environment transformation, cont.

The mission to purge and de-clutter continues, and it is overwhelming at times to see how much junk accumulates in my living space when I'm not looking. Yesterday I carried out a full trash bag before I even got to the refrigerator and freezer. Compact Disc jewel cases are one of my favorite things to toss. After my husband's music collection was overflowing beyond five CD towers I decided a new system was necessary. (And yes, even with mp3s, we're still buying those old-fashioned discs. Think of it as iPod back-up.) All our discs go into large storage binders, and I file the liner notes alphabetically by artist in an old computer disc storage box. We make a few exceptions for collector items or favorite albums with the cardboard covers.

The next thing I love to part with are those specialty small appliances that accumulate in the kitchen. The waffle iron we never use, the ice tea machine and Mr. Coffee are on our list to go. Also pieces that people bought me because they match my dishes but I never use. Spices that I cook with once every three years. Grains that I put in canisters to store and can no longer identify. Mixing bowls I just discovered that I got free with a set of pans, I think, and have never once used. Things like this make me wonder, I've lived without this for so long and never noticed the difference . . . why not give it to someone who might use it?

I've also been working on our family photos. I'm transitioning from scrapbooking to these digital photo books I'm going to try next. No cutesy stickers required. My scrapbook bag, which used to weigh about forty pounds, no longer exists. The supplies I'm keeping found their new home in my filing cabinet. They make excellent treats for Amelia's craft time, which we haven't really done much at home in the past. Apparently her helpers in the church nursery have been giving her glue stick tutorials, so there's not much work left for me. I cut scraps of paper into all kinds of shapes: triangles, rectangles, squares and circles. Add some stickers, some crayons, her beloved glue stick and a larger paper for a canvas and she's good to go for at least an hour.

I'm clearing out the old, making room for new. New possibilities, new adventures, new artwork for my walls. Each day I feel a bit more free. This week I may tackle the storage room and my book collection if I finish my kitchen. I know, it seems like such a silly thing to blog about, but maybe it will inspire someone else to let go of the things that are cluttering her world.

That's all I have time for right now. Some nuts and bolts of housewifery. How inspiring. Here's hoping you can find such a thrill in ordinary things today.