Eh hem. Did I just say that out loud?

Now’s the time to make room for all things FRESH and NEW. Wanna join me? Please share your clever DE-cluttering tips with us! And share why you KEEP some things too! We are sentimental farmgirls after all. We can’t get rid of EVERYTHING!

As always, I urge your to follow your creative dreams wherever they take you! Whether it be just down a calm little stream with a paddle or out into the wide open seas for sites UN scene. It’s YOUR journey! Make the most of it!


Until our next shoreline visit~


Sister Deb # 1199








  1. Aaah, fellow clutterer. I now look at things I’ve acquired and remember the spirit which egged me on to gather them. I need to calm that spirit and tell it, “nevermore, nevermore.” I am now trying to organize a sewing studio. I do use the phrase “do you love it?” or now, “will it make a great apron or dish drainer quilt?” The spirit always says,”yes!” Are we hopeless?

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Are we hopeless Sylvia? More times than not I’m afraid I have given in to spirit! Oh, well…I guess we’ll just keep trying!

  2. Deb, I love all your posts. They are always uplifting, comforting and refreshing. This one does all that and also brings humility, and peace to the reader. Bravo!

  3. I’m tackling my barn this summer and I plan on being ruthless once I get the time to dive in. We could use more space so those cross-country skis I haven’t been on in 20 years need to go! Along with that broken bike I’ve never fixed and that wall of bookkeeping records that the IRS wants me to keep for seven years. Gone! I’ll recycle what I can and donate what’s useable. It’s gonna feel soooooooooo good.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Oh, it WILL feel good MJ! My in-laws have a barn with over 4 generations of goodies in it! That will be a tall order when the time comes to clear it out but I know there WILL be some good treasures as well. Good luck with YOURS! I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind diggin’ around in your barn…LOL!!!

  4. Adrienne says:

    My de-cluttering began in 2003 when I bought a 20′ motorhome to live in. Everything I owned needed to be stored inside and in one outside compartment. Once I lived in that RV for five years, I then sold it and purchased a 27′ motorhome. That didn’t mean I had 7 more feet of storage space. It just meant the storage was better able to accommodate a separate bedroom instead of a drop-down dinette bed and an all-in-one bathroom with a shower stall containing the toilet and medicine chest. Imagine taking a squeegee to your entire bathroom every day! Now that I’m off the road and in a tiny apartment (converted hotel room), every piece of furniture serves a purpose and I have no need for dishes, flatware or other items for more than I can seat at a table. The clutter has no chance to accumulate because I would have to step over it or remove it. It may not work for everyone but once you have stripped down to the bare minimum for living, you can slowly add items that make you happy, cherish them and give away the rest to others who can appreciate them.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      My goodness Adrienne, You could write a book about your paring down experiences. I think it would be quite useful and inspiring! You must love the Tiny House movement! I sure do! Thank you for sharing your story. It’s very moving. xo Deb

  5. Bonnie ellis says:

    I don’t call it clutter,I call it lovables. It’s like trying to hold 15 chickens at a time. We love them all but can’t hold them on our lap at the same time. Deb, you’ve got it right. Time to focus on the things we love the very most and pass on to others the rest. Whee…….the process is fun and heart-wrenching. How about a photo record instead of keeping the real stuff. Less space and we still have remembrance. Love your blog farmgirl. Bonnie

  6. Deb Bosworth says:

    Loveables… I LOVE that Bonnie. I like your analogy too! Thanks so much for reading and for your note! xo Deb

  7. glenda woodward says:

    I have boxes in my mother’s basement that I have not unpacked since I moved. 20 years ago. I’m shaking my head knowing that it is sentement and only sentement that keep me from it. I’m pretty sure of what is in there. There are all the pictures I took on a trip to Europe with my 85 year old grandmother. 20 some years ago. There is a box of Noritake china my father bought for my grandmother when he was making one of his 3 trips around the world, during WWII. Then there is the box that holds the last of my father’s belongings. A soft camel jacket with suede patches on the elbows….It’s knowing that when I have paired everything down to the bare end, that I will have to say good bye and let go. It makes me sick just thinking about it. I am curious to see these things again after all this time. 20 some years, for some a lifetime ago, to me still sitting there waiting.

  8. Deb Bosworth says:

    Glenda, Going through old boxes can definitely bring up emotions…It’s hard to let go of ” things” that remind us of our loved ones… I know… 🙂 Good luck with it. It’s not always an easy process. Hugs! Deb

  9. Sandi says:

    Creative spirits are great collectors who love to share with others! I totally understand your decision, as I found being tethered to my store, full time, by myself, began to wear on my soul. It was difficult not being out in the thick of fleas and sales, where my adrenaline would flow. I now find that when I need to ‘share’ a little with others I hold upscale yard sales, and all in all, haven’t really missed much that went home with someone else. Good luck on all you endeavors! Sandi

  10. Deb Bosworth says:

    So well put Sandi! I like your idea of holding an ” upscale yard-sale” too for those items that are too special to donate! Thank you for the well wishes and for reading! xo Deb

  11. Marji McDonald says:

    Spring cleaning fever has struck me too. I have been tackling the “black hole” I call my guest room closet. I have discovered that I am really good at packing a lot of stuff into a small space. How do you get rid of your treasures you had so much fun collecting? I am having a hard time with that one. I appreciate your insight on having your business and moving on too. You have inspired me to try a few new ideas and feel OK if they don’t work out. Thank you for all your wit and wisdom. Spring is finally here!! Looking forward to your adventures in the garden and on the shore. Hugs to you Deb!

