Friday, September 19, 2014

Decluttering Diary, Day 1

Some rules I'm developing:

1. When you feel yourself getting tired, stop what you're doing and straighten up a little before you totally run out of steam. If there's trash on the floor, sweep it up and throw it away. Make sure at least one two-foot square spot looks orderly, even if it's fake order you've created. You need to be able to walk into the attic (basement, pantry, closet) the next day and not feel completely defeated.

2. Lego is not sacrosanct. It's okay to throw away the occasional piece of Lego. No one's ever putting those kits together again anyway.

3. Remember how many years you have a) recycled; b) carried your own canvas bags to the grocery store; and c) composted. You have earned a small, guilt-free spot in the landfill. There will be items that you simply can't recycle, freecycle or give to Good Will. Toss them into the trash and move on with your life.

And a quote that motivates me in this effort to simplify and clarify my surroundings:

"It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can."
                                                                     --G.K. Chesterton

Which is to say, to some degree I'm considering this decluttering campaign an art project.


Pom Pom said...

Hi Frances! I love that quote!
I vacuumed up many o' Lego.
Brad said the other day, "I don't remember Legos being so prescribed. Didn't we just build on our own?" Hmmmm.
Good advice about de-junking. I'll get there. #notthereyetjustdontwanna

Good girl!

M.K. said...

#2 made me giggle. My sister-in-law, mother of 5 small children at the time, once had a vacuum cleaner salesman come to the house. She halted him in his diatribe and told him she would test his machine, and buy one if it passed the test. She then ran the vacuum over her living room floor, scattered with legos!! She was far past the sacrosanct stage!!

debbie bailey said...

You're right! Decluttering is an art project, one that I've been working on for a few years now. This school year, for the first time, I'm beginning to feel free to pursue my other interests without feeling so bogged down in stuff. I'm not through, but it's a wonderful feeling to be more free from clutter.

magsmcc said...

Oh the Lego. We just wouldn't be past sacrosanct just yet! I think the air in the attic is clearer already.

The dB family said...

I was just logging on to start a post about my decluttering and what do I find? A post at the top of my feed all about decluttering!

I too have vacuumed up Lego and didn't sweat it. I'm sure there's more of that piece somewhere.

Truthfully, decluttering makes me almost giddy. Only problem is I'm so allergic to the dust mites involved in decluttering that I look downright ill after a day or two of doing it. Very shortly. I'll pop a Benedryl and plunk my tired body in front of a movie and park there until I fall asleep which inevitability be well before the movie is over. Then perhaps if I don't feel too rotten tomorrow, I'll get right back at it.

Happy decluttering!


Tracy said...

An art project? Hmmmmm I'm gonna have to think a little on that one. There's just nothing fun about the process of decluttering, unlike the process of creating.

Maybe it's just too long since I created anything apart from a long essay....

CJ said...

Good tips. I love the quote as well. Decluttering is so satisfying isn't it.

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh my goodness, the Legos I vacuumed up. I used to threaten the kids with, "If you don't get these Legos picked up, I'm vacuuming them, and I don't care!" Our kids just built stuff with Legos and we have them in a ginormous tub still (waiting for the grandkids to get bigger or something).
Love the comment about "earning a guilt-free place in the landfill." Thankfully, I have my own dump. Makes dumping extra easy!

RedSetter said...

I love your post. I spend my entire life thinking about decluttering, getting up the motivation then becoming stymied by the scale of the task. I agree we need to stop feeling guilty about chucking out and moving on. Love the quote too.