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Good for My Soul: Thoughts on Decluttering

January 22, 2015

Use Everything | Thoughts on Decluttering

With my recent life changes, I’ve been excited and anxious to do some major decluttering.

My original intentions were directed toward physical aspects: my house and I were going to have one heck of a reckoning, and I was going to emerge the conquering heroine of a clean swept home! No more piles! No more undone chores! Bright, sparkly, clutter-free surfaces in every room! This should only take about 2 weeks of concerted effort! Yeah.

The reality has been slightly different from the Pinterest-fueled vision. The holidays hit. I realized I was WAY behind in keeping books for my husband’s company, and it took longer than I planned to bring it up to date (though, in my mind this counts as decluttering). Kids still have homework, music lessons and activities, I have meetings and my beloved Kenpo class. Laundry, dust and dishes are, of course, ever present. Somehow I am just as busy as before…exactly when did I have time to ‘work’?

I have, however, made decluttering a part of my every day routine. I’m picking two or three areas to focus on each week. Small chunks here and there. Little by little, piles are dissolving, and I’m giving myself permission to be okay with the slow-ish pace, as long as I’m moving in the right direction!

To my surprise, I have found myself making that same incremental progress in non-physical dimensions as well. For example, last week I spent an entire day planning healthy meals and menus. I started feeling frustrated with how long it was taking, and guilty that I didn’t tackle other tasks that day…and then I realized: I WAS DECLUTTERING. Giving attention to something that has gone off track and needs a reset is the mental and emotional equivalent of dejunking!

This realization has me thinking about the value of cleaning out the overload of information and noise in my day. I’ve become accustomed to background noise, and have developed a near-compulsive need to gather information. I constantly have an audio book or podcast to keep me company while I do the busy-work of daily chores. If I have to wait for software to open (Dear Microsoft & Adobe, why does Photoshop take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to initialize?), I’ll check email or Pinterest or Facebook or my blog reader, etc. Pick your poison. Rinse. Repeat. Inevitably, my brain is processing so many things, it’s difficult to cut through the cacophony and zero in on my own thoughts and intuition.

So this is the story of how cleaning my house has revealed a hidden facet of the search for my new path. Pretty sure I’ll be fighting old habits for a long time. But day by day, bit by bit…I’m moving in the right direction, and that feels good for my soul.

Notes – Lynne Knowlton quote from this post on DesignMom. I’m currently loving these podcasts: A Slob Comes CleanThe Chalene Show

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