I’ve been quiet lately. Like, really really quiet.
I completed my holiday commission list one month ago today. I was planning on no more than 2 restful weeks off and then back at it! Did I mention that was one month ago today?
Let’s rewind to December 27th. As I cleaned up the last bits of wrapping paper and put away the last of the Christmas decorations I became restless about the amount of ‘things’ I had added to my home after the tornado of Christmas had hit. The aftermath was all around me. And if I’m being totally honest with myself, it had been building, not for a couple of months, but for 18 years.
18 years of accumulation. 18 years of marriage, kids, buying, buying, buying…..keeping, keeping, keeping. Things come in, things do not go out. Sure, I donate occasionally to the local Goodwill but never enough to put a dent in the amount of stuff we have. It was starting to suffocate me.
I think I had an epiphany when I went to find something in a closet and realized that I couldn’t find one useful thing in that closet as I dug for X item. Sure someone might find use from the items in there, but not me. Not in years. Why am I keeping these things just to keep them?? I MIGHT use them one day? I MIGHT need that item when…..fill in the blank. How insane am I? Not only was the stuff cluttering my house but it was cluttering my mind.
So I began to CLEAN OUT. It started with a closet in our extra bedroom all because I needed to store our faux Christmas tree in that closet and I wanted the closet to be BARE! I pulled everything out of that dang closet and purged, purged, and purged some more until I could purge no more. Then the room attached to the closet was calling my name. So I did the same thing to that room!
About this time I started to notice that everyone around me was watching a show called ‘Tidying Up’ with Marie Kondo. I’ve been a fan of hers for years so I began to watch the show while I purged! Well, if you didn’t figure, I am a visual learner. Her methods came alive as I watched people let go of THE STUFF on each episode. This sent me into hyper drive with a new found purpose behind my purging.
See, I don’t want to be defined by my things. I don’t want stuff to own me. At what point are we consuming in a compulsory way?? Blindly bringing things into our lives because we are told it will make us happy? Buying the next ____ because everyone tells you that if you own that then it means you are successful.
I listen to, and love, the podcast by The Minimalists. If you don’t listen to it I highly recommend it. (They also have an amazing documentary on Netflix called ‘Minimalism’.) They so clearly define the difference between bringing things into our lives because they truly add value versus consuming because that is what we’ve been conditioned to do. Simple but mind-blowing.
I have been purging for 3 weeks now. I have yet to pick up a paint brush because I simply cannot split my attention in two at the moment. Every fiber in my body has needed to be present in order to successfully do this. I know that may sound silly to some of you and that is ok. It has been a really fun process for me and I’m still nowhere near finished. I do have the bulk of the work out of the way though and that will allow me to return to work very soon.
I want to encourage you…if you have a cluttered mind, are frustrated often or have an uneasy feeling every time you open a drawer or closet, I urge you to get rid of the excess in your life. I cannot tell you the burden it has lifted from my brain and will continue to lift as I continue to purge. No it doesn’t solve all of life’s problems by any means but it sure has helped my headspace. Give it a try….you’ll be happy you did!