Decluttering Leads to Finding Treasures – July 10 Inspiration

Decluttering Leads to Finding Treasures – July 10 Inspiration

Decluttering leads to finding treasures! If ever you need incentive to start or continue decluttering…consider that you just may find long forgotten or misplaced treasures! Hubby Dave and I are planning to move to New Hampshire (from Maine) next spring–actually BACK to NH for me, as I was born and raised there, and my two youngest daughters, my sons-in-law, and my grandchildren live there. We have begun the decluttering process for that reason, plus…we just have too much STUFF!


Porch decluttering - before, during, after photos!
                Porch decluttering – before, during, after photos!


As Dave and his parents cleaned and sorted through his brother’s things, they found many special, sentimental items. As I have worked on decluttering our sun porch over the weekend, I found our cat carrier, the rest of my speech therapy toys and learning aids (including my PECS book), some older family pictures, a poem by Helen Steiner Rice I read after my Dad passed away, and a tribute I wrote to my Dad around the same time in September 2002.


The poem is actually quite relevant now, due to the recent death of my brother-in-law.


When I Must Leave You

“When I must leave you for a little while,
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years,
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my name
Live on and do all things the same,
Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort and cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!

-Helen Steiner Rice



And now, as I’ve just remembered my Mom’s passing away 5 years ago (7-7-2011), I’m approaching the 14th year since losing my Dad (9-2-2002). This is the tribute piece I wrote for him back then.


My Dad and me from a birthday long ago.
My Dad and me from a birthday long ago.

Always There

   “My Dad…how does one begin to describe a man who was one in a million…he was just always there–from  my earliest memories, my Dad was always there for me.

   There to listen, there with his broad shoulders to bear burdens, there with his big bear hugs–strong yet gentle–there to laugh with, there to cry with–there for instruction as well as correction…wise yet humble–a true picture of love and humility, a true example of unconditional love.

   Criticism was rare, while encouragement was frequent…his support could be depended on, even when he didn’t necessarily agree with some of my foolish decisions over my 44 years that I’ve been privileged to call him Dad. He never withdrew his love, his forgiveness, or his acceptance of me for who I was to him–his oldest daughter.

   I have so many cherished memories of our family times–all the camping trips and vacations, all the family gatherings and holiday celebrations which grew larger over the years as my siblings and I grew, married, and had children–as my parents eventually became grandparents of 11 grandchildren–with number 12 on the way!

And with each new birth, my Dad did his special bonding pose, as we had  come to know it, and blessed each grandchild in his own special way…and carried on the tradition of sharing his love and his faith with his grandchildren, as he continued to do with each of my siblings and myself…

My Dad doing the "Grampy Pose" that he did with every one of his grandchildren.
My Dad doing the “Grampy Pose” that he did with every one of his grandchildren.

As he did with everyone who ever had the honor of knowing him and calling him ‘friend’ or ‘brother.’ A giant of a man, our ‘gentle giant’ in the eyes of all who knew him. Yet he never would accept any credit or praise–he always gave God the glory for every good thing that came his way–and never blamed God for any of the bad things… a good example for us all!

Yes, he was one in a million and can never be replaced. His physical presence will be deeply missed–is already missed–especially his wonderful hugs, which I could sure use right now!

Yet his presence in our hearts and minds will always be there–precious and enduring in our memories. Just as he was always there for me all my life, he will continue to be always HERE for me, in my mind and my heart, living on forever…

I already miss you, Dad –and I love you forever.”  –Karen Lee Banks  9-2002

My Dad, the Master Encourager.
   My Dad, the Master Encourager.


So what are YOUR thoughts?

Have you recently, or in the distant past, lost a loved one?

Have you ever come across special sentimental items while cleaning years later?


8 thoughts on “Decluttering Leads to Finding Treasures – July 10 Inspiration

  1. My brother recently died, which caused me to go through things I haven’t seen in 20 years for his children. The memories are bittersweet. I came across my Dad’s Honorable Discharge Papers from World War Two with his bronze medals!

  2. Facing the death of someone you love is a dreadful thing. I shudder even at the thought of it. Yet, like change, death is a certain thing. Nobody knows when it comes. You just have to face it. After all, those who came back from the dead say death is not to be feared.

    My prayers go out to your Dad, Mom and brother-in-law.

  3. K-Lee, what a bonus, finding hidden or forgotten treasures in your clutter. An upcoming move is really motivating, isn’t it? When my husband and I moved in together, we tossed/gave to neighbors/donated/recycled a few dumpsters worth of belongings. We’re still organizing! Maybe that’s just something we all need to see as an ongoing process? I recently found some notes from classes I taught twenty years ago– notes I can really use this year. Thanks for a thought-provoking piece!

  4. I recently scheduled de-cluttering of documents and paperwork; I was surprised at the intensity of emotion I experienced, even looking at old utilities bills. It’s not what the documents were – it’s what they represented that gave me mega-feels.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss; I haven’t lost a close family member recently. I lost my father in 1991, he was 57. We are in the process of decluttering; I’ve always held on to little trinkets and then one day decided the clutter waa causing anxiety. From that point on if I haven’t used it recently I was tossed or recycled.

  6. Many of us, I suspect, have been through the ordeal/pleasure of decluttering after a parent has died (or has had to move due to health issues). I am hoping that, when I finally declutter my own home, I find some items I’ve been missing for years.

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