The Burden of Clutter !

HGTV magazine listed ‘50 things you can toss’ by Alonna Travin in a 2016 issue.

I’m including the link so you can read up on Alonna’s favorite 50.

Everyone has something they can add to the list. Here are some of my favorites:

-Underwear with holes in them (like my husbands!)

-Dried out pens

-Pencils with no erasers

-Miscellaneous packets of condiments from ‘take out’ dinners

-Anything in your crisper that you can’t identify by looking at it

-Broken garden gnomes or solar lights

-Slivers of soap

We choose to ‘clutter’ our lives with excess stuff and insist that one day we will ‘get around to using it, reading it, making it, fixing it or finding it’! Seriously?

I’ve had people insist they don’t hoard yet that can’t be true. Why, because we all hoard something.

Example: shoes that we bought and haven’t worn in 5 years, broken dishes you will one day make a mosaic out of, bottles of cleansers that over flow your cabinets, paperclips, books that you’ll never read again, magazines you’ve had for 5 years, hair clips that you’ll never use up in your lifetime, sample size lipstick, plastic grocery bags and the list goes on.

Hoarding can come in small packages. Just one cabinet, one corner of a room, one drawer in your bathroom or…it can take up table surfaces, counters in your kitchen, a bookcase collapsing from the weight of too many books.

It’s so easy to look at someone else’s house and see accumulation of too much ‘stuff’. Not so easy to look at your home and recognize the accumulation of too much ‘stuff’.

We've all used the phrase "I'll get to that!" which begins to sound hollow after you've tripped over the same pile for the third year in a row.

We’re a nation of ‘got to have’ and ‘can’t let go’ – and it will bury us under its weight. I can’t help but wonder if it’s even possible to revert back to a simpler time, with simpler needs. Or are we doomed to continue filling our homes with unnecessary stuff.

Here is a life example: As a college student my husband moved every year, into a different dorm or apartment. He could fit his entire life into his car. Later, working out in the real world with a real job, he still moved frequently; upgrading, job demands, etc.

Moving has a way of helping us keep only the things we need or which are really important to us. Who hasn't seen a pile left for the garbage men at a just emptied house?

Then my husband found himself in the same house for 12 years, and the next house for over 20. Suddenly being forced to declutter by way of moving ceased to happen. He now has accumulated piles of things that remind him of who he is and the security of his past which makes it difficult to purge after so many years. Here is a pile of 45 year old books, stuffed in a closet... below

So, we made de-cluttering a family event. I made shadow boxes of his most precious items previously lost in old cardboard boxes, home to many a bug. His daughters made a binder of key paper accomplishments, freeing up huge piles of old paper to be discarded.

Living area BEFORE

De-cluttering can mean (among other things):

-Less silverfish eating old books, boxes and magazines.

-Fewer spiders.

-More space.

-Simpler life and a house easier to clean!

Take heart, if my husband can do it - so can you!

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