Speaking of Less

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Can I tell you how much I hate cleaning and clearing and organizing?  I’m just not good at it.  But this week I’ve been making a conscious effort to go through one of my extra bedrooms that has just been a store room for things I didn’t know what to do with.  I started with the closet.  I figured that if I could clear some of the junk out of the closet in there, that would leave me some extra space to hide some of the stuff that’s been sitting out in the middle of the room for a while.  I would have room to put an extra bed in there for nieces and nephews and guests.  It’s been too messy for far too long.

But it was sitting behind closed doors.  I didn’t have to look at it unless I needed to get my vacuum or mop or extra toilet paper.  My home is seriously lacking on storage space, so I just used a whole room that I hadn’t been previously using for storage.  It was really ridiculous.  Last night I found a whole Rubbermaid storage container filled with empty CD cases.  I had transferred all the CDs to a holder and put them on the computer, but I think I thought for some reason I might like to keep the cases and the booklets.  So I threw all of them in…and DVD cases into this container, and it’s been sitting in my closet taking up room for three years.

Why does it take me so long to clear out the mess?  I sit back and watch it pile up until I just can’t handle it anymore and then just start throwing everything away.  Things that three years ago were priceless mementos of which I couldn’t let go are now just things that are in my way of moving forward.

See what I did there?

It’s annoying.  It can sometimes be a bit painful, but it’s necessary.  These things I’m holding onto were part of who I was.  Some of them will move forward with me, but most of them will remain in the past…and the burn pile.

So this week has been a little productive.  I’m a few cans of paint and a lot of sewing projects getting organized away from getting this room ready to be a place to welcome friends and family into.  Or to turn it into a great big huge storage closet for all my projects.

Or both.

I think the past plays a huge part in our future…as long as it stays in the past and we’ve learned from it.  And because I sometimes (read always) tend to hang on a bit longer than necessary, it can slow progress a bit.  But moving forward is so good.

I’ve been reading a book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  Sigh.  It is shaking things up within me quite a bit.  The premise is she does a sort of fast for 7 months.  Each month is a different thing.  For the first month she only ate 7 different foods.  The second month she only wore 7 articles of clothing.  The third month she gave away 7 items a day.  The fourth month is all media, and is the month I’m currently reading.  It is all quite fascinating.  We’re so inundated with everything around us telling us we need more stuff and we need to do more stuff and eat more, it’s overwhelming.  Sometimes it takes going without for a little bit to realize that we really aren’t without.  Just with Less.  And Less is good.

Anyway, when I’m finished with the book, I will let you all know what I think of it for sure.  It is definitely making me think about things in a new way.  Which is why I love to read and learn.  I hate staying stuck in the same mindset when things around me are changing.  It’s a good way to become out of touch with the world around me.

So tonight I’m cleaning.  Tomorrow I’m cleaning.  And soon I’ll have a place set up to keep moving forward.

I can’t wait.

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  • Cathy

    That book shook me up too and convicted me.