Monday, December 28, 2009

Step One: Declutter

A new year is rapidly coming up and I'm preparing to make changes in my life. They are things I've been wanting to do for a little bit now but I have been putting off because I took on far too much this semester and then I was doing the whole Christmas thing and now I have time to relax. If I get on it I'll write a post a day for each of things I want to change.

I was reading a post the other day and it further enforced that I want to declutter my life, starting with my physical home. I have too much stuff. Some of it has no point. I'm a pack rat. I have a Jones Soda Co bottle because it has a hysterical cat picture on it sitting on my desk, somewhere around here I have a cheesy little trinket box that I have had for well-over 10 years, probably closer to 15 than 10 for reasons I really do not understand. I realize that with a 4 year old (as of yesterday!) and being a student "stuff" can't be avoided. Papers will occasionally overtake my desk. Toys will migrate throughout the house. However there is far more than I need to be in control of that I am not. I have a basement storage unit that is full of stuff, most of which I don't need or use anymore. Having a child and pretty much wanting another one, eventually, doesn't help. But I do need to remember that when that "eventually" comes I will be in a different position than I am in now. I will have more disposable income than I currently do, heck I have more now than I did when I had my son. Getting rid of things like the giant plastic high chair is really not that big of a deal. Toys do not need to be kept. Ever. I mean aside from a few special ones. Maybe. Clothes that I do not wear need to go.

I just have too much meaningless stuff.

I also have a nasty habit of not putting the more used stuff back where it goes. I often find I have a pile of text books, papers, and whatnot on the floor by my desk. Piles of hoodies find themselves throughout my home. (It's really more than cold enough that I should be wearing an actual coat by now. I think I'm holding out until it gets down to at least 12 at night so it doesn't seem so cold or something.) Wii games and DVDs don't get put away. Some mess is just more familiar to me I think. I grew up in a good-sized family. It's a big family by most American standards now. I had 3 sisters and a brother, my sisters are considerably younger than me (they're technically my half sisters). A mess here and there was completely unavoidable. Sure the toys got picked up the evenings and everything, but there was nearly always a pile of school papers and drawings and mail somewhere. The bedrooms were nearly never all spotless at once.

I also spent a lot of time with my packrat grandma, even living with her for a few years when my parents first split. I miss her very much and loved her dearly but when she passed away stepping into that basement truly made me realize she had a bit of a problem. She died in 2005. There were Brand Names catalogs from the 1980s in the basement. There were school papers from my father. There was tax stuff from much, much farther back than necessary. She also had this habit of writing notes to herself. There were little pieces of paper everywhere, tucked away just waiting to be discovered. We found stacks of paintings of people in the garage. She had once said she didn't know who they were, they came from her father's house.

I don't want that to be me. So decluttering, here I come.

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