Declutter the Home, Oh my Soul

My computer is down and has been for a few days now. It couldn't come at a worse time, as Justin is using his all the time. I got up at five this morning in the hopes of getting at least a few minutes to post. Justin's laptop also needs to go into the shop at some point for a major repair on the monitor hinge. It just flopped flat open a minute ago.

What is there to say this morning? I've been on a de-cluttering spree. A truck's coming by this morning to pick up a ton of donations, and it's just the beginnng. I'm starting to realize how much time it takes to clean all this space and organize all our stuff. Thanks to flylady.com (which Devan turned me onto), I'm learning how to keep up with my dishes and laundry and it's amazing how many fewer items you need to own when everything's clean all the time. But even so, I find myself holding onto so many of my possessions with a tight fist. I keep asking myself, will I even remember a year from now that I owned this?

It's still easier to manage myself than to explain it to Amelia. Her memory is unbelievable, so it's not like her things can disappear without her missing them. But people in our life are so generous, and I don't see how we can house everything she's been given if we don't part with some of it along the way. The stuff is overwhelming (large toys, things with a gazillion tiny parts, enough books to have our own children's library) and I feel my chest tightening when I realize that this is just three years into having one kid--what will it look like three years into the second one?

I believe we all have this point we reach, like the viscosity of water holding it in the cup when it's over the rim, that there are only so many things we can really love. Own beyond that point and we become careless with at least some of our possessions, we begin storing them instead of using or enjoying all of them. I'm thinking of this box of old VHS tapes in our basement storeroom. During a water leak, the box was damaged so I'm pretty sure the tapes are just strewn on the floor back in an area I can no longer reach because my parent's ping pong table effectively blocks off that half of the room. The tapes aren't anything we've actually watched since moving in here six or seven years ago, but will it be a battle to get rid of them? You bet.

It's even a source of disagreement in our marriage. I'm married to someone who enjoys collections: books, CDs and movies. I tend to believe library cards exist for good reason, as does Netflix. It works out now because he has his own office and I don't have to see his garish Science Fiction books that always end up double-parked on every shelf. That may not always be so.

Maybe I got this way from growing up in a tidy home. My mother knew that the best way to keep it looking nice was to not own more that could neatly fit into our space. Now the Flylady reminds me that those of us who get out of whack with keeping our spaces lovely usually do so because they're filled with too much stuff.

Enough for now. Time to feed the baby. Again.