06 April 2014

clearing a space

I don't like de-cluttering. It's annoying and messy and takes forever and at the end of it, I have stuff to haul to the garbage bin, the recycling bin, and the thrift store.

And we like clutter. J. and I are not minimalists, and I don't think we ever will be. We like books too much for that. He's into board games, and I'm into fiber arts. Both are hobbies that take up space.

But we do have stuff that needs to go. We really do. When I was in the process of sorting out E.'s bedroom so we could finally move her in there, I found a box. I opened it. Inside was a random assortment of stuff that I hadn't wanted to sort through when I was clearing our dresser top so I could put the changing pad on it. It had gotten stuffed in the spare room, and forgotten again. I sighed and took it to the living room, where E. was napping, and dumped it out. I sorted. I tossed. Her closet still isn't properly sorted, and her room is also home to the pieces of a giant desk that we're trying to give away on craigslist and Freecycle.

I feel better for it, but I don't think it's a process I'll ever love. I was the child who, when we remodeled our 60's-era bathroom, insisted on keeping a chunk of pea-soup green pebble-patterned linoleum. I later tossed it, but that's how attached I could get to things. Change was devastating.

On the other hand, I like to organize things. I just don't like getting rid of them. But I'm doing it. Slowly. I'm going through my closet and winnowing down my wardrobe. I'm opening boxes of random things and realizing that at least half of them are junk that we should have tossed last time we moved. I found cards from our wedding nearly six years ago that I haven't looked at since and had no intention of keeping, so those went into the recycling. It's a work in progress, and it's being done partly with an eye on our plan to move sometime in the next year or so. The more junk we deal with now, the less we'll need to pack up when we move.

I've never been great at keeping things uncluttered and tidy. It's not my forte. I'm a little better at it now that a tiny person is crawling around and throwing things on the floor, but our place still looks messy. I like the way things look when they are clean, but I think I'd be uncomfortable if our home was spotless and perfect. A clear space is good. A pristine space is maddening.

So I'll settle for clearing a space and hoping it stays that way for a little while.

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