It rained this afternoon, hard enough to clean out the air and make everything outside look bright and new. It was very dark outside, but I opened all the windows to let in the clean air and to hear the rain.
Inside while Lane napped, I gathered all the clutter I had sorted this weekend: 6 bags of clothing, 2 bags of paper trash, and 1 bag for the food pantry. It baffles me completely, because I do not like clutter. In January I cleaned out and donated enough stuff to fill the trunk of my car. How is there still so much left? And sad to say, this time most of it is mine. My stuff was long overdue for a good sorting.
Whenever I start to think that we need more storage space, it’s time to get rid of stuff. The actual words from my mouth last week: “we could buy an old armoire from craigslist and paint it!” Truly, that is the last thing I want.
Notes to self:
- If buying more clothes hangers is the answer, then I need to clean out my clothes.
- Also, stop buying stuff.
These bags take up half the floor space in my bedroom.
Reasons for keeping clutter tend to fall into common themes.
“I paid good money for it, and it would be a waste to get rid of it.” I have a dress that I bought to wear to a Spring Formal in college. It was so expensive to my meager student budget. I couldn’t give it away after only wearing it once! But no lie, it is covered in silver sequins. Where will I wear it again? After all these years, I finally put it in the bag today. Perhaps someone will find it at the Goodwill and wear it to a Dancing with the Stars costume party.
Sometimes the cost to store something can be much greater than the item itself. J.D. at Get Rich Slowly looked at the cost of storing stuff and the rising popularity of storage units.
“Someone might want that, it could be useful.” These tend to be the funniest things when you finally get rid of them. It’s easy to see things how they used to be, rather than their current state. Clothes fade and get stretched out, shoes get scuffed, and pieces get lost.
One woman in the Ukraine is committed to decluttering one item a day for a year, whether it be socks or a lone shoulder pad. Even her husband got in on the action and found vacuum bags for a vacuum cleaner they no longer owned.
“Someone who loves me gave it to me. I need to save it to remember.” Everyone should keep some souvenirs of special memories. I think the key is to keep them small. I thought this idea at LobotoMe for keeping nature souvenirs in labeled glass jars was brilliant. They look great displayed on the shelf. Much better than my box of little things that I can’t remember where they came from.
It shouldn’t be surprising that I love small notebooks to record special events and memories. I thought this mini-book made by Ali Edwards was a beautiful example of how special a small album can be.
“It proves I was here. I worked hard for it.” Are we leaving our stuff as our legacy? These things will not last. Let us not spend ourselves to fill up our homes with temporary things.
“I don’t have time, and I can’t do this now.” When life is life, shuffling our stuff around becomes the lowest priority on the list. Jill at Secret.Genious illustrates this in a way I think we can all relate to. Go visit her blog and marvel at her writing talent and photographs.
What motivates you?
We all need a good motto for managing our stuff. Denise says “I’m on a mission. Toss, donate, toss, donate and toss some more. I want simple, I want less. Less is more.”