Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Path to an Uncluttered Mind

Counter space!

As some of you make know if you are a Facebook friend, I have finally embarked on a serious declutter and reorganization program. I realized that my home was overwhelming my ability to create, write, or even make a reasonable stab at meals (and you know how I despise  cope with cooking at the best of times.)

I also started thinking that if we soon have the ability to move to a better place, as we all hope for, the actual packing up process will be truly horrendous. So my plan is to create mental and emotional readiness, my message to the Universe, by clearing the junk away that I certainly don't want in my next home, now.

My kitchen looks awesome - the appliances are actually out of sight, and I got rid of those tablecloths I don't like. My mailing center and office armoire is wonderful, and now the rest of the office area/dining room will follow suit over the next few days. I wrote a comprehensive, task based list, for every room, with timings attached, so that I work in three hour blocks. I included the key task - "Take out trash - 5 mins" at regular intervals, so that the discard pile does not become an issue in itself.

Now I can find things at once without having to dodge an avalanche.

Part of my declutter is mental, including freeing myself from "obligations" that are entirely imaginary. Here's a big example. For years I would send out 72 (yup) Christmas/Holiday cards to family, friends, and work colleagues of both my husband and I. This meant that I made by hand, 72 pretty cards. Bear in mind, most of my work colleagues are from 12+ years ago!

When I started thinking about reducing my list last year, I agonized. Certainly I received back way fewer than I sent out. But what if the world ended if that guy felt bad when he didn't get a fabulous hand made card from us this year? Wait, how do we know that guy?

Then I started thinking of it a different way. What if I relieved someone, or someone's administrative assistant, from the onerous obligation of having to send out a return card to someone they really didn't remember either?

Even better, what if I could use that saved time to make better, truly beautiful cards for the people I really do care about? Win, win.

I received a total of 19 cards last year, all from people we actually know and really do care about. I find I hold no resentment whatsoever against the people who did not send us cards. Perhaps they feel the same way. I feel so much freer!

Of course the 19 are still hanging on display, but that will end soon, and they will turn into tree decorations per this tutorial. Yay.

What completely self-inflicted "obligations" have you been holding on to, that are cluttering up your mind or spirit? Please comment.


bhán said...

That is such a good idea to plan your purging/organising with a task based list and timing, I'm going to try that.

Robyn L. Coburn said...

Excellent! I did it in two steps. First I stood in the room with a notebook, turned in a circle and observed the problems. I also opened the cupboards. I made notes, concentrating on what was needed. Then I wrote down the detailed step by steps with the timings, broken up into hours. It was important to plan or else I would have had issues like a pile of appliances but nowhere to put them - so I moved the extra pots first. You get the idea.