Confession- I am a hoarder. Not reality TV level hoarder, maybe close. It’s true- last time I did a serious declutter I threw away 10 (yes, 10!) books on clutter. Serious evidence of a problem, if ever I’ve seen it.
I keep the craziest things– convinced that one day I’ll be able to turn it into a creative project (spoiler- I don’t) or I’m too attached to the memories that it represents. I have boxes of files, reports, articles chronicling my university and work history. Magazines full of beautiful pictures and recipes that I intend to clip, brochures of products and ideas that I love. And, oh, the handbags, shoes and jewellery I hold on to. I have every home appliance known to man- in fact I just opened y kitchen cupboard to discover I own two stick blenders. Heavens knows where the second one came from.
I’m drowning in the stuff and often joyfully fantasize about the house burning, and destroying all of my clutter. Yes, that should have been the signal I have too much.
And look, as much as I joke about it, it seriously impacts my life. Always one for woo woo thinking- I believe that possesions are tied to you. As the saying goes- the things you own ,own you. Clutter saps your energy, makes the energy in your house stagnate and prevents you fully unwinding when you step back into your house. Its horrible stuff.
I’m determined to rid myself of it this year. I want the freedom of open shelves and flat surfaces, corners without boxes, cupboards and rooms that are well organized and airy. I don’t want the sterile, minimal look that is oh so popular. That look is not for me. I want a colourful, whimsical house, full of life and personality. But not clutter, no more clutter.
And so, I’m addressing it. I’ve attempted 15 minutes of decluttering a day, but that is getting tiresome. Truly I just own too much stuff, I want to simplify, in a conscious, ease-y kind of way. So in May I’m playing the Minimalist Game.
This is a simple game- first of May, throw one thing, second day- throw two and so on for the rest of the month. I’m trying not to think ahead- the end of the month will be difficult, but I’m hoping that the tolerance to getting rid of things will build over the month.
Almost 5 days in, I’ve roped in my husband and we’ve decided to focus on just one room, so that we can really make a difference. So far we have thrown 20 things together, 30 after today. It’s bringing up all kinds of emotions and excuses that I’m processing one by one. But an overall sense of exhilaration and relief is keeping my going. So the feeling and excuses? Oh- I feel completely environmentally irresponsible- throwing things out? Contributing to landfill? I can’t possibly throw things out- our environment is already stuffed. Donate them to charity? Oh, haven’t you heard? Our charities will no longer accept things- they receive too much junk. (See- the key to a good excuse is that it needs to contain a kernel of truth). These obviously are just excuses, an attempt by my ego to convince me not to throw things. Ultimately, deep down, I know there are ways around these excuses.
So I shall continue, day by day, item of clutter, by item of clutter. Sadly, acknowledging and processing excuse by excuse. And I’m going to hold on to those little islands of exhileration and relief. They are only going to grow.
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