Thursday, April 8, 2010

Will reducing clutter save my sanity?

What does reducing clutter do for the average person. I am not talking about cleaning up a hoarding situation. Although I have seen a few episodes of these shows and wonder.

The first thing I know is that it cannot be a fix-it-in-a-weekend solution. All of the clutter I have around my house did not just arrive last weekend and cannot be expected to go that quickly. On the Clean House and Hoarding types of shows much anxiety seems to ocure because of the quick and drastic changes insisted on for what I can only imagine are production purposes. A steady daily process seems to suite my needs right now.

I do have a deadline of sorts and there are mini deadlines in between. Our neighborhood has an annual garage sale usually in June. I plan to participate. I know that I need to have enough stuff out there to make it worth my while to sell it. After the sale runs to Goodwill are planned to get rid of the rest of it. I really wanted my home picked up for Easter. Alright at least the living room, dining room and kitchen needed to be neat. I challenged myself to put things away and not just bag it up and ditch it in another room. Each room had a 30 gallon trash bag filled and there were several garage sale boxes filled for each too. It is far from done, but what a start.

Now that the kids are growing up I am getting rid of the toys. For many years I held on to things that I knew the next child would want. Some were good choices and some not so great. When my parents downsized prior to retirement they gave me the inheritance of a lot of games. Few were ever played in this household. Most of the classics I had already acquired. These too are going to the garage sale.

There are some things that go out of style. Hundreds of 5 1/4 inch floppy discs are gone as are there cousins the 3 1/2 discs. Many hours of music have been put on the hard drives of the household and the CDs will have a special place in the sale. The same goes for collectibles that we are not into so much an more. There are boxes of Barbie Dolls and dishes.

Harder parts of the reduction of stuff process will come as part of my craft stuff. just when I think I an ready to get rid of something there is new inspiration to try something new. Saw A blog the other day about painted metal flowers. the blogger went out and bought a dollar store tin to do it. I have at least 3 Boy Scout popcorn tins in my sale bin, (should the return to the craft pile?)

Some other blogs have suggested well beyond the guidelines of get rid of what you have not used in a year or two by talking about moving. Not just a small move but as if you were going overseas. What would you get rid of? I always thought that is what storage units were all about. I do not know that I could do that at this point but the thought sticks in my mind as I work through the things I have not seen in years.

I do know one thing for sure. I am keeping little for sentimental reasons. Those things I have to really like to keep. Grandma's Cocoa set is definitely staying. Her bedspread is gone. The souvenir drink glasses from Hawaii, I would love to bring back there to refill (they said the refill is free) but I think if I ever get back there, I will just get another glass. Just in case you were wondering... The husband I will keep!

Some of the additional goals I keep in mind while getting rid of stuff are powerful. There are parts of the house I have never used the way I envisioned 15 years ago when we bought it. Mostly they were used as storage and not useful family space. There are a lot of new things I want to try. I need the room to try them. Sometimes when i look at these spaces the stuff is so overwhelming that I just want to quit. I do not want to feel like that about parts of my home.

Onward and upward, there are more boxes to fill.

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