Friday, August 13, 2010


oil on canvas

This is Bean. He's not an Ewok. I checked. He's a commission I just completed. I think.

The revamp continues. This week, it's been an exceedingly sobering experience. All this started as my somewhat light-hearted effort to re-arrange my life in an orderly, grown up fashion, clearing out the clutter, start behaving like a professional. This week it became painfully clear that I have a problem. A big one. I had a moment of clarity I think they call it. I saw for the first time in my life just how much crap I've accumulated...and I'm only working on my store room.

This is my very first before and after photo. The big difference this time is that I'm not stuffing things away so it looks neat, I'm actually getting rid of it all. The living room is the unfortunate repository of what used to be here while I sort, donate and toss out. Happily, the Lupus Foundation picks up donations right off the front porch. I found boxes of canvasses I'd ordered and forgotten. It was like going shopping in my own home! This room is now organized in a very efficient manner. I'll never add anything unless there is a place for it. I'm thrilled and can't wait to branch out to other areas of the house.

As I filled bag after endless bag with books, magazines, action figures and the like, I became hopelessly overwhelmed and just sat down and had myself a real good cleansing cry. I didn't know! I didn't see! Just who the hell did all this? Apparently that "hoarder" joke I made at the outset is on me. On a sliding scale of one to ten, I'm quickly approaching a solid eight! Just thinking about the amount of things stuffed into closets and the garage is mind boggling.

I thought I was ok. You know, occasionally I spent too much on things we didn't need. I knew I mood altered with shopping. I didn't know I mood altered with clutter as well. Although I feel badly for wasting our money and stuffing our home with useless things, I'm grateful for whatever caused me to finally see the problem for what it is. Himself is beside himself with joy that I've finally seen the light. He offered to help, but I think the best therapy is to handle every single piece of poop I've collected. This way, I'll reflect a tad more on any possible purchase before bringing it home to add to the existing chaos.

Thank you everyone for your wonderfuly supportive comments! They've helped me so much! I don't feel like I'm alone in the wilderness of clutter. And the suggestions have helped so much. Each time himself sparks up the grill an entire box of bank statements and credit card solicitations do their part to get the coals a glowin'! And I also appreciate the suggestions on how to thank everyone for stopping by and leaving comments. I'm giving myself a block of time each day, starting Monday, to catch up on what everyone has been doing, I've missed so much.

Thank you again and enjoy the weekend.


  1. The little "Ewok" is so cute! But awesome is the word for your decluttering efforts!! Give yourself a huge pat on the back...and don't stop now! You can see this through all the way into your living room and out the door!

  2. Bean is soooo cute! Brought a smile right away.

    I am so impressed with the de-clutter you've done! Now I think I should tackle my closet. You are an inspiration in cleaning and art! :-)

  3. that is possibly the doofiest dog i've ever seen! looks like you caught his adorable silliness just rigth!

    the discoveries you're making (and not just boxes of canvases!) are so wonderful - it must feel like starting on a whole new path, ready for another facet of yourself to blossom - congratulations - & your organization job is great - everything right there & easy to find!

  4. Suzanne, I just love your blog, your art, and your insight! This little dog is gorgeous! Well done on the cleaning too!

  5. Love the little ewok!! I am so inspired to tackle all the clutter in my house. Way to go!!!

  6. Love the pooch, you got to love him and his silly smile! When are you going to paint your two furry friends?
    Well done on the big clear out, feels great doesn't it. Wow you'll be organized!

  7. I love dogs, but this one is precious!!

    I have been through the clutter thing myself and it is freeing to tackel and come to terms with it all. I LOVE your before and after...just gives me encouragement!!!

  8. Hi Bean!

    Suzanne, you ARE making progress. It might not feel like it but you are!

    Keep on keepin' on!


  9. Bean is DARLING!! So cute. I'm glad you checked to make sure he wasn't an EWOK, cuz I totally thought he might have been :)


    See how excited I am? You're awesome you know :)

  10. Are you SURE he's not an Ewok...? It's a very charming portrait.

    Congratulations on the declutter effort! It's very inspirational to read. Love the before/after photos (and all those pristine canvases waiting to be painted...ahh!)

  11. Congratulations!! you're doing awesome on your project. Pat yourself on the back (or have the Poubles do it).
    That dog is hilarious-looking. Like a hairy little old man.

  12. Bean is a cutie and your newly organized room looks great. It's inspiring me to do some (late) spring cleaning around here. My studio has a similar look unfortunately.

  13. Great progress Suzanne! I too enjoy shopping (and red wine) for it's mood -altering effects. I guess recognizing you have a problem is step 1. Though I lean more towards the excessively organized pendulum...a disfunction of a different sort... I have many good friends who feel quite at home and comfortable in their happy clutter. As adults, we are who we are, we can recognize and progress in the areas we see need "fixing" but at some least for me...we must embrace who we are...hoarders or wine or white wine drinkers...realists vs abstractionists, etc, etc. Thank you for sharing your struggle. Love the "before and after" picts.

  14. Hi Suzanne,
    Thanks for sharing so much. I reflected a lot on what you've said in your blog the other day as I looked around and realized how much stuff I keep "just in case." I will be taking a much closer look at that part of my space, soon, and would like to thank you for having a positive influence on my lifespace.

  15. Hey Suzanne, I came over from DPG to learn more about this adorable "Bean". My late Mother named our Chihuahua Annie and I immediately tacked on "Bean" - sort of unofficial middle name! Because of this precious girl, I call all my dogs "Beans" - so you see why I was so attracted to your adorable painting!

    BUT - really hit on the clutter thing when I got here. My sister & I have been grappling with this all summer. Other than donating - which is great for most things, just how do you clear out the more important stuff?

    Looks like you've got a good handle on it and I think you will be an inspiration for a lot of us! Good job!

  16. I can't believe it's been so long since I've visited your blog - one of my all-time-flag-waving favorites! Today. Tonight. Tomorrow, and the day after I'm doing a similar blow up - my husband caught me snatching an armful of winter clothes I'd not seen for FIVE years and trying to stuff them in my closet... BUSTED! The green bag parade continues.... I am to live like in your storage space.......
    and the 'Bean'!!! LOVE it!


Your visits to my blog and the comments you leave here are an integral part of my creative process. They are helpful, supportive and well, let's face it, they feel really good! If I don't thank you personally, please allow me to thank you in advance for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts, they mean so much!