It’s time to de-clutter!

Recently, my husband and I had a conversation about how many homes we’ve lived in since we’ve been married.
Nine in all–in the east, the west, and the centre of the country.
Our first home was a rental close to Pittsburgh, Pa. We had no furniture but fortunately, it was fully furnished.
I still can remember how easy it was to move. We had driven eight hours from my home in northern New York, with our wedding presents in the car.
We put the presents away and were moved in!
Shortly after our arrival, the employees at the church publishing house where my husband worked surprised us with a shower–complete with useful gifts.
Add to that the few purchases I made during our first year together and, 12 months later, when it was time to move again, our car wasn’t big enough for all our things.
Fortunately, we had bought an 8-foot by 36-foot house trailer with lots of storage space. So we put all our things in the house trailer and had it hauled to Indiana.
That wasn’t too bad. But only two years later, we moved 1,800 miles to Edmonton, Alta. And we had another two years’ accumulation to take along.
Our sixth move was 1,800 miles south and east to Kansas, where my husband would teach at a church college. But this time, we had two children and 10 more years of “stuff.”
Even though we rented out our Edmonton home furnished and moved into the fully-furnished home of a faculty family on sabbatical, we hauled an overloaded two-wheel trailer filled with our possessions.
Then, for the next two summers, we went back to Edmonton—each time returning with another trailer load.
Now we’ve lived for almost 40 years in the house my husband designed with lots of storage space. And all of our storage spaces are full!
I know roughly where everything is and what is in each box, although I haven’t looked at many of the boxes for 20 or 30 years.
If we would ever have to move again, it would take weeks—or even months—of sorting, trashing, and giving things away.
Our story is not unusual. In his book “It’s All Too Much,” organizing guru Peter Walsh writes, “We are, as a nation, overwhelmed with too much stuff.”
People are “paralyzed by their own stuff,” he adds.
If you feel that way, you should begin de-cluttering by imagining the life you want, says Walsh.
Then ask yourself these questions: Does your “stuff” contribute to the life you’re hoping to achieve? Or is it getting in the way? If it’s impeding your vision for your life, then why is it in your home?
Remember the old idiom, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” And your clutter wasn’t built up in a day or even a year. So it will take time.
Walsh suggests you schedule a time to de-clutter–for instance, 15 minutes a day or one Saturday a month.
And there’s no better time than the winter months to take charge of your life and your “stuff.” So why not resolve to de-clutter this month?
And just imagine how freeing that will be.

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