Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simplifying in 2011

I've been thinking a lot about the *stuff* that has accumulated in our home since we moved into it. When we moved in it was just the two of us and we didn't have that much stuff. At least it didn't seem like it we did. Now that we have lived her for 8 years there are things that we have accumulated over those years that aren't being used, take up space, and that I just plain don't like. Books, dishes, toys and varied other junk.

I have read a number of books on clearing clutter, simplifying or down-sizing. One rule of thumb (in variations) that is often applied is don't have things in your home that are not useful, beautiful or bring happiness. As I sit here typing this post there is a stack of magazines 2 feet high in our magazine rack. The ones on the bottom have likely been there since summer. There is another 2 foot stack to my left under the book case. Stacked on the book case are books in front of books because they don't all fit on the shelf. There is also a basket of *papers* that may or may not be important. And a stack of papers on top of the printer that need to be dealt with.

One of the worst culprits of clutter for us is paper or media. Mail, books, magazines, the bulletin from church, newspapers. I receive 2 photography magazines, 1 parenting magazine, and 1 home/craft/lifestyle magazine, 1 scrapbooking magazine and one local magazine a month. So that's 6 magazines per month coming into our home. They don't leave that quickly either. I have all the issues of Martha Stewart that I've received over the last at least 9 years. I keep thinking I might need them. And I do get out the Christmas issues in November and December. We also have a nice collection of magazines downstairs that I've been meaning to go through and tear out recipes and other ideas so I can get rid of the magazines. But then I'm left with piles of magazines pages to organize. And I have a system to do just that. But it just makes work. And then I have to sift through that to find an idea.

Some days I feel suffocated by the clutter. And it's not that our house is over run by it. I am fairly organized. It just seems that there is too much in that organization. Before we went away for Christmas I did all the laundry and put all the laundry away. But I was unable to hang up all of Morgan's pants because I ran out of hangers. We do not have a tiny closet but it is also not a walk-in sort of deal. Morgan's wardrobe takes up roughly 3/4 of the closet space. I take up more dresser space. I'm not sure one man needs 40 shirts. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't wear them all. We each have things we accumulate or collect. I have a collection of rubber stamps I rarely use. As well as dishes from our grandmothers that I feel I can't part with because we may use them someday. Morgan collects coffee cups and has an issue of almost every newspaper he had an article published in when he was a writer.

It's probably this time of the year each year that I feel this way. Burdened by stuff. Things accumulate without us noticing much and then I begin to realize that we need to go through things and clean out and get rid of. I just think this year we need to do it in a more major and thorough way!

Incidentally, I had to leave this post for a few hours during which time Morgan came home, read the post and decided he'd go through his shirts! I can check that off the list!

1 comment:

Janet said...

Great post, Heather. I'm right there with you. I feel burdened by stuff . I, too, am fairly organized but I feel like I spend my time organizing stuff I really don't want or need. Much family stuff has been given to me that I really can't get rid of. And I'm sentimental to a fault so have difficulty parting with things to begin with.

Like you, I had 9-10 years of Martha Stewart magazines. I finally decided to keep just a few and donate the rest to a local book sale. Most of her articles are online now anyway if I need to find something.

Simplifying our household is on my list for 2011! But I think it was on my 2010 list, too... lol Good luck in your quest, Heather! :)