To declutter, to de-stress, to deemphasize, to re-evaluate…

We are in process of preparing for a yard sale.

It is enlightening.  It is wearisome.  It brings laughs of memory, serious evaluation, some contemplation.  And it humbles.

Truly, when I examine all of our closets, our pantry, the storage space, and the tops of all surfaces, I am surprised by how much “junk” we have.  And I don’t mean, literally, junk, since a lot of it is quite nice and pretty and sentimental.  But how much of it do we really need?  Isn’t simpler, less clutter, less busy, a better way to live?  Why then do we feel we have to buy/accept/use everything we see/are given/own?

When I assess our “one-man’s-junk-another-man’s-treasures” I realize how much time we – I – spend on things.  Because we have so much stuff, we have to find ways to organize it.  Clean it.  Use it.  And all those hours when I could be playing with my children or writing therapeutically or immersed in a lazy, iced-tea-on-the-porch conversation with the love of my life, I am instead spending either in re-organizing, cleaning, or stressing out over the never-ending clutter.

It amazes me how good it feels to purge.  Really good.  Even when some of the things in my “to-sell” pile are beautiful things or useful things or sentimental things, they are still just things.  I have my memories without these things.  They can be beautiful in someone else’s simplicity rather than in my mess.  They can be useful in someone else’s kitchen where they can be hidden away rather than tripped over.

It’s made me think a little bit about the clutter in my head and heart these days.  So many things consume my mental energy and prevent me from doing what really matters – seeking answers to some of the Deepest Questions I Have Ever Felt (not Asked, or Voiced, or even, in some cases, Formulated – I haven’t gotten that far yet).  Confessions: the clutter in my head includes, among other things, envy.  Dreaming about more “things”.

I guess purging your house of stuff is kind of a metaphor for purging your mind and time of Useless Thoughts and Things.  It’s hard work.  Draining.  Frustrating.  But so worth every effort.  Because once your house is purged, you can start arranging it in the way you want, in the way that reflects your priorities, your mission in life, the way you want not just to be reflected but the way you truly want to be.

I told Bob today that I’d like to know why we have everything in our house.  I realize that’s not entirely possible – there will be things Bob understands that I don’t and vice versa.  But it’s a good goal.  And it will prevent me from buying things that I don’t want to have to a yard sale to get rid of later.  To really think about why I’d like something, why we “need” something.  Isn’t it better to do the same in my mind – to select the things I want to contemplate, study, understand, express and know?  To re-prioritize my thoughts and dreams and goals.  To seek being the best wife and parent and sister and daughter and friend that I can be requires mental energy – space in my head to really work those things out.

So, now a yard sale.  Choosing and pricing items, preparing them for quick exit of the house, making and posting signs…all that goes with it.  I’ll be glad to be done.  And I look forward to creating a more simplified, less cluttered, more people-focused and thought-focused and living-focused life.

** Confessions: this post is a few days old.  Yard sale is now complete.  Our little money canister includes an extra $52.50.  Tiny pennies for a whole lot of work and a great big lesson.  Stuff just isn’t worth a whole heck of a lot! **


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angela
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 15:50:54

    Crystal – this post really made me think. Thank you.


    • Crystal
      Aug 24, 2011 @ 06:01:48

      No problem. I’m still thinking of what mental clutter to sort through and evaluate. Hard to do at midnight, though, so I’ll continue tomorrow! (: (And thanks! I’m glad it did!).


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