Declutter is a lovely word to me.
When I clean out a room, a closet, a shelf, or a drawer, I feel better. Happier. Lighter. Productive. Cleansed. More energetic. Peaceful. Free. Empowered.
When I’m around clutter, I feel weighed down. Angry. Edgy. Frustrated. Disorganized. Chaotic. Unproductive. Overwhelmed. Anxious. Stressed.
At least five years ago, my husband and I cleaned out his parent’s home. We had three garage sales, and had tons of items left over. We rented a storage unit. All that stuff that we tried to forget about is still sitting there. Plus we’re paying a monthly fee.
Last week, our neighbor said she wants to have a neighborhood garage sale before she moves. We didn’t hesitate to say, “We’re in!”
We had no choice but to go back to the storage unit. When my husband rolled up the metal door to our little “room of clutter,” I wanted to cry. I literally felt the anxiety well up inside of me.
We were greeted by over-stuffed boxes of papers, books, record albums, pictures, and toys. Old washing machines and furniture blocked the entrance. I wanted my husband to slam the door and put the lock back on. I wished for a fire to burn everything, rather than have to face the mess.
All those memories of my dear in-laws and of my husband’s childhood. I didn’t want to rummage through it, in order to make sense of it all. But we had to. This was our chance to finally rid our lives of these things that were weighing us down.
I didn’t cry, roll my eyes, or even let out a big sigh — all of which I wanted to do.
We piled our SUV until we couldn’t fit in one more box. We’ve been back three times since. Now our garage at home looks horrendous, filled with stuff we don’t want. It’s ugly to me. My friend told me, “It’s going to look a lot worse before it gets better.”
I’ve taken this opportunity to start the process of clearing out some rooms in our home. It’s hard to believe how much is accumulated after twenty six years of marriage.
My rule is if I don’t absolutely love it, or need it, or haven’t used it in a couple of years (or never used it), I need to toss it. Or give it to someone who can use it. What’s one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.
I’ve found that the more I clean out, the easier it becomes. Box by box. Clearing out the physical baggage is freeing. It’s good for my soul.
The garage sale is next weekend. What we don’t sell, we’ll donate. I can’t wait until our garage is clean and we can park the car in it again.
I have to go now and get started pricing all the junk. I mean, unknown treasures.
First image courtesy of: http://www.dgdoors.com/blog/6-garage-wall-storage-ideas-that-cut-clutter/
Second image courtesty of: https://runyonrental.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/organize-your-garage-with-a-fool-proof-5-step-plan/