De-Cluttering…One Layer at a Time

   This summer has been  one of challenging myself.  In June, I spent the month on an elimination diet (not eating foods that are considered the common allergens).  I lost 15 pounds on that and 5 inches.  July I added foods back to my diet and was thinking about what I wanted to do next.  What would be a project that I have wanted/needed to do…for years?  What has been on my  New Years’ Resolutions for years?  De-cluttering. 

    I decided to put forth the goal of de-cluttering my entire house in the month of August.  Now, trust me, this is not for the weak hearted.  I started small…a shelf here, drawer or closet there.  The kitchen was really the easiest…I could work on that while I would make dinner…spend time while the food was cooking and de-clutter a drawer, the refrigerator, a shelf in the pantry.

   The bathroom also was pretty straight forward…basically because for the most part, bathrooms are smaller than other rooms in the house(now I realize some people have humungous bathrooms but even so, the closets and shelves in the bathrooms aren’t that large).

   Then I worked on my daughter’s bedroom.  Since she graduated from college, she hasen’t been home much.  I was guilty of using her room as the “catch all” room…when I didn’t feel like or didn’t know where to put something.  Also, her room had never been properly de-cluttered and organized since moving all her stuff back from college.

    The laundry room was next.  Again, nothing that took extensive time.

   That means, two rooms left…my bedroom and “the big room”.  We have a “finished basement”(sort of) and the area consists of storage(as in Christmas stuff, daughter’s outgrown toys, inherited items, furniture, and my various crafting items…my fabrics, yarn, paints, etc.  My shipping items for my Etsy shops.   Add to this, paper, paper and more paper. 

   I started on “the big room” last week. I naively thought it would take me the week and I would be done by Sunday.  I diligently worked on it every day and I don’t just mean 15 minutes…I averaged 1 to 4 hours a day on it and am still not done. I find it’s a layer of years. We’ve been in this house for 23 years…the first layer of papers seemed to be pre- 1997.  Then 2004.  Then 2007 and onward.  Each layer of letters, birthday/Christmas/anniversary cards, printouts from the computer, drawings from my daughter…bringing back happy and unhappy memories.  The one year I was de-cluttering brought back the unhappy ones and I found myself having panic attacks the entire day.  Have been taking aspirin continuously because of headaches for days.

   It’s at a point that I would think I was finished with papers and then would find another box full.  What was I thinking?  Was I in that mental state of overwhelm all that time?  I would find my new year’s resolutions for years and on each one of them was “de-clutter the house”. 

   At this point, I have quite a few empty boxes, have much in garbage bags and have much to take to the Good Will.  I never realized how many books I have.  I adore books…basically craft books and self help as well as Natural Healing.  I also used to collect craft magazines…had them from 1968! 

   This room has been my turning point…I never want to get to this point again.  I realize that clutter has taken a lot out of my enjoyment in life…I would want to sit and enjoyably sew something but couldn’t enjoy it because “I should de-clutter”.  It could break me if I would let it.  

   Why am I doing this?  Why in such a fevered pace?  I had gotten to a point where I just had enough and couldn’t take it anymore.  I wanted to be able to walk into every one of my rooms in the house and give a happy sigh instead of a pained groan.  I want to be able to invite people into my house and not be embarrassed if they open a door anywhere.  I want to know where everything is and exactly what I have. 

   I’m getting there…I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in the big room…then my bedroom is next…and that’s not pretty either!  But at least it’s smaller!

   til next time…Eva 








12 thoughts on “De-Cluttering…One Layer at a Time

    • Thank you Julie…there are times when I seriously wonder why I have this need to “torture” myself(as my neighbor calls it) by giving myself deadlines but I yearn for the peace and the time it is going to give me.

      • It’s not a deadline. It’s a goal. And I don’t know about you but if I don’t have one it usually doesn’t get done. Most people dont realize how much time is wasted in looking for you keys or cell phone or in my case measuring spoons. All things you have to look for because of clutter.

    • You are perfectly right about the time wasted looking for “things”…I have been seeing throughout this process that everything needs a “home”…and how much easier everything is!

  1. As you know, I can relate ~~~ Almost through with Mom’s apartment now, but will still be dealing with the extra piles that has generated in storage, my cottage, and the studio for a while yet. However, it does feel liberating to send things off to a new home by giving them away or donating, and seeing that light at the end of the tunnel, feeling how much time and energy will be freed up by letting go of the things that no longer serve.
    Congratulation on the New Era of Eva!

    • Yes, Jennifer…I know you are dealing with the same scenario and more. We will both look forward to being able to bask in the de-cluttered realm of our homes very, very soon! It will be cause for celebration!(maybe a large gluten free pizza with all the trimmings 😉 )

  2. Go, girl! Those little resolutions that you kept unearthing that promised you you’d declutter? Those are your “atta girls!!” from you to you, to help you let go of the things that are no longer serving your soul. So proud of you! I hope you’re taking before & after pics for a future post – to inspire us all. Hugs.

  3. Ruth…I have taken photos of “Before” and they are scary! Yes, the continual notes I have been finding plus also my horoscope and angel card readings have continuously been stating, “get rid of what is no longer serving you.”…definitely time!

    • Very cool. I took pics of my office before, & I will bravely post them in a blog with the afters. I LOVE writing in my office now. And my house has an open-door policy, even it it’s less than perfect. ‘Cuz there’s no perfect! So breathe & take your time with it, deadline-girl. It sounds like your high from the progress you’ve made won’t let you stop!

      • “Deadline Girl”…I like that Ruth! Glad you are now enjoying your office…hope that doesn’t mean you have stopped going to your local coffee shop!

  4. Ohh Eva how I both envy and admire you. I too need to declutter in a big way. I moved house two years ago. From a small two level cottage, to a one level cottage which is much smaller. Consequently I have too much stuff. (And yet I was convinced I’d parted with enough things before I moved.).

    I’ve done a ‘mini’ de-clutter about five times since I’ve moved – and it’s so difficult. Like peeling off a band aid (a plaster for UK folks) which has has been stuck on my skin for years and has now welded itself to me.

    All of these things are things I’ve loved and still love but can no longer keep for I have nowhere to keep them.

    So I feel your pain at having to part with things, – and you have inspired me to do this ‘thing’ with you, – but this time, to de-clutter once and for all. To part with all those things I’m holding onto but shouldn’t be, so that I can move forward instead of being kept in one place.

    Good luck with the final stage. You’re worth the effort you’ve put in and I know you’re going to love that feeling of ‘done it’ when you’ve finally come to the end of your task.
    Have a blessed day my friend ~ love, Cobs.x

    • Thank you Cobs for your lovely thoughts…glad you are going to do the final stage along with me…I agree with your “peeling off a plaster” idea…as I was going through all those papers, I realized that person no longer exists and what was important then is no longer relevant. Keep me posted! Eva

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