I'll admit it, my home was spinning out of control. Family, home, career, and other assorted distractions left me worn out and frustrated. The blogosphere is full of cute ideas and valuable suggestions for how to spend my time, decorate my house, enjoy my family, preserve family history, and a million other things that I never found time to do.
But three things let me to the here and now...
1) No matter how hard I work, I cannot keep up with all the great ideas and the influx of stuff that bombards my life and my house. We live in a stuff filled society, and it all seems to make it's way to my house.
2) Acte gratuite's revelation that a clean and orderly house would be a huge asset in a disaster. I don't want to trip on the way out the door in an emergency.
3) My emergency management training has me thinking about what's important (people) and how quickly we can lose the rest.
So, I've had it up to here! (Imagine a dramatic gesture of my hand marking point on my body somewhere above the shoulders and occasionally above the head.) And here's what I'm going to do...
1) I love the idea of a place for everything, and everything needs to have a place in my house, meaning if it doesn't fit here -- maybe I don't keep it.
2) If it's not irreplaceable, then it must be replaceable. (Not brain surgery, I realize.) If I don't use it, get rid of it. If I find I need it someday, I'll leave my clean and orderly house, go to the store, and I'll get another one.
3) I recently made a list of words that should describe the items I'm keeping: immediate, far-reaching, uncluttered, plain and simple, useful, enhancing, sustainable, and valuable.
4) No more "Wouldn't it be cool if..." or "I'll keep this just in case..." If I'm not using it now, it's probably not going to happen. (Emphasis on replaceable items, not necessarily antiques or photos.)
5) I'm trying to teach my kids about setting boundaries, and something Dave Ramsey (financial guru) said hit me between the eyes. Much of the junk (furniture, old clothes, etc.) that I need to get rid of, Goodwill won't even take. It's junk, get it out of my house.
I'll share a few revelations that I've made...
1) We don't need more that two sets of sheets for each bed. (And maybe a flannel set for winter.)
2) Four flour sifters is too many. (Even though these were different sizes and styles.)
3) I'm never gonna use my old cell phone on a float trip. (Like the man at the cell store suggested.)
4) Someone else may actually need that thing. I places two car seats, a microwave, and a bunch of other junk at the curb and watched each item find a new home.
5) If I ever lose that stubborn 20 pounds (or more) I'll want new clothes to celebrate. Give the old ones away.
6) Space costs more than stuff. Don't believe me? Ask a builder about the cost per square foot for construction. Very few places in my home does the value of the clutter exceed the cost of that space.
7) My attachment to my stuff lasted until I put it in the trash can, then I usually feel freed. And I glory in the space I have reclaimed.
... a time to keep and a time to throw away... Ecc. 3:6