I have been going 14 hours straight in “discard” mode, hence the late scribble tonight.
I found the above two artist trading cards in a binder that I had made five years ago at an outdoor program that our family participated in with other homeschooling families. These birds are at peace on land or they could be ready for flight. Either way, they are just what I needed today for my Book of Hours.
I had expected to feel stressed at the daunting nature of the task – tidying our entire house in one go. Seven people collect many things over the course of living in a house for nine years. I had expected the act of tidying and decluttering to take its toll on me, feeling crushed under the weight of so much stuff.
But I didn’t and I don’t.
We aren’t finished. In fact, we are still discarding and preparing for a big yard sale tomorrow as I type this. I expect to pull an all-nighter. But I don’t I feel frantic and anxious. In fact, I have never felt more focused and peaceful.
I felt very connected to the message of Maria Kondo’s book,The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, In fact, last night I wrote a gratitude letter to my home and my things that I have accumulated over the years. Everything has served a purpose. I needed to let go of the past and thoughts of wasting money as I let things go. I also needed to let go of possible uses that items could have in the future. It was a passive release of items rather than a combative disposal.
I watched my children try to listen to their intuition as they made their own decisions about their things. After some time, I could tell immediately if something did or didn’t bring them joy. When they struggled with a decision, I simply asked, “How is this item serving you now?” And they would instantly know if they were holding onto it for the wrong reasons. For now, we are storing all of our books together and they have one location for their clothes and personal belongings. After we finish discarding, and rearranging the upstairs sleeping arrangements, I hope to create an individual storage location for each person in this house where all of their personal items can live – preferably in their rooms.
I am grateful for friends who helped today by dragging things up from the basement and helping organize for the sale tomorrow. I appreciate the support and respecting the process. I found it meditative on the whole. Although I feel physically exhausted and know that I still have a lot of work to do, I am calmer than I thought I would be after going at it all day. I hope to finish discarding by Sunday, doing some repeat run throughs of items that I need to go back to with the kids and items where I felt I rushed myself in the decision to keep. We will hopefully start the storage process this week.
The most amazing thing about this whole process is recognizing and reflecting on how each item has contributed to my life, teaching me lessons that I am only learning now. Letting go is easy because I have a firm grasp on who I am right now and I am in a place to forgive myself for those feelings of guilt and anxiety that have prevented me from decluttering it all before today.
Let them go, with gratitude.
This piece of advice means more to me than you know right now.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.