Monday, April 9, 2012

The end of Lent - my adventures in decluttering

Lent is now over, however, my decluttering journey will still be ongoing.  I think I did pretty well at "giving up" clutter for Lent, but it's definitely an ongoing process.  I was hoping that I would be able to finish strong during this last week of Lent, but unfortunately due to an extremely busy schedule, I was barely able to keep up with basic stuff like dishes and laundry, never mind decluttering.  That's also the reason I haven't been posting much lately - just so busy!!  Here's what life was the past week -

Monday - Y Neighbours leaders' meeting in the afternoon (last one I'll have to go to, my term is almost up).
Tuesday - Y Neighbours in the morning, hair appointment and grocery shopping in the afternoon, worship team practice after supper.
Wednesday - Annika had preschool in the afternoon, then haircuts for both the kids and swimming lessons (which all 4 of us go to!) after supper.
Thursday - I had to go to the eye doctor in the morning and have my eyes dilated so she could check my retinas (she was a bit concerned at my last regular appointment because I sometimes see little "floaties" in my vision - which is actually quite common, but she just wanted to check everything out anyway).  Everything turned out fine with my eyes, but the process messed up my vision for a few hours, and so I spent most of the afternoon sleeping because I felt a bit dizzy and nauseous otherwise.
Friday - Good Friday service in the morning, Easter supper at Carey's parents' place.
Saturday - one day with nothing planned!
Sunday - Easter Sunday service in the morning (our worship team lead the singing), Easter supper at my parents' place.
Monday (today) - appointment at the physiotherapist to get new orthotic shoes (I have terrible feet).
This coming week is almost as busy, with getting ready for mine and Annika's birthdays on the weekend.

I'm so thankful that both my parents and my inlaws live close by (as well as Carey's sister and my brother and sister-in-law) - I'm not sure how I would've gotten through the past week without them.  Anyways, that was all a bit of a tangent (just wanted to justify my lack of cleaning and blog posting) - back to decluttering.

Here's how my list ended up:
  • Recipe binder
  • Office
    • Kids' craft stuff
    • Drawers
    • Filing cabinet
    • Bookshelf
  • Laundry room
  • Email inbox
  • Annika's closet
  • Emmett's closet
  • Our closet
  • Our bathroom
  • Kids' bathroom
  • Main floor bathroom
  • Front closet
  • Back closet
  • Upstairs storage closet
  • Kitchen cabinets/drawers
  • Pantry
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • PVR
  • Kids' toys
  • Guitar music binder
  • Sewing stuff
I didn't get everything done, but honestly, I wasn't really expecting to get it all done.  I'm very happy with the things I've accomplished so far, and with what I've learned during this process and the new little habits that are forming.  Here's just a few of the things I've learned during the past 40 (or so) days, as I've attempted to declutter, downsize and organize:

  • I have been blessed with so much.
  • I feel better physically, mentally and spiritually when our house is clean and organized.
  • It is hard work keeping our house clean and organized (especially with 2 little people that seem to always trail behind me, making messes in my wake).
  • Sometimes a photograph is the best way to remember something or someone.
  • Some things are hard to let go of, and that's okay.  Decluttering doesn't happen overnight.  Put it back on the shelf and revisit it again in a few months and see if you're ready then.
  • It's hard to break old habits and make new ones.
  • It's okay to get rid of stuff that people have given to you (this was a hard one for me - I feel guilty getting rid of gifts, but I just can't hang onto everything!).
  • Getting rid of stuff does not equal getting rid of memories (this one kind of goes together with the photograph one and the gift one)
  • Having a lot of stuff does not lead to happiness.
  • Not everything you buy needs to be purchased new.
So even though that Lent is over, I will be continuing on my decluttering journey.  My next project is going through the kids' closets and toys.  My Y Neighbours used toy and clothing sale is coming up soon, and I have a table at the sale, so that will be a good way to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  Now I just need to take the time to sort through everything and price it! :P

Thanks for coming along on this journey.  I'm so amazed at the number of people who have told me in the past few weeks that I've inspired them to do some decluttering.  Keep up with it!  It really is good for the soul.

No comments: