Sorry I haven’t posted much this week. Writing is like artwork: I need to feel inspired to get going. And while sometimes I find that I have 5 topics that I want to blog all at once, other times I struggle to come up with material. This week was certainly the latter.
However, one of the things I’ve been feeling the need to do is purge. If you recall in my ice cream post, I spoke of the need to purge and donate every couple months. Usually it’s just one room or area of my house at a time. But today, I feel like conquering the whole darn place! I’m not sure if it’s the beautiful, warm sunshine that makes me want to fling open the doors and declare “SPRING CLEANING!” but I feel the need to declutter and donate to those who could make better use the items collecting dust here.
I sometimes feel as though I live a dichotomous life. On one hand, I firmly believe that the less stuff you have, the less it consumes you. I’ve worked hard to decrease my consumerism and materialistic wants over the past couple of years, so tchotchkes are certainly not an issue. On the other hand, I’m an artist and an environmental one at that! All the things I make are with recycled items and materials that would end up in the trash, so its hard for me to let things go. Even scraps of paper cause me to hem and haw – will I use it? Do I dare throw ‘em out? What would a minimalist do? What would an artist do? What would an environmentalist do? It causes me to go a bit batty, so my biggest challenge is striking balance.
So, I take it drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet, closet by closet and assess what I haven’t used in the past year. And because I do this a couple times a year, it’s a fairly easy/quick process. I know for some it would take weeks. For me, I can do it in a day or two. And then take a car load full of stuff to the thrift store (where I buy a lot of my materials for my crafts/home as well, so it’s certainly a karmic circle).
There are many articles that have come out in the past couple of years about the act of decluttering and how the psyche responds to cleared out space. The theory is that getting rid of stuff allows you the emotional space to allow new and better (non-materialistic) things to come into your life, like love, relationships, peace, happiness, etc. So although I’m not lacking in any of those areas, who wouldn’t want more of that?
And really, do I need that bread machine that makes rock hard loaves and hasn’t been used in years? Those shoes that felt great at the store but are too painful to break in at home and haven’t been touched? And those too-small-maybe-when-I’m-thin-enough-I-can-fit-into-them-again clothes? I’m finally parting ways. None of these items contribute to my happiness, but for someone else, they could.
It’s work but totally liberating and worth it in my book!