Saturday, April 13, 2013

De-cluttering

One of the most important changes I'm trying to make is to live with less. I don't mean to live in poverty, not physical, emotional or spiritual poverty. I'm just trying to make a smaller footprint, use less resources, and think twice before bringing anything else into the house.

So, over spring break, instead of heading to the beach like many of my colleagues, we headed north to our house to de-clutter. I used to have nightmares that I'd open my door and Ms. Neicy from Clean House would be standing there, telling me what a "hot mess" my house is. And she would have been right. My house was cluttered.

It used to be less of a problem, as when we were in the military, we moved frequently. Every couple of years, we de-cluttered, got rid of anything that was broken, worn, useless. We were only allowed a certain weight for our goods. But the seeds were there. Books always had priority!


So, we're going through everything we own. Do we love it? Does it have value? (That value can be intrinsic or extrinsic.) Do we want to pay to have it transported? At a certain point, everything has to be judged. There are two bags and a box wherever we're working. Throw away, give away (or sell) and pack. So, during Spring Break, we completely filled the truck with books, and took them to the used book store. Then, we completely filled it again with clothing, and gave that to Goodwill. And sadly, it barely made a dent. It's going to be a much longer process than I had hoped. But, it's that small change again, a start.

The small rental home we're in just now has shown me just how little I actually need. It's been lovely. There are a few times when I want something that's still in the other house, but I can make do. Cleaning is quick. I run the vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom, and I'm done. The dishes are done every night, no soaking till morning. The clothing is in order, and laundry is done once a week. It's folded, and put away immediately. Building new habits, one little bit at a time.