There’s something about clutter. It creeps up on you. It becomes part of your life. You don’t really notice it after awhile. And then it gets worse. And worse.
I’ve suffered with clutter most of my life. Actually, I never considered it suffering. More like being prepared, having things on hand for when they are needed, being frugally wise. OK, so some of the things are a little broken, but they won’t be hard to fix. I probably already have the parts I need to fix them. Somewhere.
A little over 10 years ago, we put almost everything we had into storage and spent two years living in a 23-foot motorhome. Two adults, three kids, and a dog. It may have been a little crowded sometime, but we learned to adapt: if you spend your winters on a beach in Mexico, you don’t have to spend a lot of time inside. And the stuff in storage… we never missed any of it.
When we got a house again, our stuff had been in storage for four years. I couldn’t tell you a single thing that was in the storage containers. But back it came.
We left it in boxes because they say that if you don’t use or need something for six months, you don’t need it and you should get rid of it. The boxes sat in the garage for six months, a year. They also say you shouldn’t open the boxes before you get rid of them. I couldn’t resist. Aww-ww… you never know when you might need a tortilla press. We found a place for everything. And we moved it across the country and back. I still couldn’t tell you what any of the stuff was. Except maybe for the tortilla press. We actually use it!
At this stage of my life I’m starting to think about downsizing and so I’m starting to notice the clutter. Now that I’m looking for it, I see it everywhere. EVERYWHERE! In the garage, the basement, on the dining room table, on and under the coffee table, beside the couch, in the bedroom closet, in the glove compartment, and in the fridge. My God, how have I been able to move around the house? No wonder we can never find the cats.
I’m learning about clutter and how it can take over your life. There are support groups and 12-step programs for clutterers and professional declutterers to help sift out your life from amongst your belongings. If it’s bad enough, it is a recognized mental disorder.
I am beginning to recognize that my belongings have weighed me down enough to let opportunities pass me by, to cause me to undervalue and even completely miss many things of true value in my own life. How can I look forward to any new things, activities, or opportunities when every nook and cranny of my life is filled up with… stuff. There’s no room for anything new.
So wish me luck as I try to clear out the too, too much clutter that I’ve accumulated during my lifetime. And cheer for me as I find the space for new things and experiences. As a friend of mine used to say (so many years ago) “You’ll figure out what to do with your life after you clean up your room, right?” It was a more insightful comment than he ever realized.