Letting go, clearing the clutter for the New Year

Published 2:36 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

It’s that time of year when I purge. From closets, to drawers, to storerooms to the attic, I haul big black garbage bags around collecting and filling them to the brim with items I no longer need or want.

Some of my clean-out goes directly to the garbage, while other items that are still in good condition, but I no longer need or want, go to organizations in town who could put them to good use.

Ridding myself of unnecessary items is a tedious and long process with those garbage bags sometimes remaining in my house until the end of the month.

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If my memory serves me well, which sometimes it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure I began this journey of January jettisoning at the onset of motherhood.

I mean, it’s ridiculous how many toys a first child can collect. And then by the time Christmas rolls around, there is not an inch in the closet for even one more thing to be stuffed in.

So, what’s a mother to do, but to get rid of some of the little darling’s darlings?

This was easy when my daughter was very young and she was not aware of what stayed and what went. But all that changed when she was old enough to realize one of her many stuffed animals was lying in the do-away-with pile.

I think that is when the black bags came into play.

Stuffed deep within, no one was the wiser as to what is inside. I have found these black bags also work well when I am cleaning out hubby’s closet.

And then there is the attic. It is like a looming monster ready to swallow me up every time I pull down the ladder and ascend the steps.

Through the years, clothing, keepsakes, furniture, Christmas decorations and anything I was not ready to part with but didn’t have room for in a closest have been stored in this confined space.

And as time has gone by — close to 30 years in this house — I have also had to eliminate some of its holdings.

And let me just say, as I have aged, teetering on two-by-fours has become a death-defying experience. Aging and agility unfortunately just don’t go hand in hand!

I realize many people clean out their homes in the spring. I like to spring clean too. It’s just letting go of and organizing in January, for me, has a cathartic element.

I guess you might say, not only is it a time I can address senseless hoarding, it’s also a means of helping me let go of things in my life that are cluttering my brain so I can make room for all that is ahead in the new year.

Terri Cowart Frazier writes features for The Vicksburg Post. Contact her at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.




About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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