I’m simplifying my life. And I’m starting by getting rid of stuff. Lots of stuff.
I’m decluttering my physical surrounds because doing so helps to declutter my fuzzy head.
Ah yes! This simplifying ramble – you’ve it from me before, and you’ll hear it from me again, because this is an ongoing process.
If I stopped after my first ever purge, I’d still be surrounded by stacks of crap that would sit untouched for years. Every time I embark on a decluttering mission I am more ruthless than the time before. The fact I barely remember most of the stuff I have previously gotten rid of is testament to just how unnecessary it has been for me to hold on to it all.
So each time I do a clear out, it gets easier. I know from experience I’m not going to miss any of it which helps me deal with sentimentality and those pesky “but what if I need to clean the heads of a cassette player one day” thoughts.
Things I only just stop short of axing in one cull invariably end up on the chopping block in the next cull. That’s the process. You question your need for something once, decide to keep hold, and when you revisit the idea a few months later it’s like your subconscious has been busy grieving the object and suddenly it’s not so hard to pop that thing on the Be Gone pile.
I think I used to shift into decluttering mode purely for practical reasons. Because I had too much stuff and not enough space. I’m not a hoarder by any means, but I do find myself playing tetris sometimes when I come home with something new to add to our collection of, y’know, things. If I want to store whatever it is in the hallway cupboard, then I’m going to have to move that other thingymajig into the utility area, which means the whosiwhatsit will have to go into the garden shed – if we can fit anything more in there that is. Ugh. It’s hurting my brain just thinking about it.
So yes, of course decluttering is an extremely practical exercise. However, for where I am in life right now, decluttering is about so much more than just creating physical space.
I don’t know about you, but I feel so weighed down by stuff sometimes. Life is too short to be burdened by old magazines that will never be read, CDs that will never be listened to, cables that will never be plugged in, clothes that will never be worn. Some of the stuff is simply stuff I don’t need and probably never did need. Some of it is stuff that used to be important in my world but the passing years, lifestyle changes and priority shifts have meant that stuff is not important anymore. A lot of it is stuff I think may come in handy one day.
Having all these things around me creates an unnecessary pressure to utilise them somehow. Or they keep a little piece of me trapped in a world that the rest of me left a long time ago. Or they make it harder for me to access the stuff that does enrich my life. Whichever way I look at it, it feels kinda toxic.
Slowly but surely, at the ripe old age of thirty-four, I’m beginning to realise that being able to organise our physical posessions makes life so much less stressful. It sounds a bit silly, but I’m quite serious when I say there is freedom in knowing where things are because they have a set place. And far too many things in my house still do not have a set place. That can make it hard to stay on top of things, which sometimes leads to this sort of scene:
Being able to easily access whatever it is you might need on a day-to-day, or even occasional, basis (and without having to move six back-breakingly heavy boxes of books you’re holding on to for that day you can afford a house big enough to allow for a library wall) is liberating.
For me, to be able to organise, first I have to declutter. Big time. The good news is, I’m on a roll. The more I get rid of, the lower my tolerance for unnecessary crap.
This phase of simplifying feels like more than just a sorting of stuff; it feels like a sorting of life. My motivation is stronger than ever and I can feel a paradigm shift taking place. I figure it won’t be long until I have this whole house in excellent order and that will just be the start of the simplifying of my life. Ahhh yes, breathing room in my physical world and my mental world, oh my goodness I can’t wait…
PS: Sorry for sounding like such a nerdy dick with all this, but seriously, getting rid of stuff might just be the biggest favour I could do for myself and my little family
PPS: Full credit to Rachel over at ihearthome for giving me the kick in the pants I needed for this latest round of simplifying