Guys! I had a moment of clarity, a moment of realization and a burst of energy! A regular feeling of doom and gloom about my ever-expanding clutter was replaced by a feeling of “Let’s do this!” I surprised myself to say the least …
It all started a couple of weeks ago… I was talking about my many many boxes and totes of clothes from the last 8 years of children and the stuff accumulated from 17 years of not living with my parents. I even wrote a blog post about the possibility of me being a hoarder cleverly named Hoarder? Am I a hoarder? A friend of mine offered to help and I reluctantly agreed it was the only way I was getting anything done. With a date set to do a complete overhaul on my cluttered chaos I also decided to check out some decluttering podcasts (my guilty pleasure as of lately and especially when I drive myself to work) So i searched and found a few but one stuck out right away, maybe the title was just so relatable… A Slob Comes Clean by Dana White. So away I went on the hour-long trek to work listening to my decluttering podcast.
To say I was inspired would be an understatement. I had only listened to two episodes and I wanted to turn around and come home to declutter! I told everyone about it at work and could not wait to get in the car and listen to more! Now I have had bright ideas and endless motivation before but it never fails that this feeling is fleeting and I go home with the wind gone from my sails. Today was different. I was so inspired, so excited and even called my mom to tell her I would be throwing away things that she had purchased but I could not hang onto them any longer out of guilt! She of course understood my inspiration and determination and agreed, laughing at my enthusiasm, Get rid of it! (I am always afraid to get rid of things people have bought myself or my kids, I never want to offend any one, or have them ask where it is next time they’re over…this of course is my own crazy guilt and people probably don’t think twice after something is gifted)
So I’m on the road, planning my strategy, excited to get home! I bust threw the doors, guns a blazin’, full of coffee and inspiration! That weekend I do my kitchen, all the hot spots, above the fridge, top of the cupboards, that corner of the counter that collects everything! I throw out three bags of garbage and a box for donations! I was so proud of myself! I didn’t have anxiety about it, I just did it and it felt great!
The following weekend, after a week of listening to Dana White tell me everything I needed to know and hear about what I was and wasn’t doing I was ready. It was time for the big guns. The toy room. It took my 6 hours, 4 bags of garbage and 4 boxes for donation but man does it look good! I never felt so determined in my life! At 8:00pm we put the kids to bed and I went to bed as well. It was a big day and I wanted to relax..or so I thought. I had accidentally cut a phone line while on my decluttering adventure and the internet was out…no tv for this momma. So as I was falling asleep I decided to make myself a double caffeinated coffee and get to work! Never had inspiration and motivation lasted so long in one day and I needed to take full advantage! I did our bedroom closet and my bedside table, 5 bags of clothes came out of that small closet! 5 bags! As 2am loomed I decided it was bedtime, tomorrow was another day and I had decluttered more in one day then I had my entire life…until Sunday….
The bain of my existence, the things I could never think about parting with are (were) my kids clothes. The thought put me into full panic mode and the idea would be quickly dismissed. Bright and early Sunday morning I asked nick to bring me up some totes…maybe just a couple. After one tote went entirely into a donation bag I knew I was still in the zone! Keep ’em coming babe! I have a tote saved for each kid of clothes I loved them in, or memories that were made in them. Nick and I each have one tote and I have a tote for clothes for Nixon for the next couple years and the other three for this summer. I have a stack of empty totes (so much money invested in hiding my clutter) and a slightly empty basement…I also have 24 garbage bags full of clothes to donate in my front entry. 24! 2-4! I feel a weight has been lifted, I feel relieved and revived and just generally amazing! Who knew all that clutter and emotional attachment could just go away like that…essentially by stumbling upon a podcast.
As I write this, the weekend of decluttering and organizing still fresh in my head, I realize that before, when people laughed or rolled their eyes at my emotional attachment or anxiety driven reaction to getting rid of my kids stuff, before now…I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t do it but now I can. Wrinkly old clothes in a cheap tote in my musty basement do not keep my memories in it and the memories and feelings don’t go away when those clothes go out the door. I have pictures (that’s a whole other project…baby steps…) and memories and the actual living breathing kids to remind me of the last eight years!
It may sound silly, but I am so grateful to have found that podcast and to have really listened to the things I have been told for years but just couldn’t hear, like really hear. Do it when you’re ready, not when your husband is cranky about ever-growing tote city in the basement or when your friends without kids can’t understand why you hang on to stained articles of baby clothing that no one will wear again. Do it on your time, when you’re ready, ‘Cause damn does it feel good!
*Full disclosure, I could probably go through and declutter all this again, but its one heck of a change to start!