I decluttered my entire apartment. As I write, it is late Saturday night, almost 10 p.m. and I am exhausted, my hands and feet are swollen and everywhere hurts, yet I am feeling over-the-moon happy. I spent the entire day cleaning and now my space feels so much fresher, even bigger and I feel great.
This all-day cleaning was not planned, I did not have extra cleaning supplies, garbage bags or anything. When I woke, I had intended to have a regular Saturday, do laundry, clean my bathroom, refrigerator, dust, sweep, mop and minor tidying up.
Somehow after I started my first load of laundry, my partner and I ended up in the kitchen and we began clearing the kitchen cabinets. We tossed out all every single unused, worn, chipped and broken item. The toss vs. keep rule that was established fairly early in our cleaning frenzy was if the item was not used in the last six months then it would go to the garbage. I believe I made over a dozen trips to the garbage skip.
There are two main lessons or reminders that this long tiring exercise brought to my attention:
- Items accumulate easily and fairly quickly and if I am not careful, I can become a hoarder and this is toxic. I am not talking about the full blown keep everything thing I have ever gotten my hands on type of hoarding. But somehow over the years, items fall out of use, some need repairs but don’t ever get fixed and so really they need to be thrown out. I am now committed to reviewing the state of my home every month to see if there are any items that really are not needed. It is vital to me that items (people, thoughts, and activities) that are not essential to my growth and well-being be completely removed from my life.
- I have enough. I have often complained (to myself) that the cabinets are not enough and that the kitchen is too small but really I was wasting precious space on storing up so many useless things. For the last two years, I have been preoccupied with wanting to move. I felt I needed a fresh start and that a magical beginning or renewal would or should occur in a new place. Today I realized that I have already had so many beautiful new experiences in this old place and that for right now I am where I am and this is enough.
I had intended this week’s essay to be about reading about writing. I want to share some insights from three books I have been reading. It was not going to a book review post, I save those for, The Stories of Chantel DaCosta, but I have been interested in developing as a writer and pushing beyond what I am doing now, and these books are great guides for writers, I will share more on that next week.