The Year of No Clutter
This is the year..THE YEAR that I will climb Mount Clutter! I would hate to admit how many times the mountain has beat me instead of me cresting the top.
Well..I started off with a bang and then life happened. And work, and children, and our ministry activities..insert any activity that kept me from being forced – I mean allowed me time to sort through the clutter.
So here were are several months into the year and yep… I still have clutter. Now, I have less clutter than I did at the beginning of the year; but still way too much stuff.
I have tried every method known to man over the last two decades to tame the clutter monster. And while I may have beat it back a little, in no way have I tamed it.
Recently I read a book that showed up on my door step (wonder which of my children sent it to me) about taming the clutter this year. In the book, Year of no Clutter, the author sounds just like me. She has what she lovingly calls her “hell room”. While I just call my rooms the basement, living, dining, etc; I can certainly related to that ONE room or area that is worse than anything you want to think about tackling. It is easier to just keep the door shut than to think about going in and doing anything.
Just like the author, I want to start singing:
“Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?
Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, the girl who has everything?”
— Ariel, The Little Mermaid (1989)
Let me assure you… I AM that girl that has everything!
Here is a snippet from the book that I think most of us can relate:
Eve has a problem with clutter. Too much stuff and too easily acquired, it confronts her in every corner and on every surface in her house. When she pledges to tackle the worst offender, her horror of a “Hell Room,” she anticipates finally being able to throw away all of the unnecessary things she can’t bring herself to part with: her fifth-grade report card, dried-up art supplies, an old vinyl raincoat.
But what Eve discovers isn’t just old CDs and outdated clothing, but a fierce desire within herself to hold on to her identity. Our things represent our memories, our history, a million tiny reference points in our lives. If we throw our stuff in the trash, where does that leave us? And if we don’t…how do we know what’s really important?
Everyone has their own Hell Room, and Eve’s battle with her clutter, along with her eventual self-clarity, encourages everyone to dig into their past to declutter their future. Year of No Clutter is a deeply inspiring—and frequently hilarious — examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.
For me, the final reason to climb Mount Clutter is that our last child is in college and will be leaving home within the next year or two. Hubster and I DO NOT need a three story house with eight or more rooms that we won’t be using (and I don’t want to clean). It is time for us to think about downsizing. Yikes!
When we first started the discussions on downsizing, it was with the understanding that if we moved to a smaller place, I wanted to upgrade our living conditions. Not that we live in a dump, but the house was built in 1973 and as an older home; we have had our shares of outdated colors and design flaws.
So in order to even THINK about downsizing, I agreed to climb Mount Clutter this year. Oh, shoot me now please! I even hired help! I have a young lady that comes twice a week for four hours. That is about all the clutter climbing I can stand at one time.
On these two days, we dig into the first thing we come to in the room we are tackling. Is it a bookcase? Then she pulls everything off and puts it on the coffee table for me to sort through while she cleans the bookcase. I sort the items into three different bins.
- Not mine – meaning it belongs to one of the children or gasp.. the library (did I tell you there is a wing named after our family from late fines)
- Mine but I don’t want – well I am not keeping
- Mine and I want to keep it
Once the items are sorted, my helper arranges them back on the bookcase and we move on to the next stack, pile, or cabinet in the room.
Did I tell you how hard this has been on me? I love all the books the little ones read while growing up. I love all their little toys and drawings. I love all the books that I spent a ton of money on…and never had time to read! Yeah, I know..pitch them and get a digital copy if I ever have time and energy to read.
So as I press on in my ascent up Mount Clutter, why don’t you join me? I will be updating on my progress (and failures) during my challenge.
Do you need inspiration to tackle the clutter at your place? Grab a copy of Year of No Clutter on Amazon today. It is available in paperback, Kindle or on the Audible platform. Pick up the Kindle format so you won’t have another book to fret over getting rid of as you shout from the crest of Mount Clutter with me.
Don’t have a Kindle? Grab one for yourself. They are so nice to use for reading. I love my Kindle Fire and my little one uses the e-Reader version (just for reading without the added games and internet options).
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