Although it would be nice to just whip out my magic wand and zap about a hundred objects per room into oblivion, I haven’t perfected that method of de-cluttering yet. I’m working on it. In the meantime, I’m reading this book because I need help with housekeeping. I’m sure recognizing that I have a problem is half the battle.
Sitting in the living room this morning enjoying my second (or maybe third – who counts) cup of coffee gave me a chance to look around with a critical eye. I tried to be objective, and imagine how a stranger would view my collection of random things.
It might be a stretch for that person to believe I love, need, and use all this crap, or that it brings beauty to the atmosphere and joy to my heart.
Tess Whitehurst suggests several external clutter categories (paper, clothes, books, decorations, furniture, gifts, food, unfinished projects and broken things) but I think the decoration category is my biggest challenge. I’m not ready to even think about my internal clutter yet.
In front of our living room fireplace there is a lovely stone shelf which I’m sure was bare when we moved in but has hardly seen the light of day since then. It’s the perfect place to burn candles and put miscellaneous stuff that there’s no room for anywhere else. It’s been looking more like a junk heap than even remotely decorative lately.
The book suggests starting small so this is where I decided to begin. I got rid of my bowl full of rocks because I can’t remember whatever possessed me to have a bowl full of rocks in the first place. Then it was easy to throw away a bunch of candles that were burned down to nothing or melted into ugly puddled blobs of wax. Things that I couldn’t imagine parting with I moved somewhere else so that it looks like I threw them out. I’m not telling you where they magically teleported themselves, but I will admit that I made several trips to other parts of the house and only one trip to the outside garbage bin.
I’m giving myself A for effort here. It’s still a shelf load of junk, but it’s better organized. I read to the end of the first chapter of this very helpful book only to learn that “clearing clutter is a lifetime pursuit”. Perhaps the author has seen my house. I wonder if I’ll live long enough to get to the rest of it so that my home will eventually become “a powerful catalyst for personal transformation and manifestation.” Huh. I foresee a lot more trips to the black-bin or Good Will, or a colossal garage sale in my future.
But I’m going to completely ignore the book de-cluttering category. The line has to be drawn somewhere and my books are sacred. Even this one. The good news is – the next chapter is about cleaning, and with all the de-cluttering still to do, I might never get to that part at all.