I’m writing for the first time in a long while. Also, for the first time ever, I’m writing from my storm shelter alongside my husband and three kids. A tornado has been spotted on the ground in my county.
It appears as though we will make it through this unscathed, but the 1 am jaunt to the basement has highlighted for me a problem I already knew existed.
My house is a wreck. My brain is a wreck. Clutter has taken over in every facet, and I hate it.
As the emergency alerts sounded and we descended the stairs to the basement, we had to do so in single-file fashion because the stairs are lined with boxes of Christmas ornaments that haven’t found a home, piles of school papers, toys, and boxes of outgrown clothing.
I carried my sleeping son as my husband carried one daughter and led the other, and I didn’t really fear the storm. I feared we might not make it through all the junk to our shelter. And that’s pretty embarrassing.
I haven’t written because my brain has been in a similar state as my house. Thoughts of things I want to write swirl through my head but never make it out. Days pass and I accomplish little to nothing on my to-do list. Maybe that wouldn’t be the case if I could remember where I left the list.
It’s ironic that one of the blogs I frequent is called “The Art of Simple” and that I thoroughly appreciated Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I love their thoughts of only keeping the items that bring you joy, and spending your days intentionally. I just haven’t necessarily applied them to my own life.
I haven’t become an untidy mess intentionally. I am a work-from-home mom, and so boundaries between work and home life are constantly blurred. My office space is rarely used because it is instead a veritable death trap, surrounded by Legos and Shopkins. As of right now, my work is taking over part of the couch and most of the kitchen table. Often overlapping: a deadline on a project, a child to feed and put down for a nap, another who needs assistance in the bathroom, one who needs picked up from school, and laundry about to pass the point of being still acceptable to transfer to the dryer.
A year and a half ago, I was ready to clear out my large stash of baby gear and children’s clothes that were taking over my storage room when I learned I was pregnant. Now I’m almost afraid to rid of them. I keep every paper I’ve ever received but they rarely make it to the file cabinet. My dishes are always piling up because we have too many dishes. The laundry is overflowing because we have five people in the house, but mostly because we each have too many items to wear. I have taken millions of photos and have three (three!) full computers that I can’t even use and I have barely printed a photo of my kids in the past 6.5 years.
In short, our abundances have become burdens. This excess has become excessive.
I got a head start to ridding of what is ailing me this weekend, quickly filling three boxes of unneeded items that I then delivered to a local charity. I cleaned my daughter’s overflowing closet and finally took two sets of dishes I’ve always hated out of my cabinet. I recycled a box of my girls’ drawings (stealthily). I’ve sold a few items online. And I already feel just a bit lighter.
Self-help blogs and books are kind of a love-hate category for me, but writing this caused me to recall a post my friend recently shared in social media. If I were one to physically react to what I read, I would be nodding right now. Read it here:
She also shared this resource that I signed up for: http://alliecasazza.com/free-minimalism-guide-toolkit-download.
And of course, I’ll be using lists to guide me, such as this one: http://www.organisemyhouse.com/101-items-to-get-rid-of-without-regret/
So tell me, how do you launch your spring cleaning? (Or, if you’re like me, total household overhaul)!