Friday, January 9, 2015

reflection


For 2014 I resolved to get rid of two "things" every day.<p>
We had just come off a pretty intense Christmas with my family--My mother loves to shower people she loves with presents.  She fills shoeboxes for each person with small gifts, and candy she thinks they'll like.  Top this off with the other gifts we received and we came home with a LOT of stuff.  Some of it just you know useless to us. (sorry family--I know you love us--sorry).  My husband was beyond frustrated at how FULL our house seemed and because we were both already stressed out we had an argument.  He claimed that now we'd have to integrate all this "stuff" into our house just because someone close to me had given it to us.  <p>
Man that shows how well he knows me.<p>
I however, took this as a challenge--I COULD de-clutter, I just needed to do it on my terms, not on some self-help book or his notion of how it should go.  So, I said--what if I got rid of at least two things every day? Because here's what I figured.  I figured that what tends to stop my major de cluttering efforts is that I get overwhelmed.  I don't know where to start, I get half way through and I get tired and weepy.  But TWO?  Heck I could handle two. <p>
Let me tell you, he was skeptical.  He's a great person though and said--yeah sure whatever.<p>
By the end of January, I think he realized I was serious.  By the end of February he saw progress.  By summer, I think he was convinced. <p>
The people I told about my plan said things like: wow that must feel so freeing!<p>
Honestly no, at first it was very much feeling like major anxiety. I felt a little empty after the first carload got donated. Then I saw progress.  When the sprinkler guy came to turn on the sprinkler system, I had nothing to shift to prepare for him. I started to realize just how much stuff this two a day plan had eliminated from my life.  AND I realized I didn't even miss 99% of it. <p>
Seriously.<p>
I wasn't perfect.  I went on vacation. I had days where I was just so overwhelmed with my life where I just couldn't handle deciding on even one thing to get rid of. I had trouble with things.  BUT, I kept at it.<p>
And it changed me a little.<p>
Sure, I still have clutter.  In fact some areas I feel like I de-clutter once a week or once a month. I still buy things. I still have too much stuff.  But I'm still working at it, still discovering ripples from it.<p>
So what have I learned?  Well, I do tend to hang on to gifts and souvenirs way more than I should.<br>
 A minimum was a good plan for me, as several times I'd start to feel overwhelmed or weepy and I would say--Hey, you got rid of 5 things today--just stop. And just as many times, the next day I'd find myself donating the very thing I felt I couldn't live without the day before.<br>
I also learned that I don't have to feel guilty about getting rid of things.  My donation center takes rags--so instead of throwing away clothes that are stained  or ripped, I put them in the rag bag! If I put stuff out on the curb--other people will take them before the garbage guy comes. <br>
If you make space in your storage spaces, you CAN keep things you really want to keep. <br>
Sometimes it just helps to think One in, One out.<p>
So, for 2015 I'm going to keep going.  Maybe not quite as fervent, but I still feel like there is progress to be made.

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