Sunday, February 27, 2011

A realization on de-cluttering

I am actually now on day three of de-cluttering - and as all things come in threes, I have made an interesting (at least to me) observation today.

My purging "piles" ultimately consist of

  • 1 -  Get rid of it  (either trash, donate or sell)
  • 2 -  I might need it/I can make something with this/we could use this later/$$$ 
  • 3 -  Keep it

Pile #1 is easy - OUT it goes!  Ahhh - relief
Pile #2 is killing me!
Pile #3 is also easy - but it helps to be organized

If I look at this arrangement, I see I am easily getting rid of only 1/3 of my stuff.  I am also easily keeping 1/3 of my stuff, but that last 1/3 is causing me much grief and agony!  If I succumb to the last 1/3 and keep it, I am only getting rid of 1/3 of my clutter.  That is FAR below what I had hoped for.  I was thinking something fantastic like 85% would disappear - NOT!

So the question becomes - HOW do you get past a laundry list which includes the desire to sew a cute dress from the floral cotton curtains?   Or the flannel pillowcase which could become a great shirt for my son?  Or the brand new baby clothes we could save for ??? in the future?  Or the doilies gifted to me from my now deceased favorite Aunt? and it goes on and on and on....

Pleeeeease tell me I am normal!

Okay maybe not entirely normal, but at least - ummmmmm.... well never mind that.

It is taking me nerves of steel, and hours of torture to decide what to do with pile #2.  I really truly want to get rid of the stuff - and realistically know that most of my ideas are hair-brained at best, but overcoming that reflexive impulse to keep stuff is almost too much to bear.  It would really help if there was some leprechaun or something sitting on my shoulder egging me to "just toss it".  Wouldn't that be nice?  I wouldn't have to get caught up in my own guilt trip.  There must be a better way....

My main argument with myself is to accept the fact that I have only so much time and energy, and that it is totally unrealistic to think I can tackle all these projects and still be human.  The projects have been sitting there for ages, so why would I believe I will get to them anytime soon?  Wouldn't I rather spend some quality time with my kids instead???  Yes.  Reality check in progress...

Pile # 2 aside, I am feeling some sense of accomplishment today.  One large bag of clothes went to the donation box, the garbage can is half full of junk, two boxes of clothes are ready to head to the consignment store, one large box and 1 full garbage bag are deemed garage sale material, and eight boxes and two (gigantic) trash bags of stuff are now empty!  Yippee!!!  Closet space is actually opening up!!!

I think this project is going to require at least two or maybe three phases.  Phase 1 = go through the obvious stuff and figure out what goes in pile #2.  Phase 2 = revisit pile #2 and purge again.  Phase 3 = repeat phase 1 and 2.

How are your de-cluttering efforts working out?

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