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Marji!
      It IS amazing how much ” stuff ” one can squeeze into one closet. When we moved East 12 years ago, we didn’t have time to go through some things and are just now getting to them. Would you believe my hubby still has some of his work from high-school in boxes? He’s picking away at it right along with me! It’s feeling good so far!!! Hang in there with your sorting.. soon we’ll be outside and those dusty, musty boxes of memories will be a thing of the past! Hugs! xo Deb

  12. Hello Deb, aww I am a little sad about Burlap and Bling but I totally understand. I make and sell my things as you know at the farmers mkt/flea mkt and I get so tired of lugging back and forth as well. I have been seriously thinking about doing an online shop as I am always shopping at other online shop,,,duh! but I also can relate to the decluttering. Like the lady above we sold our land and home in La, and we had a 3 story shed filled with stuff, and we moved into our RV to live full time, for about 2 years we had a 30 x 30ft storage with 10ft ceiling filled from back to front top to bottom all the way to the door to where you could barely close. Then once we moved from La. to OR with hubbys job and then from OR to NC we decided to quit paying storage bldg fees and let go. Boy did it feel good to finally be free of clutter and posessions. There is such a freedom in de-cluttering and it is so true that once you declutter your house your life becomes decluttered as well, because you no longer have things to worry over. ahhhhh FREEDOM!..Love ya and keep decluttering. We have a little small farm house now about 1100 sq ft and I just told sweetie the other day that I am ready to go back to my 300 sq ft RV. lol…no seriously I am..Be Blessed. Neta 🙂

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Howdy Miss Neta!

      You are too funny! But, I can totally relate.. I love when we are at our cottage… It’s only 400 square feet and during the summertime you only need a few things to get you by! I liken that to living in an RV…Small spaces really do rock!
      So great to hear from you! Hugs and blessings to you too!xo Deb

  13. Penny says:

    I feel the pain. A very good friend downsized a few years ago and during her downsize I realized my kids are going to back up a dumpster if anything happens to me, I’ve been decluttering every since. My hardest is my “I oh so want to make this” pile. Makes me feel good I am NOT alone!

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Penny, My ” I wanna make this ” pile is the biggest one I have! That one is particularly hard to sift through and toss out… but I do a little at a time… it doesn’t ” hurt ” so bad that way! 🙂 XO Deb

  14. Jodie says:

    Oh Deb, you didn’t fail at all. You just followed your heart, embraced the adventure, and then moved on to follow your heart again. That’s living life to its fullest, something some people dream of doing but don’t because of fear. So good for you and thanks for taking us along for the ride! I’m SUCH a keeper/clutterer. I’m currently going through boxes that are 15 years old that having been hanging out in the garage. Fun to reminisce but fun to let go. My secret weapon is husband. He’s my voice of reason when I’m struggling to let go. He happens to do an amazing job of telling me that it’s time to go or it’s good to keep. He even has a reason as to why it should stay or go. Fairly impressive. Who knew?! Looking forward to your next adventure. Take care!

  15. Wanda says:

    I have the very same picture of the daisy and mums, my frame is a dark brown, and when I saw yours in the antiqued white it gave me the idea to paint mine. Since I will shortly be painting my bedroom walls a pale green, it should look very good….Thanks for showing the print and frame….

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Wanda! Yes, these pictures had the dark brown stain too but thought a light coat of off-white would brighten them up and bring the up to date… Have fun with your up-do too! I agree… they will look wonderful on pale green walls…:) xo Deb

  16. Dear Debbie, I love your article as it has inspired me to move forward an keep cleaning those drawers, cupboards an boxes of stuff with an intermission of repapering some of the drawers (i think the contact paper was from 1950 something) .I to recently (almost 2 yr ago ) closed my antique business of 35 yrs. it was bittersweet but I couldn’t do the standing anymore with the R.A. an so it was time to say la vie..And I had a craft room(S) waiting for me that hadn’t seen me in a while except an occasional visit..But alas the basement needs an overhaul since it still has stuff from the shop in it, so I don’t seem to be able to figure out which end to start at first, so I did alot of nothing..I decided a month ago to not worry about basement for now till weather is better an start small drawers/cupboards an such hadn’t done very many an I filled up 2 trash cans (trash only) I a junker remember an anything usable can be resold so a car load of boxs later to the local thrift store an i’m feeling pretty proud of myself ! But there’s more to go so I say start small one area one box at a time an be ruthless with your decisions on what to go..The local shops appreciate the items that are in good usable shape an the people who shop there….THANKS Debbie for the boost to move forward again an DECLUTTER our space an our minds along with it…Good luck to all

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi there Cheryl! Congratulations on your small but victorious spring cleaning efforts… I’m finding every little box, drawer, and trip the thrift store to make donations makes me feel lighter and lighter… I can only imagine what the shift has been like for you after 35 years of filling an antique shop with wonderful finds. Onward and upwards as they say! Keep up the good work! xo Deb

  17. Nell says:

    Hi Deb, I really enjoy your posts. I, too, try many different things when I get interested in a subject. Sometimes I just take classes and sometimes I start little businesses. I’ve done pet sitting, craft shows, reflexology, henna tattoos and more…things that I just get interested in and have to try. The one thing I’ve found is that I have learned so much from each endeavor and am surprised how much comes in handy in my life that I never would have known had I not tried it. No such thing as failing; it’s a life experience! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Nell,
      We are soul sisters! You are right about ” no such thing as failing”. I think it’s the learning new things that I ” really” love about having so many interests. It makes life interesting doesn’t it?
      Thanks so much for reading and your sweet note. Keep Calm and Try Something New Today! 🙂 xo Deb

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