Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finding calm amongst the clutter

I'm not a neat freak, but I've been on a rampage. It's been building since I got home from our yoga and ski retreat. I can accept that things won't be the way I usually have them after I've been gone for a week, and I give myself a few days to regain control (because while I may not be a total neat freak, I confess to being a bit of a control freak). Our high-maintenance dogs have been sick since they were picked up from doggie care, so there's been a lot of cleaning up going on there; the laundry piles are as high as my waist; and my daughter's on spring break, so toys are strewn everywhere. I'm not one to stifle her creativity, but damn those craft supplies are a mess! After coercing her into helping me clean up, I heard the sound of breaking glass from the other room. How and why was there a light bulb within a young child's reach?? Who put that there? I reached for a glass of milk in the fridge and ended up pouring it all over myself. A lot of time is being spent cleaning, and I can think of quite a few other things I'd rather do. I'm thinking that I'd trade the stress of cleaning for a day in corporate America right about now. Stuff is stressing me out. Why do we have so much STUFF?! I want to throw everything away, including the dogs.

Time out. Breathe. Or rather, go outside and yell (it works). There's got to be a calmer way to find order amongst the clutter. If you google "declutter", you'd be amazed at how many people are making a living at streamlining people's stuff. It's the sort of thing that makes me feel ashamed of myself; am I truly incapable of managing material things?! In April's issue of Cooking Light, an article called The feel-good guide to letting go of all that stuff! states the facts: most people only regularly use about 20% of their stuff. For me, it's less about the letting go, and more about contributing to trash landfills. I'm all about recycling and finding new homes for things we no longer use. It sure would be a lot easier to dump clutter in the trash, but I'm all too aware of the future price to pay for that action.

Got any good, eco-friendly spring cleaning tips? Post them in the comments.


Modern Girl Style said...

I just moved into a new home and let's talk about clutter! I'm like do I need this, why did I pack this, and where do I put all of this stuff. Since our new home is a modern loft, it is really creating the perfect environment to let go. I think it's important to get under the reason that we clutter our lives. I think I can identify my reasons, not its to take that leap of faith and let go. GREAT POST!!!! I love that I'm not the only person struggling with this!!!

Margaret Burns Vap said...

great spring cleaning advice from my friend susie of envi design:

JessicaC said...

Hi Margaret!
I am in the middle of watching an interesting video I found through one of the websites I subscribe too and came across a part that I think fits wonderfully here...
'Simplicity is a gift, a blessing. In the pre-modern world, before we excited the thought of greed by too much choice, filling our needs was sufficient. Having enough satisfies the mind and frees the heart to find what matters. Less STUFF us more SPIRIT!'
Nice, huh?

the whole clip is worth watching but this part was at 19:22.