Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Clutter, Clutter, Everywhere

Before our Christmas travels, I visited the home of a friend who practices Feng Shui. The first thing to do: get rid of clutter.

I love it! Getting rid of things feels exhilarating, almost like a runner's high. I feel light, as though I’ve broken free of weights. Each thing I’ve avoided dealing with is a decision deferred, and as such, carries a psychic burden along with its physical presence.

As I fill up bags and boxes of things to recycle and give away, I'm a little ashamed at how much junk I have. I've been carrying all this around with me--for what?

We keep things for different reasons. Maybe we paid a lot for something, and even if we don't need it anymore, the remembered price won't let us let go. Or perhaps it was a gift. Or maybe we think that one day in the unforeseeable future it may be useful, and won't we be glad we saved it?

I've used only a few of things that I've saved and lugged across the country with me.

I know exactly why I have so much junk. I procrastinate. When the kids outgrow clothes or toys, I just push then aside, in the closet or corner, to deal with later. Everyplace fills up with a jumbled mess of once useful things that slowly devolve into worthless junk. All these things calcify around me, binding me. It's easy to look around and think "I wish I had something better, something more, something else". But this letting go has helped me see how much overabundance I have.

As I clear away the clutter, I can see that I already have everything I need.


Mrs. JoAnne Mabey said...

AMEN!!! i hate clutter- living in demo-redo for the past 3 and a half years has made me really patient.... i know i will get to go through it when the room is done..... if that ever really happens. but i agree whole heartedly. Good Bye junk! :) and i love Feng Shui- it was my fav style in my interior design class...

Mitchell Family said...

I really like William Morris's maxim: only keep those things which you believe to be beautiful and know to be useful. I wish I followed it. Ruth