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 glasses—which I often do—to 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.
For more inspiration for your own decluttering efforts, see Global Stewards' Motivational Quotes on Simplifying.