Sometime last year I listened to the audio version of the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It is a great book with some wonderful tips on cleaning up, clearing out, and organizing your home. I loved how the author gives permission to let go of the things that are cluttering up our homes, no matter the sentiment behind it. I folded my T-shirts as she instructed and was amazed at how many more I could cram I mean create space for just by turning them on their end rather than putting them flat on top of each other. I clung to her every word until I got to the part that said this process would take a year. She lost me at a year. I am self-diagnosed with adult onset attention deficit disorder and I knew I would never stay on track for a year. I am not a planner but more of a seat of my pants kind of personality which is my excuse for why I never finished her lovely book… or the final clear coat on my kitchen cabinets, or the gadillion times I was going to teach myself to knit, sew, needlepoint, scrapbook, oh and crafting.
My friend Sabra was determined one Christmas to teach me to be a craftsman like she is. She encouraged me to start with a simple project. It was a snowman family. All I needed to do was stuff them, sew their heads on and dress them in their holiday finery. For a few years I displayed my skinny, naked, and headless snow-family just as a reminder at exactly how craft impaired I was. All I have to show for these projects is the clutter they left behind.
Brent and I recently spent most of a Sunday in the backroom of the store cleaning out and making room for a shipment that was coming. In the hectic pace of the busy days when the store is open we had quickly fallen into the habit of using the backroom as a catch all area for all things we didn’t know what to do with. It had gotten so bad I found myself feeling bogged down every time I walked back there. The first discards were the hardest but as the room visibly expanded before our very eyes we both became energized and felt physically lighter.
(I have been informed that as a shopkeeper and a blogger of sorts, this is where I should cleverly segue into something you could purchase at my shop that would help you overcome your own clutter, and this is where I fail miserably. One: I am not terribly clever and B: I am a terrible salesman.)
Clutter comes in many forms and for many reasons. It is disorder on our counters and in our closets and engagements on our calendars. It is physical and emotional baggage that we prefer to lug around and there are dozens of top selling books out there to help us rid ourselves of it. I know because I have half read many of them. I gleaned some much needed advice from one that said, if it doesn’t have a purpose or bring you joy, let it go. But there’s the rub. Most of it brings me joy. The dried flower and the three eyed pirate drawing from a grandchild, or the chartreuse china pitcher from great aunt Henrietta, how does one part with these treasures? I love what Judi Culbertson writes in her book, The Clutter Cure, “The point is we need to distinguish between what honestly moves us and what the world is telling us should melt our hearts. If something doesn’t reach us on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does.” I’ll just close with an Amen to that!
“Clutter isn’t just stuff, it is anything that comes between you and the life you want to live” – Peter Walsh