The Great Decluttering of 2019 has Begun

“We all have a million things vying for our attention. If you tell yourself that you don’t have enough time to clear out your junk, you might be delaying the well-being and relief you could experience by tackling it. If not now, when?”

Lisa J. Shultz, Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

I’ve spoken before about my anxiety and how mess, clutter, piles of stuff, things lying around amplifies the level of anxiety that I experience.

I don’t have a messy home, there’s just a couple of places where my stuff builds up and tends to never leave.

Right now as I look around my bedroom I see so much stuff: tons of clothes that I weigh too much to wear, toys my kids got in trouble with so I took them away, randomness piled on top of my dresser, the basket full of magazines that I mean to read but never get to.

My office/craft room (otherwise called my “crap room” by my husband) is the other spot with a lot of my stuff.

I recently gave a lot of art supplies that were taking up space to my niece (sorry, Sis) and took a bunch of stuff that had been sitting in boxes after my wedding or since we moved into our home and donated it to Goodwill. My intention had been to clear out a large area of the room so that my office would actually function as an office.

Unfortunately, when I did this I discovered that during the summer storms had caused water to leak down the inside of a wall in my office. I had checked the room after another room in our basement had flooded and did not see any signs of water, but months later I found it. Water had not run down the front of the wall or spread out soaking the carpet, so it went unnoticed until I moved the bookcase that held a plethora of paint and painting supplies.

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The lower part of the wall behind the bookcase was moldy, as was the back of the bookcase. I threw it away and my office reorganization efforts stopped there, with everything pushed up against the opposite wall. Needless to say, I have still been using my kitchen table as a writing desk, rather than my actual desk.

I am tired of this physical clutter and the anxiety triggered by it. I am tired of emotional clutter. I just want shit to be clean and simple.

Clutter is not just physical stuff, it’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits

Eleanor Brown

I tend to make a lot of rash decisions when I get emotional, like the time I gave myself a (bad) haircut. I have picked unnecessary fights. I have eaten whole bags of chocolate hoping to stifle the feelings inside, even though I know it doesn’t work that way.

So, of course, tonight I made another decision. I decided that I am going to get rid of the stuff in my office that is keeping me from using my office and being productive in my own space.

I am going to throw out and give away all of the mediocre paintings that are piled against the wall. I am going to donate all of the scrapbook supplies that have accumulated over the last fifteen years because really I have not done any real scrapbooking since my niece Tessa was a baby and she’s nine years old now. I am going to donate and give away all of the paint and associated accouterments that I know deep down I will never make anything great with.

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Why keep the crap I am not using? Why not empty the office of the unused junk so that I might use it as my writing refuge, my place to fill with productivity and imagination?

Why not empty the bedroom of all the stuff that is taking up space and create a place of rest that is really restful?

I don’t want to stop there. If I have five pie pans and have only made one pie in two years, do I really need five pie pans? Of course not. What about all the cooking utensils that must be rearranged each time I try to open or shut the kitchen drawer- how many of them are actually used? If there are fifteen unread Star Trek paperbacks on my bookshelf, am I really ever going to read them?

Even though I know I need to make a change, I thought perhaps after last night’s sleep I might wake up and see how hasty and irrational I had been making plans, but instead, I woke filled with optimism and the determination to take the first steps to accomplish my goal.

The Great Decluttering of 2019 has begun.

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