Clearing out my space

In which I touch on a few goals (#11, #24, #29, #42, #53) that are all linking to clearing physical items out of my space.

I feel like I’m genetically programmed to keep too much stuff.

(That way, I can shift the blame off of myself when I finally go through my desk drawers and find 30 floppy discs, Hollywood video AND Blockbuster membership cards, or pens that don’t write. Or when I go through my shelves and find books I have no intention of reading, free bookmarks I don’t use, or decorations that have no meaning to me. Or when I go through my drawers and find clothes that don’t fit my style, life, or body anymore.)

This year, I have been doing a major house-wide purge. Sometimes I feel like I’m starting to see results, but others it is so discouraging to continue to work and still feel like I can’t find what I need, I have nothing to wear, my things are still all over the place.

I’m slowly working though the ridiculous amount of paper that I have. Filing, shredding, but mostly recycling: old coupons that got swept up in a pile, or old grocery lists that was out away in a purse, or why did we think we needed to keep this? I think the amount of junk mail we pile up in a week is disgusting. And it is way too easy to let that pile up.

We’re cleaning out in the garage in order to get at least my car in, but it doesn’t look like we’ll get the second car inside until we build out a lot more storage. I’m trying to take the progress for what it is worth and not let perfection be the enemy of good.

I’ve also been doing a lot of hard work on my clothes. I’ve got a ton of clothes that just don’t fit any more — not me, not my life. I’ve already donated one big load of clothes and am working on at least two more. (We’re donating baby items to a different location than the rest in the hopes that they get a more direct route to folks who need them than a thrift store.) While I’ve reduced a lot, I feel like I’ll cut more out when I am not comparing to the items that were clearly not working. Just because this one is better than that doesn’t mean that this one is good. Right now I’m storing three separate wardrobes — one for life now, and two in case I decide to have another kid, and then decide to nurse another kid. I’ve decided that all my items need to fit in my closet and dresser — no seasonal items under the bed, no fancy items in the guest room.

I’ve been reading some non-fiction books to keep me motivated on clearing out the clutter and making the most of my house after I finally get it cleared out. I think I’ll revisit a few books that I read back in my first 101 while trying to develop my style, which I feel needs a practical update these days. I hope those might keep me motivated to make the hard choices on clothes.

I’m trying to get some real progress, which is a lot messier than rushing through and “organizing” things out of sight. It’s been good but overwhelming. I haven’t hit the balance between working enough to keep momentum and working so much that I completely burn out on it.