Clutter, clutter everywhere!

One of the downfalls of long, cold, snowy winters is that you start to feel really confined.  And not just because you can’t leave the house, but because your stuff can’t leave.  Or won’t, anyway.  Maybe because you don’t have the guts to brave the cold to dispose of it.

So spring is finally here, the crabapple trees are budding, the roads are filled with fresh carnage (survival of the…smartest animals?) and it’s a balmy…55 degrees right now.

Hmm…maybe I need to work on my attitude a little.

Maybe it’s not just the cold weather, or the poor baby animals; maybe my stuff is taking over again.  Maybe I’m feeling a bit oppressed.

As I sit here at my workstation, I’m surrounded by clutter – to my right I have unfiled tax and medical documents, snaps that don’t fit my press, pens, and packaging that I have to keep in case the product is defective.  To my left, my iPod is plugged in, various  index cards scattered about with my notes, products ready to be shipped, lip balm and the very necessary Andes Mints, and on the far side, my sewing machine and two boxes of pins open wide and ready to tip over.  Uh oh.

Courtesy of eMedia Daily

Courtesy of eMedia Daily

Okay, that’s not my desk.  But you know what I mean.  It’s a wonder I can work at all sometimes.

The thing is, I work better at an uncluttered desk.  I dress better when my closet is uncluttered.  When my kitchen doesn’t have soap making supplies all over the counter long after the soap bits are listed on etsy, I not only cook, but I eat better – healthier, too!  I’m motivated to cook instead of wishing I could go out to eat instead of trying to find a place to zest citrus (yea, right.)

So I’ve been decluttering the house, very, very slowly (I do have two young boys, after all!)  I’ve gone through my personal stash of samples and bath products and designated a nice sized portion to give away.  I’ve gone through my bookcase and removed books that will never be read.  One day, I may even get to my office, where old projects wait to be finished (a wonderful 3 X 5 handhooked rug in finished just after G was born three years ago…) and the beads I will never use sit on top of the fleece intended for a Christmas blanket for E.  It’s May.

Now, with winter over, we have more room to move, so it’s time to declutter and think hard about what brings us joy and what doesn’t.  It’s hard to be motivated to load and unload heavy boxes for donation from your car when your snot freezes inside your nostrils!  And the complacency cold weather seems to bring doesn’t help, either.

So with spring here, our house is getting a good spring cleaning – including giving away the things we don’t need or use anymore!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s not a profound fact, but it is significant – possessions will control you if you don’t control them.  I don’t mean that in a physical way, although that’s certainly true.  I mean it in an emotional way – the emotional heaviness of working at a cluttered desk, the stress of not being able to find a bill that’s due, or a screwdriver you need, or the cat (!) because of the amount of stuff in your house.  The guilt you feel over not finishing a project in time for a birthday or holiday.  The fear that an acquaintance might drop in unexpectedly and see a trashed house.  (Believe me, I’ve been there.)

Join me in decluttering – it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Honestly, between two boys, two cats, a husband, a fledgling business that’s quickly growing wings, and myself, our house has seen better days.  This past winter was the hardest, with just a lot going on and no servants to help out!  If I was going to try and declutter the whole house at once, I’d be sunk before I began.  It’s so bad, vacuuming seems overwhelming! LOL.

So each day, choose one spot.  It doesn’t have to be big – maybe your jewelry box, or under the bathroom sink.  Little things add up quick, and the one clean area will not only bring you satisfaction and a measure of peace, it will motivate you to do more.

Today I cleaned the pile of papers on the floor next to my desk.  All I did was go through them, toss the junk and make three piles – file, shred, deal with.  And I’ll “deal with” the piles tomorrow.

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