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