It *must* be spring, because I did some spring cleaning today! I'm not sure what came over me; perhaps it was energy from the sunshine. But I dove right into the room that needed it the most.
Don't judge me, my bedroom had become a disaster area. I have this awful habit of letting clutter build in the living room and on the dining room counter, and then when I can't take it anymore or have company coming over (whichever comes first), I toss everything into an empty box and stick it in my bedroom to sort "later." Only, later doesn't come. Thus I had several boxes of random stuff piled in there, along with tons of other things that I had brought upstairs to "work on": photographs, paperwork, clothes that need mending, and things that used to belong to my parents. There was also a huge box of dog-related stuff that has been accumulating, like dock diving bags, various collars and leashes, tracking harnesses, treats, chews, and toys. And of course, piles of (clean) clothes that are too big or too small for me.
I haven't sorted the stuff in my bedroom in a long time. A lot of the emotional stuff is in there, and just like when I had to sort through the office boxes, it can dredge up a lot of feelings and memories. All this stuff... the remnants of the past that I hadn't quite let go of. Yet.
Honestly, I walked in there this afternoon, stood in the middle of the room for about 3 minutes, looked around, and walked back out. Twenty minutes later I went back in, *wanting* to do something, but I just did not know how to start. It was all stuff I *needed* to keep and *couldn't* get rid of... all of it! It had all been sorted a dozen times and never made it to the trash can or the Goodwill box. There were reasons for that.
My teenage son walked in. I started telling him how frustrating it was. "There is SO MUCH STUFF!" I said. "Look at it all, it is stuff I have to keep!" I looked around for an example. "Look at this gravy boat!" I said, grabbing the white piece of ceramic from my dresser. (Yes, I had a gravy boat on my dresser...)
"What is THAT?" he asked.
"When your Dad and I got married, my cousins came down for the reception and they each gave us a piece from this... this... white ceramic, um, collection. I have a big white ceramic bowl in the garage that matches this, it's an octagon, I've never used it! And they gave me a platter thing, and this... this gravy boat and its little gravy boat plate. And what, we have used it three times in 22 years?"
My son smiled. I think he was finding this amusing.
"No, really! In our old house I had a big china cabinet and we had all this stuff in there but now, there is no room for it in the kitchen! And it would just get broken anyway!"
My son laughed, and all of a sudden I saw just how ridiculous it was to be lugging this gravy boat around to various states across the country for 2 decades and keeping it on top of my dresser. We never use it! It's not pretty! And I am not even close to my cousins. For the first time I suddenly did not need to keep that gravy boat anymore.
I kept sorting. I kept dusting and vacuuming and putting stuff in trash bags and Goodwill boxes.
"Look!" I said to my son a half hour later, "these are the candlestick things that go with that gravy boat! See?? Look, they match it!" And my son laughed, and said, "Why?? Why do you have those?" and he was so right, and I laughed because those white ceramic octagonal candlestick holders have sat on top of my bookshelf for more than 15 years because they matched the gravy boat, even though they never have had a candle in them.
Funny the things we hold on to.
Emotional clutter shows itself in our homes, in our lives, on our bodies.
I feel lighter now, and it will be so nice to go to bed in a clutter-free bedroom. I think I will sleep much better tonight.
Update and Continuous New Starts
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