Monday, March 12, 2012

Update on my 6 week decluttering challenge

Instead of enjoying a relaxing evening last Friday night, unwinding from the hectic week, I dove into sorting out many of our belongings at home in preparation for a yard sale the next day. I was looking forward to it all week, actually! Most major items sold within the first hour. Lots of new-ish kitchen items and a few pieces of furniture. The rest was basically an abundance of nothing, if that makes sense. Mostly purchases I've made over the the past decade, without really thinking. You know, when you go to the store and buy something just because the price is right, it caught your attention, you know you don't "need" it, but it won't break your bank. Amazing how much you can acquire even when you don't consider yourself a shopper. I don't go to the store for fun. I see no fun in it, actually. I only go to the store when I need to, but it never fails. I get distracted by all the pretty things, and sooner or later I grab a thing or two that I don't quite need, but it's too cool of an item and very reasonably priced to leave behind. Well, this is exactly the type of habit I'm trying to change. Not because it's a financial burden, but because of the physical burden we know all know as clutter. Every new item you bring into your home competes for space with the things we actually do need. We then have to find a place to store new items, and make sure they stay there when not in use, or else the house begins to look messy. I am so done with that! Well, mentally anyway, because physically, I still have a long way to go. Aside from my latest 6-week decluttering challenge, I am also committing to keeping the clutter out once and for all by removing an item from my home for every other item that enters from this point on. This should help keep the clutter under control as well.
So how did the yard sale go? Well, in an effort to sell as much as we could, we priced everything fairly low, and our yard started looking empty rather quickly. I spent Saturday evening gathering more stuff to continue the sale on Sunday, but with the time change, we lost an hour and both my husband and I were too tired to get up in the morning and setup again. Instead, I made two trips to Goodwill, and you know what? Donating my stuff felt much more "liberating" than selling them. Granted, the extra cash we earned will help with my husband's upcoming auto repairs. I am thankful for that. But being able to create more space within a couple of hours by simply boxing everything we didn't use and driving it to Goodwill, gave me a sense of relief that the yard sale didn't. For one, the yard sale was far more work. I invested much more time and energy, but I did enjoy it. However, by donating twice as much as we sold, I know I am still recycling (which is important to me), I know the proceeds will benefit a good cause, and I regained territory in my own home in less time, with less effort. I'm so happy to see the progress, but I'm not quite done yet...the process continues.

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