At the first sign of sun I shed coats and scarves, which in turn reminds me to shed pounds, and with the windows open and the sun streaming in, I take an extra look at all the STUFF everywhere in my house.
This year I was especially eager when it came to getting rid of the clutter because during our hibernation I read a life changing book. LIFE CHANGING BOOK Y'ALL! Have you seen it?
I mean, the words "life-changing" are in the title! This is not your ordinary "organize your sock drawer" kind of book. It is more about why we have too much stuff and how we can change the way we think about letting things go. It really addressed my problem of "what if?" What if I need it? What if I lose 20 lbs and fit into it again? What if that style comes back? What if, What if, What if?!?!?
Let me officially highly recommend this book to you. Within a day of starting it 5 garbage bags of just clothing, of just mine, left my house. Another 2 bags of Wesley's old toys followed shortly after and three tubs of her old clothes also left our humble abode that week. That is a lot of clutter that is no longer in my way! And the book claims, once you try it you will never go back to your cluttery ways.....
And then, this weekend when the weather was finally nice enough to spend more than two minutes in my attic, it happened. ....Matt and I showed no mercy. I wish I could show you a before picture, but I was 1. too embarrassed and 2. the pics wouldn't do it justice, because all of the crap that lurked in every square inch of that space. What I do have is pictures of some of what left that day.
Boxes on boxes, bags on bags. It had to go. This does not include the trash we threw out, this is just the goodwill donation. Dude. It was cathartic. Will I need the elephant lamp we let go of? Possibly. Will I miss some of Wesley's tiny baby things? Most definitely. But were they giving me any joy in my attic, or improving my life on a day to day basis? Not at all.
This is the key. I thought shoving things away didn't hurt, saving something for a rainy day can't bother you, but it does. This is Marie's point. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE STUFF! It's about the mind set. If your life is packed physically, you feel it mentally. No one will ever see my clean, sparse attic or clean, drastically reduced closet of clothes.....but when I need something from the attic or the closet, I can now easily go find it and this frees me. You see, the stuff that clutters our houses, steals our time.
Your space shouldn't just be organized, it should be downsized. It's not about shoving it out of sight, it's about knowing where everything you own is. You can only do this when you own less, or at the very least only own what you love and what you need. With less things in our house, there is automatically less to clean up, it is just a positive, physical fact. It has made "cleaning up" very easy.
I feel like I could go on and on, but I won't. There is so much more to it and I have miles to go to be a true student of Marie's. But the small changes we've made so far have had such a positive effect, that I know I want to continue. In the meantime, every time I pick something up in my house I ask myself "Does that bring you joy?" "Do I need it?"and if so, "Does it have a specific place to go?" The answers have to be all yes. And it has made a big difference.
Happy Purging! Happy Spring!