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Gearing Up for Some Major De-Stuffing

Today I bought the book “Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back” by Brooks Palmer.  Don’t worry, I see the irony in buying something to help me get rid of stuff!  But I really need some inspiration to give me the strength I need to purge my life.  I woke up at 1:30am last night, panicking about how much crap I have and how I’m going pack and move it all, and worse, where I’m going to fit it at my new house!  I am downsizing from a two bedroom house to essentially a bachelor apartment.  That’s a lot of de-stuffing.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to de-stuff.  The very thought of not having all this crap around me makes me feel 10lbs lighter.  The problem is actually going through with getting rid of it.  

As I was walking through Chapters, where I had taken refuge from the rain and my standard place at the kitchen table, and worked for a few hours this afternoon, the book Clutter Busting caught my eye.  I skimmed the intro and read “…the various things that clog up your home, office, and garage constantly trip you up in every area of your life.  Whether or not your realize it, these “white elephants” are the reason you no longer enjoy your home; they are behind that feeling of ‘I just can,t get anything done’ and general feelings of unhappiness, illness, and disease.  Collectively they are overwhelming your sense.  Nothing motivates you anymore.  You can never get organized. Tasks go unfinished; projects get left behind.  You feel buried, unaccomplished.”  

Wow – did this guy read my mind?  Or is this such a common phenomenon that he can write a book that so easily strikes a chord?  I suspect the latter, but either way I decided to keep reading.  A few pages later, he advises the reader to adopt the mantra “Things will not make me happy.”  He then encourages you with “You possess the ability to let go.”  A dozen pages in, he confesses his own struggle over throwing out poetry he wrote a decade earlier: “I realized that I had written these poems about relationships that had gone bad and about  my sadness at the time.  When I started to read a few, I felt old sorrows return.  I had to ask if I wanted that in my life anymore.”  Photos and memorabilia keep ghosts in your life.  Do you want that?  Do I want that?  “You can let go of the past,” he concludes, assuringly.

I bought the book to see what else he had to say.  Books, in my humble opinion, are not clutter (although they are the first thing I’ve sorted through and purged to the best of my ability – about two boxes full on their way to the second hand store).

What Palmer writes is not news to me, but it is good timing for me to get a refresher course on letting go of stuff I just don’t need anymore.  Stuff that weighs me down, that suffocates me.  To make room for the new, I  need to let go of the old.  I have so many little projects, plans and piles that have lost their luster and just clog my house and life, gatherhing dust.  They need to go.  A few can stay, the ones I know for certain I will get to, and still want to do.  But most are relics of interests and time past, and no longer inspiring to me.  Onward and upward.

The book likens un-cluttering your house to weeding your garden.  I have just finished weeding two of the main garden beds at my new house, reclaiming them from several years of mother nature doing her own thing, and that felt wonderful.  I look forward to doing the same with my house.  But first, back to reading this book!

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