Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
I took a hiatus of a couple weeks from my decluttering. When I started back up, I found this comment on my Facebook page, “How can you have MORE to declutter?” Three other friends “liked” this comment, which means that probably even more people than those four are wondering why I’m not sitting around on the floor with no clothes on by now, like this fellow. (I’ll wait while you check it out.)
How can I have more to declutter? Easy. According to the TED video featuring Graham Hill that Colleen posted on Saturday, the average American house is now three times larger than it was 50 years ago, yet in that time, off-site storage units have become a multi-billion dollar industry. A New York Times article from 2009 states that “…by the early ’90s, American families had, on average, twice as many possessions as they did 25 years earlier.” Twice as many possessions? Oh my, I have to declutter something right now just thinking about that!
I think the key is to recognize that there’s no “done.” There may be “done” with the big bulk of the decluttering, but like other types of housework, it needs attending to. Interests change. Hobbies come and go. Children grow up, graduate, leave, and maybe come back. There can be the addition of grandchildren or aging relatives. Plus, we apparently have twice as many belongings as our parents did 25 years ago!
In my case, Dan’s office is largely untouched. I have some boxes up in the closet in Audra’s bedroom that have never been investigated. The garage is virgin territory. The girls are always maturing and changing, so the belongings in their room need continual attention. The attic is in pretty good shape but surely can stand another culling. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get rid of my Christmas china.
In addition, it’s important to be realistic about what’s entering your house. If new things are purchased and nothing is purged, the amount of stuff grows and grows. I had a lighter decluttering month than ususal in October and predict that I will only declutter about 38 things by the end of the month. I have tracked every purchase, and 25 new things have entered my life. Eight of them are brand new, and the rest are second hand goods, so I can feel virtuous from a fiscal and environmental point of view, but it’s still only a net loss of only a dozen items for the whole month. That’s two steps forward and one step back!
I’ve written on this topic before and compared the process of decluttering with editing, a past profession of mine. You have to clear off the first layer before you can see the second layer to deal with it. Once you delve into the second layer, there will be a third, and maybe a fourth or fifth. Hard decisions that you put off the first time around need to be addressed again later. The process is a lifestyle change, not a one-time burst of cleaning.
That, my dear friends, is how I can have more to declutter.
Today’s Declutter Item
If you get an accessory with something but you don’t use it there is no point in keeping it. Dah! So these camera straps when off the the thrift shop. Goodness knows how long they have been lingering unused in the bottom of the camera bag.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I am grateful for the extended warranty on my car. The airconditioner compressor has failed which would have cost me $1400 to replace. Luckily for me it is covered under this warranty.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast