Cleaning out my mother’s house made me determined to run right home and do a similar decluttering in my own. After all, when do we ever have the motivation to work our way back to the last stray paperclip in the junk drawer, unless we have to hand the house over to someone else, right? It just seems like so many spaces in our house lie cluttered, and dormant, and there is never the urgency needed to address it in a comprehensive way.
Well, I was a week into my closet before it struck me that it is much easier making decisions about someone else’s extra stuff than our own! And you can only say, “Well, I might need that someday…” so many times before you begin to sound downright silly! Thankfully, my daughter, Eva, was willing to assist, and she would cut off that tiresome statement in a flash: “You will not, Mother… you haven’t used that in five years or more.”
What is our obsession with clinging to stuff? I know in my heart that I would be much happier with owning half of the clothing in my closet. I even have moments when I legitimately toy with the idea of a minimalist approach to dress: eight versatile pieces that mix and match, and that’s it. Can you imagine thinking, “I better do the wash… I have no more clean clothes in my closet!?” Can you imagine not giving two minute’s thought to what you are going to wear today? When there are only eight pieces, there’s not a lot to think about!
I’m a long way from being a minimalist, but I do want to begin this new year by intentionally thinking through each space, and decidedly lightening our load. I want to consider each new purchase with a little more gravity–do I really need this? Do I have a place for it? (And squeezing it into an already groaning space doesn’t count–I’m talking spaces that can breathe! Items that have air around them!) When I’m gone one day, I want someone to look at my stuff and say, “Wow, this is spare! She didn’t need much, did she?”
Richard just came into my closet, three yard bags lighter, and said “It doesn’t look any different!” I guess I have a lot more work to do…