Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea

More often than not this week, I have been in the midst of some sort of cleaning and organizing and deciding between better and best as I added things I liked to the Goodwill pile.  It was time to let extra stuff go... I wanted to open my bedroom closet with a smile rather than cringing at the sight of stuff... just one section of the house to which my attention was drawn... and walking through it now makes me smile.

I have no one else to blame for this clutter, it was mine... all mine.  None of my husband or my son's stuff was involved in the purging.   Me, who talks a lot about living life on purpose and letting go and all that, I had to make a decision not to hang on to luggage I will never use, Christmas sweaters which have not seen a December evening since 2006, teacups I liked instead of loved, clothes too small, clothes too big, baking pans too complicated, and sacks and sacks of other stuff.

I feel as if I have lost twenty pounds (if only it were that easy)...

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a hoarder.  I tend to go the opposite extreme and get rid of things I later realize I needed.  But if God's perfect house for me is small-ish, with no attic, with no basement, and only a garage and a shed "in the back forty" which holds my garden stuff... if that is His will... then I have a feeling He also knew I'd need to get rid of stuff.  I have been peeling away stuff for years now until finally, most of what I have is just what I need. 

There is space to breath and my eyes no longer rest on things ready to fall off a shelf, or wonder just what lurks in that box, or hides in a corner of a closet.  The stuff that remains all look so much better and my mind no longer feels the need to "do something" with things that are far past their time... better they go to someone who does need them.

Like anything else in life I want to do or be... it all starts with that first step... in this case bringing in boxes in which to place items to give away, throw away, keep, etc.  It also required a decision, I wanted a decluttered life more than I wanted any extra stuff, then that first step to bring in the boxes in which to sort it all out.  The sorting was not half as difficult as making the decision.

It makes me think through and ponder what other first steps need accomplished in my life.  That will be enough to ponder in the coming week..


freetobeme - Anita said...

Oh boy, this one hit me square between the eyes... Those have been my thoughts lately so now with this little prodding I'm going to do it! I need to. I want to. I must... Thanks again, Brenda. I'll let you know the results! Thanks again for sharing! Love you!

janjan said...

I too have been decluttering.....and yet my house is still cluttered. I have made mistakes in the past and sent off to the 0p-shops, things i later needed. So now i dither over making that final decision. But this is my year of living frugally and decluttered. Before christmas I parted with at least 200 craft books, material, yarn etc. Keeping only that which I truly needed.
I have two spare rooms now the boys have moved out and I am resisting the urge to throw all the clutter in there till I can face sorting through it all.
It is a wonderful feeling though to sit back and look at all that space.


Mrs.Rabe said...

I spent the day yesterday working in my bedroom....I love to see clear space but with a small house and not enough storage it builds up, as I am sure you know.

It feels more restful now.

Vintage Gal said...

You must be reading my mind. I need to do this! I think I'll start this afternoon. Thanks for the inspiration ~ I'm taking the first step!

Vee said...

So much to purge around here that your post speaks very powerfully to me. And don't I just love spending a dollar or two to add to the load. As my uncle used to forcefully tell my aunt, a great lover of shoes, "If you don't need the shoes, it doesn't matter if they only cost $5!" He always made me laugh, but I must employ his refrain. Wonder what would happen if I put that extra dollar or two in a jar? Oh sure! I could blow it on a trip to the restaurant. I don't mental health and all that... See how confused I've become in the space of one simple comment? Ha!

jAne said...

i've been doing just this: decluttering. i'm making my way through the house, little by little, drawer or cupboard or closet - one at a time.


Grammee Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

Wonderful post! I have been on this journey since 2005ish. "I want a decluttered life more than I want stuff!! " sums it up so well. I keep on purging and donating and each time, it seems easier to let go.
Have a wonderful week!

Scrappy quilter said...

I learnt to declutter years ago however it's definitely a work in progress. I'm about at where I want to be and yet I know more will come this year as we plan to move and downsize yet again. Thanks for sharing. Hugs

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I seriously need to declutter my place too.
A coworker lost everything in a house fire once. She was thankful noone was hurt and also for the household necessities she got from the Salvation Army. So decluttering is good for others as well as ourselves.

Musical Maggie said...

I am trying to declutter as well. I'm amazed at the number of people that are trying to do this. You'd think that with all of us trying to declutter that more of us would be successful?

I have a small 2 bedroom house with no basement or attic. The only place to put the extra things is the bin at Salvation Army. It's just letting go and letting it leave that's the hard part.

Sandra said...

Me, too...I did a major decluttering a few months ago. Like you, I kept things I love not just like AND decided to use those things...gasp! :o) Rather than keeping things "for good" I try to use them everyday or as much as possible. I've realized every day is special so why not enjoy what I have.


Brenda Leyland said...

Loved this sentence... "It also required a decision, I wanted a decluttered life more than I wanted any extra stuff, then that first step to bring in the boxes in which to sort it all out."

Sometimes the decision is knowing what we want more.

Enjoy your new space and Freedom!

Heather said...

It feels so good to lighten the load! I'm glad you tackled your closet and won! My husband has asked yet again if I wouldn't like to move my sewing (mess)area out of our bedroom and into the inlaw suite since it sits idle so much of the time. I know that doing so will involve a lot of sorting the culling so I've put it off again, but I often wish someone could come into our home and teach me how to use the space we have more effectively! Decluttering is the first step I'm sure!

Jodi said...

Dear Brenda,

I left an answer to your lovely comment on my blog, but it disappeared, so I'm typing it here. I didn't grow up in a church family either, and that is why I cherish that memory. God is good, isn't He?
I enjoyed your post--clutter makes me crazy, especially in the winter time. I think because it makes me feel boxed in.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Such an inspiring post dear Brenda...and your points are spot on. I too live in a smallish house with no basement and have been in the process of decluttering for the past six months. That being said, I really do not believe I've been purging all that could be given up to others who may have more use for it than I. Thus, after reading your post I took several boxes and filled them with lamps and other items I've been hanging onto (but don't need). They are waiting by the front door to be loaded into my car and dropped off at the Good Will or Precious Life thrift shops. Once done, I will come home and fill more boxes. It may take a while but,like you, I am finding myself in need of "breathing space". Thank you for the wise perspective on this issue.