Monday, May 31, 2010

It Gets Better

"It gets worse before it gets better." Old maxim

Arg! I don't understand why decluttering is so clutter-y.

The problem is once I go to all the trouble to decide to get rid of something, it doesn't do the kindness of just disappearing. It hangs around, all dejected and sad-looking by the front door, waiting for me to figure out where it's heading.

Luckily these days we have Freecycle and Craig's List. There are also thrift stores and even the local recycle center. Should I ever feel really ambitious, I could also sell on eBay or Half.com. Dumping to the landfill, so far, is for only when all other options are exhausted.

"Less is more." Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

As I excavate (that's what it feels like), I discover how deeply it goes. What keeps me clawing at it, donating and digging while living continually with ever new boxes and ever new stacks, is a clear vision of what my purged life will look like when I'm done. Time to re-define "Grandma's house." I'd rather not succumb to the traditional knick knack, standy-uppy decor.

I envision a smooth rock or a bouquet of wildflowers to be my seasonal decorating. I envision misplacing my glasseswhich I often doto be impossible. I envision my granddaughter showing me how she can now do a cartwheel, safely in my living room. I envision my grandson reading from my select nature book collection, not sneezing from too much for me to dust.

I envision plenty of room to do and be, not searching and dreading.

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I frequently feel at the mercy of my sentimentality. I live in a finite space; we all do. How can I keep everything without eventually filling up? Once a gift is relegated to the back of a drawer or to some back room, time to admit the gift has stopped giving.

I'm coming to peace with saying goodbye to sentimental stuff. What matters most is my making room for today's doing, not for displaying yesterday's back when.

(To any reader I've given a gift, please, enjoy it for however long it gives you pleasure, be it a year, a month, or an hour. Then, by all means freecycle, recycle, re-purpose, re-gift, sell, or donate. Even compost if it will!)

"A man can live profoundly without masses of things." Richard E. Byrd

I look forward to when it gets better, to when I'm living profoundly. Until then, I'm off to find my glasses and another empty box.


Links
For more inspiration for your own decluttering efforts, see Global Stewards' Motivational Quotes on Simplifying.

4 comments:

Frances said...

You can do it and if you can, maybe so can I. I look at the most unbelievable rubbish I haven't thrown out yet and then the year after I look at it again and wonder why it is still there. But at the moment of chucking, I think, I could make a ... with that... or something else... Inertia!

Debi said...

LOL Frances. "Unbelievable rubbish...hey, I have the exact same stuff! And the inertia hits me too. Between my crafting desires and my eco-consciousness, it's like I can't let go of anything for fear of either wanting it later or that it will end up in the landfill.

Come on, join me. I could use a fellow packrat buddy and gobs of encouragement.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I know how you feel. I go through periods of "ridding out" to create a better sense of calm. Maybe it's a good thing that I have a small house with few closets. Sounds like you've developed concrete goals for yourself. Always a good thing.

townsendtales said...

Thank you for reminding me of what I believe in! I have rid myself of almost all my "stuff" so many times in order to go live on a boat and have adventure. No big storage units for me...just a few boxes of photos and a box of precious old things. Then off the boat - collect again and get rid of it again in order to adventure again. Now, here I am permanently in a house and I know we will never do the boat thing again...we are getting too old. And you know what is happening? I am collecting because "I can."! I feel like I have deprived myself for all of those years by having to "get rid" of all my stuff. Oh, poor me! Well, you are right! I must stop this! It is a small house and has limited storage...I must get rid of stuff again! Oh, this will feel good! Thank you, Debi!