Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Saying Goodbye to my Carpet

I love my house but I’ve needed new carpet for several years. It’s not that we don’t take care of the carpet. It’s that I’ve had many geriatric pets over the years who have had their share of “accidents.” So when we finally took the financial plunge to get the carpet replaced so we can SELL OUR HOUSE, I thought I’d be jumping for joy. Instead, I had a surprising stirring of emotions.

Today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt: Write about something that you unexpectedly had a hard time saying goodbye to.

Here we go…

stream of consciousness Sunday

Everyone gets attached to things, I suppose. I know I do. I have crammed drawers and boxes to prove it. In a way, I think I understand hoarders. Not really understand them but sort of understand them. It’s emotional attachment and it’s usually misplaced.

I think I do the same thing. I keep things. Mementos, receipts, ticket stubs – all of these things to try and capture that one moment in time. I don’t know why I want to capture it, other than happy memories, of course. Maybe it’s that I want to have the ability to relive those moments.

So why would old smelly carpet make me feel sentimental? Honestly, those stains are memories of all of the things, good and bad, that we’ve experienced in almost 9 years. The stains where our dog Einstein used to frequently mark if he was unsupervised. It was a compulsion. He couldn’t help it. It made us insane and was the first step to destroying our carpet. But Einstein has been gone almost 5 years now and all we have left are memories.

Holden was the good dog. The dog that would surely outlive Einstein. And he did but not without thyroid problems and the need for medications that made him drink and pee excessively. Then he lost his sight and his hearing and some of his mental capacity. He didn’t know if he was coming or going. And he would often stop and forget he was indoors and flood the carpet.

We didn’t live in filth. My most recent carpet cleaner cost $400. It was worth the investment and most people couldn’t even tell we had pets.

There are also spots where Sean tried to actually bleach the carpet (even though I specifically told him not to). Places where Evan had a stomach virus (yuck). Places where he spilled chocolate milk or Sean spilled red wine. Spots where I splashed paint on the carpet.

I know it’s ridiculous and I know that it’s going to be much worse when I leave this house, in terms of sentiment. Maybe it’s good to let it go. To give us a clean slate in this house while we let the memories fade. And after all, it does smell better.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.


1. Grab the button

(it’s over in the sidebar)

2. Write your post.

3. Link up here.

  • From Tracie

    I like the idea of living with the changes you are making before selling. It seems that would help to make the transition easier when you do eventually move. 

  • Jennifer Hall

    I never would have thought there could be an attachment to carpet. But the way you put it makes sense. Just maybe try not to cry. 😉

  • Kenya Johnson

    It’s not crazy, I DO understand. We have in our house going on 8 years. On the third year we replaced the hideous mauve carpet and I don’t know how I looked at it so long. But you know what I look at it fondly in all my sons baby pictures, there he is on the mauve carpet. 😉 I don’t miss the carpet – just he associated memories. 

  • Jenn

    We are doing the same sort of thing in preparation of selling our house. It’s hard, but I think it does help the process of letting go of the house. Ugh. Change is hard!

  • Mrs Turk

    I had a rug once. Ina  fit of stupidity, of “it’s only a rug”, I got rid of that rug and I haven’t been able to replace the feeling, the scent or the homeliness of that rug yet. Totally understand the attachment; carpets hold our footsteps, after all.

    Good luck with the refurnishing and thanks for the prompt.

  • Erin O’Riordan

    It’s funny what we attach a sentimental value to. 

  • Kallay Carr-Beers

    Amazing how dirty carpet can bring back so many memories. As I cleaned out Ryan’s stuff, I found a random piece of paper with a phone number on it, and it reminded me that he was supposed to go to the dentist. Those little mundane things hurt so much right now. Moving on is hard when you feel like you’re leaving memories behind. 

  • LDiggitty

    Ugh. I know how you feel! I get sentimental about the strangest things – it’s because there are so many memories tied to them! I kept a fugly napkin holder for the LONGEST time because it was my grandmother’s. Totally got rid of it yesterday! Success!

    And… I also have pets. And carpet. And a steam vac. I feel your pain and I’m totally jealous of your new carpet!!!! When it’s our turn, we’ll be doing wood laminate flooring because I’m tired of steam vaccing!

  • Carolina

    I have a hard time letting go of books, especially picture books.  A year ago I helped the girls (they are 16 and 14) sort through the books in the bookshelf.  We got rid of a ton of books, mostly the Babysitter club books, or the Magic tree house books.  I couldn’t bear to part with the Tomie de Paola picture books.  I could vividly remember the three of us sitting on the sofa, each girl on one side of me and me reading to them!  I got very teary eyed!  I miss reading to the girls!

  • Helena

    It is hard to say bye to things…physical and emotional. I wrote before reading your post and realized I was also trying to write about something I’ve had problems say bye to: fear. 

  • a.eye

    It’s amazing how seemingly insignificant items can have such significance and hold so many memories.

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  • KeAnne

    Even though I was thrilled when we got rid of our carpet, I had similar feelings.  Our pink carpet was horrific, but it was our carpet.  I felt a little sad seeing it pulled up.

  • Galit Breen

    My husband and I talk about this all the time- living in the house we want to live in, rather than the one we plan on selling.

    {This thinking helped us decide on wild blue paint in our last home. Not the wisest choice ever, but lovely, nonetheless.}

    Lovely stream.

  • Victoria Beach

    I think since I’m only 22 and never lived in one house for longer than a few years it’s hard to relate to stuff like attachment to carpet. I can see it happening to me in the future when I do have more experiences like that.

    I wrote a bit longer than 5 minutes for my post today. And it’s more about how I don’t have trouble saying goodbye to stuff. I liked the prompt though. It really got me thinking.

  • Victoria Beach

    I think since I’m only 22 and never lived in one house for longer than a few years it’s hard to relate to stuff like attachment to carpet. I can see it happening to me in the future when I do have more experiences like that.

    I wrote a bit longer than 5 minutes for my post today. And it’s more about how I don’t have trouble saying goodbye to stuff. I liked the prompt though. It really got me thinking.

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  • Anonymous

    I have lived in this house, the space I write to you from, for 22 years. I can’t imagine leaving it forever. I oftentimes think if I do move (and I would like to move across the country) I would keep this home… because after all, someday there will need to be a museum for the legions of people who will want to flock to this place where I raised my babies and became the legendary writer, won’t they?

    We pulled out the carpet in our house about a year ago. I’m still working on refinishing the floors. It looks better every day…. 

  • Varda

    You know, I wrote my post before I read your prompt. And it turns out it’s actually about missing — but instead of a thing, about an event AND a person (my Dad, as usual). Also I went over again, sorry. Because it didn’t start out about missing my Dad, was just a silly little post about missing the Superbowl & then turned into something else. (Funny how SOC can do that, no?)

    And I understand about your carpet. We have an absolutely HIDEOUS recliner/rocker chair that was the only thing I could sleep in when 9 months preggo with the twins, that we rocked the babies in. We were supposed to get rid of it years ago. Perish the thought.

  • Anonymous

    I have a hard time letting go of things. I’m not one to really embrace change!

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