Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cleaning It Out

Today I have been cleaning out some things in my house that desperately needed it.  Not that I don't go through my closet often to rid myself of anything that I can no longer wear because I'm pretty good about that.  But I'm not so great when something is perfectly good but doesn't exactly lend itself to life as I currently know it.  

Because I've been tied up this week doing invitations for a sweet bride to be and boot camp and training started back this week, I kept pushing everything into cute little piles all over the house and just flat out ignored it all.  Walked right by the Christmas stuff that was accidentally overlooked despite my best efforts to be all organized.  Left a pile of things on top of the dryer including 32 odd socks, a Snuggie, two blankets and enough lint to weave something substantial if I were a true Martha Stewart or Earth Mother type.
Which I so am not.

Yes, I did indicate that I am the proud owner of a Snuggie that I don't use.  Which is honestly the problem.

It is my fervent belief that if I have something in my possession that does not serve a practical, entertainment, or sentimental purpose...I don't need it.  Because like it or not, every item that we own in some measure also owns us.  We have to dust it, put a tag on it, fold it, store it, or heaven forbid pay for a storage facility to house it.  Our lives are simpler if we eliminate that which does not serve us so that we spend no time serving it unintentionally instead.

No, the pictures I have in my home will continue to get dusted because they are important to me.  The little Grumpy Cat doll sitting here staring at me as I write this that was a gift from my friend Andrea stays because she entertains me and reminds me of my sweet friend.  But the plastic salad bowl that I schlepped home from work that originally contained a Zoe's salad because it was too good to throw away is sitting here daring me to find a place for it.  

And I will.  On top of the cabinets in the laundry room where it will sit until I find a use for it or it gets so laden with dust that it is tossed unceremoniously into the trash.  I think of the possibilities...filling it with a meal for a family and making someone's day a whole lot easier perhaps.  But the recipient would need to be mighty, mighty hungry.  

I currently have ten items that need to be returned to one store or another including two vials of red food coloring, three workout shirts, a kitchen item, two Rubbermaid spice organizers that don't fit our cabinets and a plug for the stove we bought six months ago that didn't fit so we used the one from the original stove.  Yeah, the original stove that is currently living on the garage waiting for us to find a part (and now apparently...a plug that fits) so that we can move it to Jill's house to replace the one she has in her kitchen.


I have  really been convicted of this in my life and am determined to correct this in 2015.  There is really no excuse.  I have no children (other than the furry ones) living at home.  I've moved 98% of Jill's things to her house.  Brian took 98% of his things with him to Huntsville.  What remains is truly my problem.

And what a problem it has proven to be.  A perfect storm of someone who likes to repurpose things, who doesn't have time or money (at the same time) to finish certain projects (like curtains) I don't even start.  But after a few years, I get tired of the bedspread that is still usable and is too good to throw away.  So I don't.  I keep it.  

For years.

The games that we play once a year, the dozen or so beach towels, and the items that came from my grandmother's house that I don't use but also don't want to part with at this time.  The furniture that I'd like to replace in certain rooms but cannot because one of the kids might want it.  The room of furniture that Jill brought back to fill our study when her roommates moved in with their own furniture.  The maple table that Big Dave and his brother made by hand that sits in the room formerly known as Jill's because neither of the kids is ready for it and we don't have anywhere else to put it after I inherited my grandmother's dining room furniture.

Those are things that I'm going to deal with...but there are a whole lot of things that honestly need to move on to someone else who will need or enjoy them.  Books that I've read once and won't read again, decorations that have never fit my home but I was hopeful one day I'd figure it out.  The four different decors Jill managed to accumulate over four years of college...remnants of which still hang around here like unwanted guests.

I won't even go into the Longaberger baskets that I just had to have in the 1980s that are beautiful...and functional I'm sure.  Or the kitchen items that I never use.  Brian took the garlic press with him back after Christmas break.  He cooks.  And knows that he needs a garlic press.  I hope he enjoys it.  If he uses it once...he'll have used it more than I did.

The acquisition of "stuff" - even if it is acquired from the sale rack, inheritance, or gifts still needs to be managed.  Every so often you have to cull the coffee mugs because nobody needs 47 of them unless you are running a group home or a brothel.  

We're running neither of those around here and yet...

So, for the time being, I am trying to divest myself of 100 items a month for the entire year.  Why I chose that number doesn't really just sounded like a good number that meant business.  I can give away magazines, books, clothes, and the pair of eyeglasses I discovered in my car's glove compartment today that I can't really see out of that will be donated to whoever is collecting them.  I threw out two pair of sunglasses because I wear prescription ones to drive, both pair are scratched, and I need to buy a nice pair for the beach that costs more than $5 on the clearance rack of Ross For Less.

I want more time to enjoy what I have and to know what I have.  There's a freeing sensation that comes from just letting some of this stuff go.  Plus, I get to bless others...which totally rocks.  It'll be an adventure - this going through every drawer, every cabinet, and making decisions as I clean out this house.  

Because it is time...

Okay, FINE, past time.  Stay tuned.  I'm sure there will be a story or two in there somewhere.