Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Possessions. Stuff. Things. Whatever you want to call them, I have too many. Too many things to step over, move around, clean, tend, or deal with. Part of the creating of the life I want involves clearing the clutter so I can enjoy and appreciate the things that bring me joy and to have space to breathe. Have you ever cleared a corner or a tabletop and suddenly realized how much bigger the entire room seemed? How your eye is drawn to that clean, clear, empty space as soon as you walk in? That’s what I’m aiming for on a whole space level and simultaneously an inner decluttering.
Sometimes when I look around at whatever current pile is upping my annoyance factor or think of my to-do list, I just get overwhelmed and wind up not doing anything. Or worse, the frustration of not being able to find what I need or a simple task taking way longer than it should since I have to move this to get to that can cause me to snap in frustration.
The most important “things” in my life aren’t really things at all. They’re the living, breathing, feeling beings that share my home with me: especially my beloved husband (hereinafter referred to as The Boy) but also our pets (known collectively as The Critters). That I’m giving them less than my best self or lashing out because I’m unhappy with a stack of magazines or a basket of unfolded laundry makes me incredibly sad. He deserves much better. They deserve better. I deserve better.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a candidate for “Hoarders”. I’m not living in squalor or with carefully maintained paths through the mountains of decades old unread newspapers. I just have too much stuff! I’m not comfortable with a minimalist look. I like pretty. I crave cozy. The name of this blog isn’t “Stark Modern Abode”, after all! The Boy would tell you that I choose form over function but that’s just because he would never think that there might be an attractive bottle opener or a well-designed trivet out there that works just as well as a plain one but does its intended job beautifully. No, the objects that make me the most happy are the ones that I reach for because I need an item to do that particular job and then give me a jolt of joy because they’re just so darn pretty doing it! I look at my calendar at work a dozen times or more each day. Why shouldn’t I get smile back from the stunning Katie Daisy artwork that looks back at me each time? Sure, the pork chops would taste just as good out of a plain stainless steel skillet but when I dish them out of our stunning green Le Creuset braiser they feed my soul as well as my body. If we would actually sit down at the table and I could set them down on that adorable felt trivet that would be even better but that’s for another day!
I come from a long line of pack rats and I didn’t build up this backlog of worn-out, used-up, second-rate or never right from the start things overnight so I’m under no illusions that I can clear it out in a day. Meaningful change is going to be made incrementally, in baby steps. Purging, tossing, rearranging, reorganizing and reassessing. I hope to donate or recycle as much as possible, throw out a lot and hopefully even get myself motivated enough to sell the things that have significant worth but don’t resonate with me personally or no longer fit my life. I want to get rid of the excess to make room to really appreciate the value in what I have. I hope to gain peace by eliminating pieces.
I reclaimed a few areas from the clutter-beast over the weekend: the top of the washer and dryer, the small table in our kitchen and a portion of my very limited kitchen countertop. The battle to keep them clear is only a few days old and already hard fought. It’s so easy to fall back into old familiar habits even when you know the new order of things will be so much better. But here I am, declaring to myself that I will keep them and that the clarity will spread instead of the clutter. I want quality time to spend with my Boy and I want the words I speak to him to come from a place of love and not a place of frustration and I will not let that desire be derailed by issues of Real Simple from last spring. I am on a mission! Hear me toss!