Do you ever get in those intense cleaning moods, where you’re fed up with the amount of clutter in your space and all you want to do is hose it all in gasoline, light a match and scream, “Let it burrrrrrrrrn!” with wild frenzy?
My mother and I both got in that mood, and tore through our piles of unnecessary materials from 9:30 until midnight last night (no fire, though, although it was tempting).
Consequently, I have a mountain of clothes, wall décor, extra bedding and the like piled in my car to try and sell today. Anyone who happens to currently glance in the windows of my car are probably assuming that my parents kicked me out of the house and I had to take my little-girl jewelry box and Bambi pillow cases to the road.
Even though it took work to go through everything–specifically picking through some sentimental pieces that I deemed unable to enhance my life happiness–and it will take work to even get rid of the loads, I feel….so much lighter. There is something insurmountably satisfying about only having things that make you happy and that enhance your life. You get to look around you and think to yourself, “All this stuff, and nothing more, is 100% worth my time”. Unnecessary materials stress me out. They bog me down. Having an excess of stuff makes me feel committed to materialism, or at least unable to just pack up and go to wherever the heck fire I want.
It makes choosing what to wear in the morning loads easier, because everything I have I both like and wear.
It makes my mind clearer; my physical environment is an indication of my psyche, so if it’s clear then my mind has a standing chance.
It makes me happy to give it to people who want it more than I (and not going to lie here, it makes me even a bit happier to sell it to those people who want it and will use it, because then it’s more of a win-win).
I am also someone who tires so easily of monotony; I thrive with change. I love the idea of tossing everything out, and then with the income, ushering in a new palate of options.
It can be hard to declutter properly, unfortunately. There will always be the little voice saying, “If you gain a bit of weight, you’re going to want this, because it’ll fit”; “If you ever find a good pair of white shorts, this top would go with them perfectly”; “what happens when you get your own apartment? You’re going to need this then!”; “If you give this away, you’re essentially tossing away your relationship with your Aunt”; “Josie, these letters and birthday cards are memories, I know you haven’t read them in many, many years, but maybe one day you’ll want to”.
You gotta ignore that little guy. If in the future you need something, you can go get it. If tossing away the previous year’s birthday cards is going to hinder your relationship with your relatives, then maybe you need to get to work in the relational department.
I believe honestly that it comes down to fear. Most things really do. It’s hard to declutter completely, because we’re afraid to “toss away memories” or we’re afraid that we won’t be able to obtain something like it ever again.
So maybe it’s not the decluttering of space that is so satisfying, although that’s a big part of it. Maybe the satisfaction manifests itself in overcoming fear.
Friends, simplicity is so rewarding. So beautiful. The less we are tied to the materials, the more we can be tied to each other. To the things that last. To the things that will actually bring us through the good-ol’-reliable-tough-times. Yeah, I can keep this sweater that my grandmother knitted for me when I was in the 2nd grade, because maybe if I have a tough day at college, I’m going to want to look at it and be reminded of her crafty hands. But knowing myself, I’m going to most likely find more comfort out of calling her and having a conversation. Or going to one of my best friends for a hug and a word of comfort.
People will always be greater, far greater than things. It would be good if we started treating each other to that effect.
Peace and Blessings,