Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's all TOO MUCH

A couple weeks ago, I started reading the book It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh. It is so great, and is just what I had been searching for!

For months now, I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed, and I knew I needed to do something about it. It seems like no matter how much I "organize" I just can't catch up, and I feel like I am wasting so much precious time dealing with STUFF--whether it be trying to find STUFF, or constantly moving STUFF out of the way.

As I started reading, a particular paragraph jumped out at me, and pretty much summed up how I have been feeling:
Clutter is insidious, a slow but steady tide. It enters your home little by little, usually over years. Clutter sucks life away. It leaves you DEPRESSED, OVERWHELMED, LACKING MOTIVATION, and unable to breathe. Clutter prevents you from enjoying the most precious intimate moments in life. Clutter robs you of far more than the space it occupies--it steals your life!
How true is that!?!?!? After taking the "How Clutter Free Are You?" quiz in the book (I just love quizzes!), I came up in the middle category as a "Clutter Victim," thankfully I'm not a "Hard-Core Hoarder" but I'm definitely not "Clutter-Free."

Now, thanks to Flylady, I don't think that our home is overly cluttered, even though that reality might just be one craft project away! :-)

You see, although, our house is not that small, it is seriously lacking in closet space. In the words of Marie Bellet, "I am a woman who worries about closet space and it bothers me a lot... Constantly distracted by what I haven't got..." A couple years ago, when we added on to our home, unless we wanted to upgrade our septic system, which we didn't, we couldn't have closets in the new bedrooms. (In fact, since I really wanted a closet in our new master bedroom--or rather two, since, for some reason, hubby didn't want to share my unorganized walk-in with me--we had to remove a closet from one of the old bedrooms, so, it was turned into an alcove in the living room...) Anyhow, the fact is, I have very little storage space, it consists of: two closets in the master bedroom--mine and hubby's, one in the school room, two small hall closets--one is my pantry, and a coat closet! To help with the not-so-little problem of the children's clothing, my parents gave the girls my twin sisters old armoire, and a couple months back hubby added closet organizers to one of the walls in the boys room (which has really helped). Now, mind you, I am willing to admit that my walk-in closet is plenty big. I simply have too much stuff! So, needless to say, any overflow of shoes, clothing, or accessories (or books, kids artwork, craft supplies, and learning aids--for that matter!) have nowhere to go. So, since we can not afford to buy a bigger house, and since I am realizing that a clean uncluttered home is key to my sanity, I am going to PARE DOWN AND SIMPLIFY!!

In the book, the author says to "imagine the life you want to live," and then think about whether the stuff you own "contributes to the life you are hoping to achieve, or if it is getting in the way of that vision." If I am honest with myself, so much of our "stuff" (as great as some of it seems) is getting in the way...

As I started to sort through all our stuff, I realized that so much of what I have is from the past! Old music cd's that haven't been listen to since I was a teen, old clothing that hasn't fit in years (including a pair of size 4 jeans--don't I wish!!!--and I never even wear jeans anymore!), even the RSVP cards for our wedding over 8 years ago--now why did I save those?!?

Reading this book has inspired me to try my hardest to LIVE IN THE PRESENT, and "have nothing in my house that I do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful!"

Getting rid of everything that doesn't fall into one of those two categories (useful or beautiful) will be difficult, to say the least!! I am finding that it may take going through the "Stuff" numerous times, as I seem to be able to let go and purge a bit more each time through.

The past couple weeks I have been working on getting through Step One- the Kick Start of my "It's All too Much" Home Makeover, and trying hard to tackle all the surface clutter.

One of my goals this Lent, has been to work hard on this very necessary PURGING, of both my over attachment to STUFF, and of the actual STUFF itself. Before I get back to my decluttering, I thought I would leave off with this particular bible verse that I have found particularly helpful in letting go of some of those little treasures I have been finding:

"Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there thy heart is also." Matt 6:20-21

9 comments:

  1. Awesome!
    We had visitors today and I went into a cleaning frenzy, the whole time just wishing there was less stuff to move around. I have gotten rid of a ton of stuff over the years. The hardest was a ton of books that had belonged to me father. I wanted to keep them because they were his, but some of it was stuff I already had or knew I would never read.
    Anyway, it is hard but so worth it.
    I think i might just join you in this. In fact, I dumped a bunch of stuff in the garbage yesterday!
    I think I might tackle my room here soon! That is hard, because Hubby hates to get rid of stuff, well his stuff!

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  2. Great Amy!!! Join me, join me!!! I get rid of tons of stuff all the time too, but compared to how much comes into this house, I don't get rid of enough. I am really excited about trying to conquer this!

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  3. Like I said before when I come up there next month don't be afraid to ask me for help cause I'll gladly provide it. :)

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  4. I just might take you up on that Juliana!!!!!! Can't wait to see you!

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  5. You have reinvigorated me. I was so depressed. We cleaned out our attic, took two van loads to Goodwill and set an equal amount of junk on the curb, but the INSIDE of my house still makes me want to cry!!!! I will join you. My husband has started reading that book, but I think it's time I snuck it onto my side of the bed's reading basket.

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  6. Yeah!! Please do Matilda!! We can keep each other motivated!! That is great that your husband is reading the book. I am hoping to get mine to as soon as he gets back!

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  7. I took three garage bags full of clothes out of our room last night!!! Plus a bag of stuff not worth taking to Goodwill!! I can see the floor of my closet!! LOL I couldn't believe how much junk was in there.

    I did the little ones room last week and got rid of a ton of stuffed animals that no one plays with.

    So now I have to tackle some other area. I have to do the garge but that one I will need Hubby yo help with!

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  8. I am going to jump on board with you guys! I have way too many sentimental items. Hubby and I have school work in boxes from when we were kids, notes from friends, and first paychecks...etc
    I know I should save some stuff, but my hording is getting crazy. I too have jeans I will never fit into again, and I have menus from the resteraunt we had our wedding rehearsal dinner at! Why??
    I love the scripture quote you reminded us of Jessica...really makes me focus on what's really to be treasured.

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  9. Great post! I just discovered your blog. I feel the way that you do about the stuff management. I don't want to spend so much time picking stuff up and moving it around, etc.

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