Lightening the Load

Donated today:

  1. a shoe.  just one.  It was under the desk in the guest room.  My daughter says it’s mine.  I say I gave it to her.  The other shoe is missing.  I’m going to claim it so I can take credit for decluttering it today.  One shoe gone.  (If I find the other one I won’t count it).
  2. a beautiful white duvet cover with blue flowers.  It’s white.  That about says it all.  It looks beautiful on the bed.  For ten minutes.  Until a dog jumps on it. Then it needs to go back in the wash.
  3. six more bags of shredded paper.  It is done.  All of the outdated business papers are shredded and at the recycling center.  The remaining boxes that need to be kept are neatly stored in the back of the guest room closet.
  4.  almost two full file boxes of youngest daughter’s art work and school projects from years past.  She has always been such of “keeper” of things, but lately she’s changing. She went through the two boxes of art and only kept enough to fit in an accordion file folder. It was much easier for her than for me.  So many memories.  I even heard myself ask her if she was sure about getting rid of it all.  I went through her discards and kept a couple of pieces that triggered good memories for me.  The rest I pitched and I’ll admit I shed a few tears.
  5. two of hubby’s shirts that don’t fit well enough to take up space in his closet.

I’m feeling a bit of excitement this round of decluttering.  A little anxiety, but not in a necessarily negative way.  It sort of feels like we a preparing for a trip of some kind.  Getting ready. Making plans.

It is, I suppose a journey.  I am on a journey to a more intentional life.  I’ve been decluttering for a long time.  Fumbling around with periodic fits of frantic decluttering followed by rounds of shopping to fill things back up.  This time seems different.  I’ve been to the store many times in the past few weeks – even the thrift store.  The shopping is more intentional.  There is less feeling of doing without when I can’t afford something.  The purchases are planned and practical – not spontaneous.  There has been no guilt afterwards.

I wrote about my frustration as the holidays approached last year.  The desperate effort to get things cleared and cleaned up, and my determination to change for this holiday season.  And I have been working on the house since, but it’s only in the last month or two that I’ve felt a change – a real change.  It’s as if something inside my head clicked.  I can’t get rid of things and bring more things in.  The things aren’t the problem.  I’ve been trying to self-medicate (for lack of a better phrase) and fill the emptiness inside me and soothe the insecurities that I feel with possessions.

No more.  I need to work on the problems and find real solutions.  I know that I will tend to “back-slide”.  Old habits die hard.  The decluttering will never be completely done.   There will always be things that can go as interests change and my journey continues.

I’m just excited to have arrived at the spot I’m at now.  To be here with my declutter done for the day and with 4 empty cabinets in my house.  There is a clear floor in my guest room.  And I have days left until Thanksgiving and the end of my declutter challenge.

What next?  Where I am I heading?  Time will tell.  All I know is that my baggage is lighter – my load is lessened.

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