“In the scope of a happy life, a messy desk or an overstuffed coat closet is a trivial thing, yet I find – and I hear from other people that they agree – that getting rid of clutter gives a disproportionate boost to happiness.” ~ Gretchen Rubin
My company had a “bonus cleaning day” on February 29, and actually encouraged everyone to take advantage of the extra day and clean up their offices. On company time! I have only been there a little over a year so I didn’t have too much to clean out yet, but I did get some stuff put away and my assignment folders organized and was happy with that. I didn’t have time to clean out my email….ugh I need a week to do that!
I kept the motivation and began decluttering my house. That has been no easy task! I have lived here 13 years…and have two kids in school…the papers they bring home are enough to bury me! Generally what I have done in the past is put everything into piles on the kitchen counter and then when there are people coming over I put everything in a plastic bag and hide the bag in a cabinet or the dining room, or under the bed. Every once in a while I will pull a bag out, start to go through it and quickly get bored or overwhelmed and put the bag away to deal with later.
But now something is different. Now I am able to make some progress and actually declutter my life! I have gotten in the habit of cleaning out one thing for about half an hour. My closet, a random bag, a drawer. Every day. And now I am actually looking forward to it! It feels great that most of it can be shredded and the rest can be recycled. Very little is worth keeping!
I started decluttering my life because I didn’t want to take bags of junk to my apartment, and I knew if I waited until Husband decided to sell the house I would be rushed to take care of it and that’s when I get overwhelmed. So I have time now, and though it could be something mindless to help me get through the pain later, I didn’t want to take anything into my new life that I didn’t absolutely need.
But I have found that decluttering is very calming and yet empowering. I am in control of it. I decide when it’s done, whether it gets shredded, recycled, or kept, and I decide how long I feel like dealing with the task. I haven’t had much control over my life lately. If I want to talk, Husband doesn’t. If he wants to talk he blurts things out and runs away before I can say anything. Someone started spreading gossip so I have no control of who finds out when, or how much they find out. Husband is either kind or angry, and either one makes me feel guilty.
It seems a bit silly to me that I am using clutter, or rather the removal of it, to find a bit of relief from the chaos of my life. But I guess I should be happy that I am able to find any relief right now, and shouldn’t worry about where it comes from. Because aren’t negative thoughts and self criticism mind clutter? Clutter is clutter, get rid of it and feel happier!