My new office – with lots of bookshelves!
We have finally finished the massive amount of decluttering we had to do because of our move into the city. (Well, okay, maybe “finished” is a bit optimistic; there are still bits and pieces at the house waiting for disposal.)
It’s been quite a chaotic six weeks (including a closing date which kept getting extended – but everything’s now set to close by the 14th at the very latest. Yay!)
After the movers had loaded up their truck on our moving day last month, Ward slipped behind the wheel of our car and remarked to me, “The house doesn’t look any less full.”
He was speaking the truth.
At first, it was hard, the decluttering. For me, it was mostly books, books, books. We gave away enough books to stock a small bookstore. Not only were there books on all those bookshelves of ours (and we had many bookshelves. Many.), we also discovered boxes and boxes and boxes of books I’d stored away in every nook and cranny of the house.
But as the days went by, I found myself becoming much more hard core. It became much easier to part with things. I only have so much space for books at the condo, so I had strict criteria: Will I ever reread this? Can I buy it in ebook format? Will I ever need the information in here? Can I find similar information online?
After I finished going through all my books, there were all the other things. And that’s when this whole decluttering experience became a real learning experience for me.
I learned about me. About the things I yearn the most for. Because I discovered so many things that had seen so little use. Art supplies. Magazines. DIY kits. Puzzles. Tools. Interesting knickknacks.
As I sighed and carefully packed each almost-new thing into the giveaway boxes, I realized how often I’d tried to satisfy my need for more time with things that I could buy when I had a spare moment here and there. Things which then sat around, waiting for me to have the time to do something with them.
Time which never materialized.
It was a big lesson.
I owe a lot to this whole decluttering/downsizing experience. I feel like a different person – I have far less wants now, and I’m really happy with all the things that I have. And I know the one thing that I really need – more time to do the things that I want – and I’m making that a priority in 2012.
I also like to think about all the money I’m going to save from now on. Because I seem to have developed a resistance to buying things. I’ll go into a store now, and ooh and aah over something, but have zero inclination to buy it.
And honestly? I’m perfectly happy fulfilling any need I have to accumulate or collect things by romping through Pinterest every morning; I pin something and it feels like I “have it”. Strange, but true.
It’s perfect timing for me to experience this lesson, too, with the holidays being so near. My Christmas wish list this year is very small, and it’s filled with things that I know I’ll use, enjoy and make time for.
So decluttering isn’t something that’s on my 2012 list. I’ve already done it! And I have no intentions of ever getting into a situation where I’ll need to declutter again.