Thursday, August 12, 2010

Becoming Clutter Free (Relatively)

Back in May, I began an ambitious project to clear all the junk out of my house.  At the time, I experienced considerable stress due to my inability to manuever around my home.  I never quite settled in due to various situational issues, but it was time to do so.  The clutter had been hindering my relationships because I was constantly distracted by...well, more clutter.  Receiving an email from my frustrated ex-husband for repeatedly failing to give him a copy of an important piece of paperwork helped me come to terms that I couldn't put off the overhaul any longer.

So I had one really good productive day.

Then between focusing on finishing my last class (which was loads of fun!) and the excitement summer social engagements always bring, I forgot.  Well, I didn't forget, I just didn't make time to continue.  In fact, I haven't had a single Saturday home since May 15.  If I was home (two days) I was entrenched in homework.  This Saturday, I have a yoga class and that's it.

I originally planned on doing some garden work, hitting a yoga class, taking a long tub soak, and finishing the day giving myself a mani/pedi while watching some British movie that would bore the beau.

I still plan on doing all those things, but with a twist.  I was inspired by a Yahoo! article about a woman who began getting rid of stuff in order to better manage her finances.  She found being content living simply actually improved her and her husband's happiness.  I was re-inspired to take charge of my space (which has become way out of hand) and attempt to conquer another room.  I think I've settled for making what I wanted to be an office, an office.  The pieces are all there, just not in a fashion that is usable as an office space.  Bookshelves need to be relocated, miscellaneous papers need to be tossed or filed, and an old computer will be setup for my beau's preschooler. Actually, it's kind of weird to think that I was actually YOUNGER than he is now when I started using computers in 1985!

I've been seriously thinking about how to use the space efficiently in my home as well as how to free myself from my love of stuff.  The aforementioned woman participated in the 100 Thing Challenge that essentially limits you to owning 100 personal items.  Okay, I'm not interested in getting that serious about it.  I love stuff. I love to buy stuff.  I love to buy stuff that makes me feel good.  Not having money with which to buy stuff makes me unhappy, so I try to be as frugal as I can.  That also means I need to be smarter about what I buy. Spending $1 on a chocolate bar will give me the same satisfaction as spending $20,000 on a new car.  It's having something new that I can enjoy.  But since I don't really need a new car and would rather have financial security, I go with splurging on the occasional chocolate bar.

Anyway, back to what I was saying before my chocolate craving took over.  I read an article by a guy (with the cutest anecdotal story) talking about how clutter hides issues, but when clutter is gone one is left with empty space.  Usually people end up recluttering rather than addressing the underlying issues.  I'm not sure what that means for me (other than my obvious inability to actually let things go in general), but I'm hoping the experience of cleaning things up acts as a meditation on the matter.

No comments: