I hadn't planned on moving through the whole house in one day. I was working on our guest room, as we were having company for the weekend. However, once I got started, I got swallowed, and pretty soon the day was gone.
It started with simply removing a few things from the guest room, things that belonged somewhere else, like my room. A few more things got moved to the hall closet. A few things from the hall closet ended up in the kitchen. Stuff from the kitchen ended up in the garage. I brought one thing in the from the garage and put it in the office. Stuff from the office ended up in the den. And in the guest room.
One of my primary goals in cleaning is to de-clutter and create more space. I envision our closets and drawers and bookcases neatly organized and filled with cute baskets and dividers from the Container Store.
In my dreams.
Most of our junk is in shoe boxes, plastic veggie containers, Rubbermaid items that lost their lids, and pink hospital tubs. We have stuff packed in every nook and cranny. It wears me out.
As I shuffled through and dusted our possessions, it hit me that much of what I was doing was not clearing out, but moving stuff from one room to another. Which, at some point, will have to be cleaned again. Just in a different room. If all our stuff is so transient/interchangeable, it can't be that particular to any specific purpose.
That's when it hit me that we have too much
I take a bag to the thrift store every month, and we still have too much. How much stuff does one person need? Well, three people, as currently three people live here. You know that question, if your house was on fire, what would you grab? I'd head for the photo albums and the shoe boxes of pictures. The LOST DVDs. Maybe the laptop. Some extra underwear, if I had time.
The rest...I think I could live without it. For awhile anyway. Eventually, we'd have to get a sofa, so I'd have something to sit own while I'm working on the laptop or watching LOST.
Our daughter was in formation for the religious life for three years, and she reduced her possessions to what she could carry in two large suitcases. How liberating. Watching her clear out her life inspired me to examine my own closets. I now have a deeper appreciation for a less cluttered life. And I'm working towards that.
It's always going to be a challenge. We're like iguanas, who expand to the size of their cage, or tank. Whatever space we have, we fill it. We're not even pack-rats, we're just regular people with regular stuff. Too much of it.
The solution is clear. We have to move.