Saturday, May 3, 2008

Decluttering, Our Own Way

After putting the children to bed, I start winding down from the day. This is when my brain has a chance to process a lot of miscellaneous stuff in my mind, because us moms are just go-go-going a lot and trying to juggle many thoughts at once during our day. I think of it as a brain dump and my mind is trying to make sense of things that I’ve “forgotten” or thoughts that were pushed aside during the day. This is when I remember that tomorrow I have a meeting or the boss will be out of the office as I’m laying out my clothes for the next day. Recalling a discussion with my child's teacher about a class topic, and my child's request to bring in a share item about it, will prompt me to put the item in their "out-the-door basket". Etc.

I don’t tend to think about decluttering as I am going through my day. It is a second nature behavior for me and is so routine that my auto-pilot mind just doesn’t register it. Now, since I have accepted the challenge to declutter one item each day, I have to pay a little more attention to it. During my evening brain dump, I think back about what I decluttered today. If I can’t recall anything, then I find something right then and deal with it. For example, decluttering by doing (such as putting up hardware on the wall for a picture that’s been stashed in a closet & hanging it), throwing it away or tossing it into my “Donation Station”—which is just a bag in a coat closet. If it’s in the bag, though, it’s as good as gone. We never take anything out; it’s as if it doesn’t exist to us anymore. When the bag is full, I put it into my trunk and run it over to my charity of choice after work in the next day or two.

I have heard from others in this challenge who are nearly the opposite. They are thinking decluttering, decluttering, decluttering all throughout the day. It’s as if their eyes are sending a picture to their mind about every object they lay their eyes upon, with a note attached asking, “Is this clutter?”

It has been amazing to hear about this change in their perspective. Items they have had in their home for years but haven’t really been seen for so long are now being seen. Purging items that they don’t want, use, love or need has been so uplifting. Rediscovering the items they do truly enjoy and having those items around them has had a great effect too. The sense of accomplishment has been fulfilling and finding so much new space in their home has created happiness. As well as purging the burden that those things brought upon them and feeling the peace in their minds, hearts and homes from decluttering it.

As your 365 Days of Decluttering journey continues, I am eager to hear from you about the happiness, fulfillment and peace you are bringing into your life and home.

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