Have you ever skipped out on fun social activities because you felt your housekeeping duties were neglected and needed work? Have you promised yourself that you’d stay in all weekend to tackle the situation only to end up shopping for unnecessary throw pillows and candles (badly thought through attempt to make your home feel calmer and more relaxing)?
In the summer 2014 (after many months of denial) I accepted that I owned too many things. It wasn’t about organizing them well. It was about getting them out of my house and letting go. Keeping them was not a sign of appreciation, but the result of not taking control over one of the biggest areas in my life that I do have control over—what I keep in my house! (Note: Use of “me” and “my”). I share a home with my husband. Everything I’ve discarded of has been mine. If it’s a shared item, I always run it by him first. I didn’t even think to mention this detail until I read some comments by people new to decluttering. The impulse can be very strong to find your partner’s things more annoying than your own. The goal of this work is to address your own items. Not to forget, how would you feel if someone took your stuff and got rid of it? I’d feel really upset, and I’m sure there’d be some fairly significant trust issues as a repurcussion.
In the fall of 2014 I finally started to do something about feeling weighed down. I officially kicked off a Declutter Project with a massive weekend purge resulting in my home life being freed of 200+ items. I had everything laid out on drop cloths in the garage (by category) so my spouse could do an easy-glancing walk through and verify he didn’t want anything. This was a good trick I learned. For some reason, removing an item from your living space, and placing it in a pile in the garage, will often make that item lose it’s magic. It’s really odd, but it happens. After the big kick-off purge, I segued into a smaller (daily) commitment to discard at least 5 things/day for an entire month. It was eye opening! Best of all, it felt so liberating! The feeling has become addictive.
My favorite benefit is how effortlessly I can put stuff away and tidy up my space. I was never like this before. It feels fun (weirdo).
My next favorite benefit is how quickly I can get dressed and feel put together. This relates to how quickly I can do laundry. I do laundry more frequently, but with fewer things, the mental tax on this chore is hardly there. It’s a better routine now and my brain has noticed.
What I’m looking for… why do I continue? Sure, I pick up and tidy faster, with less thinking and more intuition. But doing so has only opened my eyes to how much more room for improvement lies ahead. This is where the addictive part comes in. The initial declutter generated a lightness and a sense of ease at first. I can open drawers or closets and see everything. I can put things away (without shoving or smooshing). It’s great! Then, I got used to it. At that moment I realized I had only scratched the surface. There is so much more to uncover.