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Eliminating Clutter

Clutter, clutter everywhere and not enough places to put it. That’s how the beginning of this year felt to me. Clutter of things, clutter of thoughts, clutter of concerns. I didn’t know what I needed to do, initially, but I knew I needed to get busy.

I process things either verbally, by writing or by cleaning. So, it really stands to reason that my resolve to clean out the clutter was really a resolve to clean up some other areas of my life, too. I didn’t start with an exact plan or schedule beyond the decision to eliminate clutter, but the first decision or first item I decided to eliminate set in motion the work of the next 30 days.

That first decision was to eliminate the large oak computer desk in our kitchen/family room. It has been the gathering place for the last 20 years–not only of people, but of things! So many things. It’s been the writing, crafting, schooling, and catch-all area. Since most of our eleven children are grown and have homes of their own, life as we’ve known it for so long has changed dramatically. We don’t need that sort of ‘center’ anymore. Having an ’empty’ bedroom is also a first time occurrence in our home — this made for a perfect opportunity to go through all my sewing, crafting, cardmaking, wrapping, and writing supplies and set them all up in one place–one room.

As I went through every item, the more I tossed out or put in the ‘giveaway’ boxes, the more I was able to toss out or give away. When either was full, I took it out to the trash bin or put it in the back of my car. Out of sight, out of mind. Day after day I repeated the process from room to room throughout our home. It was really a freeing experience for this queen-of-quite-a-lot!! Every item became a question: Do I even want this? Do I even like this? Will I ever use this ever again?

Somewhere in the midst of the process, one of my daughters asked me if I’d heard of Marie Kondo. No, I told her — to which she replied I must watch her programs. So, I did — I watched a few. And you know what? I was already on my way, I didn’t know about the KonMari method, but I was already in the process of “Kondo-ing” our home!

I found that I was saying, do I love this? Do I even want this? And after watching Marie Kondo’s continual asking does this spark joy? I realized I was on that great track and all my years of cleaning, folding, organizing items, containerizing things, scheduling chores, events, and meals for a large family had prepared me for my huge task of eliminating no longer used or no longer useful-to-me things and reorganizing our home. I was finding joy again.

I’m not all finished yet as I now need to go back and refine some sorting, get a little more ruthless about some items. But the freedom has sure been inspiring. There’s freedom also is discovering I really didn’t need to watch more programs, learn more tricks, get more containers… I already had what I needed – I just needed to put it all in action! That was so freeing! And energizing. And joyful.

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3 comments to Eliminating Clutter

  • Thank you, Sandy and Glenys! I so love hearing from you and always feel like we’re just traveling along together in life!!
    Another of my resolves is to write here… and so, here we go!!
    Thank you, I love you both!

  • I listened to Maria Kondo’s first book and it was okay but I likenthe shows a lot more! I am in a similar season as you, my dear sister and am on a mission to free us of much clutter and of many kinds!

  • I enjoy watching Marie Kondo too… and she and yourself have inspired me to declutter my own home. Hopefully at the end of the year we will be starting the next phase of our life “grey nomads” working our way round Australia. Clearly, we will have to downsize a lot and for now decluttering seems the daily catch cry and way to go for us. Love your posts, Pamela! Blessings, Glenys

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