Yesterday, I started reading this little hardback book that had been recommended by Peter Walsh, who I regard as somewhat of a decluttering and organizing god. Anyway, the book is called The More of Less and it’s by Joshua Becker. Becker is an advocate for minimalist living. His epiphany came from a garage cleaning. It occurred to him while cleaning a garage the cars wouldn’t fit into that if they didn’t have all of the stuff clogging the garage, he could be better spending his time in the backyard playing catch with his kid.
I have regular epiphanies. The one this morning came from spending half of it looking for a life insurance policy that I’ve been paying on for years and know nothing about. My financial person (waves at Vicki Pinder of VP Financial Options, a bright, knowledgeable woman who periodically whacks me upside the head to tell me to get it together) requested a look at this stray policy to see if I’m wasting my money considering I already have a policy through her.
I can’t find it.
Maybe if I wasn’t taking two years to move my office/studio from the basement to the spare bedroom, I could more easily lay my hands on such files. Maybe if I hadn’t decided to paint all the utilitarian office furniture–desk, file cabinet, book cases–various pastel colors and lose interest after the first half dozen or so drawers, my files would be where they were supposed to be rather than in plastic crates scattered all over the house. Maybe if I really committed to decluttering and simplifying (I don’t like the word minimizing), I would finish something and could find things and would be better able to keep things clean and neat.
Maybe I would have the time and space to do fun things.
So, starting yesterday, I’m keeping a list of stuff I’ve gone through and gotten rid of. If it’s something that triggers an emotion other than what was I thinking?, I’ll note where it came from, what it meant and where it’s going.
Part of me is thinking that I’m just making things unduly complex, and maybe I am. But I also think that it’s important to honor those things that I’ve been clinging to so that I can let them go. Plus it’s fun to see the numbers add up.
Another small epiphany I had yesterday was to put the giveaway stuff in smaller boxes. I had a Goodwill box in the basement that I have tripped over for about 18 months. I just couldn’t seem to get it upstairs and into the car. The box was too big. I put it in a smaller box which is up the stairs, out the door and in the car. Huh, what a concept.
Yesterday, I added the decorative 1976 Jim Beam bottle to my son’s pile of stuff to go to him next time he’s over. Seems he has a collection. Who knew? Also, from the basement box:
- 4 sheets of gold magnetic sheets to print business cards on
- 1 hank of multi-colored yarn for use with plastic canvas
- 6 sheets of plastic canvas
- 1 skein of yarn, for needlepoint, I think
- 40 plastic canvas circles
- 1 photo printer, never used
- 4 sheets of Christmas ornament molds, last used in the 80s
- 1 pamphlet from the Potato Growers Assn.
- 2 fancy rulers in cases
From the upstairs Goodwill box, now also much smaller:
- 3 never-hung Highlander posters
- 1 blouse someone gave me that I never wore
- 1 frog hand towel
- 1 Curves pedometer, never used
- 24 paperback books
Subtotal of crap now out of my house: 90 items
It’s a start.