“Bare”-able Surroundings

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Pssssstttt…..! I have a terrible secret!

(Furtive glance in all directions)

I am surrounded by…(hushed whisper)…clutter!

It is everywhere. Hanging out in drawers. Hiding in the closets. Jumping out of cupboards. Lurking in the basement.

It’s inexplicable. I clean. Dust. Put stuff away. Organize. Pitch. Toss. Donate.

Routinely DE-clutter.

Yet, it returns. Almost as if the clutter is….(gasp!)…procreating! (Okay, now I’m blushing…)

Outgrown or damaged clothing. Mismatched dishes that were once part of a set. Books that have been read and will never be re-read….or books no one had any intention of reading in the first place. Paper — which seem to sneak in and suddenly appear as an avalanche of dead trees. Toys that are no longer loved or were never that popular in the first place. Or loved to death. Ahem.

Tired of the battle, I declared war on January 1st.

I have been spending the month looking at everything in my house with a very critical eye….

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If I haven’t used it in the past year….why? Out it goes!

If I haven’t worn it in the past year, does it even still fit? Do I wear that color any more? That style? Out it goes!

If it’s broken or worn out, it must be fixed — or gone. No more mismatched anything unless it’s a beloved old plate that falls into the ‘beautiful’ category.

I have decluttered one child’s closet of 2 heaping laundry baskets of outgrown clothing. Thrown away another bag of stained and worn items. Gave a 33-gallon bag of a different size to a neighbor. Took a trunk load of everything else to a charity. And just tossed a lot of unwanted stuff.

And yet, I know the clutter still lurks.

I am starting to take a much harder look at things. What do I want to do with my time? Does this item fit into that picture? Do we really need it, or can it be borrowed (such as library books or movies) elsewhere and not stored here longterm?

Am I holding on to that for sentimental reasons, or because I, like Erma Bombeck, think that the day after I throw away something unused for 20 years — I will need it?

If I had to move, what would I take with me?

Then…why am I holding on to the rest of it?

When we moved into our first home 12 years ago, I remember how clean, white and empty everything appeared. Full of promise. Bare — and absolutely beautiful in that uncluttered state.

Which is what I’m looking for in my current decluttering frenzy.

Far less — which has a beauty all its own.

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