Getting to More Through Less

DissentersChapelBookcase

I want to be the kind of woman who can live with little. I want to live at home like I do when traveling – everything I need in two bags. Unburdened.

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It’s a matter of trust, really. I want to trust myself and trust the Sweet Spirit of Surprise. Trust that I can find what I need when I need it. Trust that I’m resourceful enough to use whatever I have on hand.

When we visited the beach at Normandy, France last fall, the tour guide invited us to take home some sand. The Engineer’s initial startle was instantly replaced with sadness because we hadn’t come prepared with a container. I smiled and opened to the back of my journal where there were bags of all shape and size, ready. We used a small tiny little bag with a zippered top and ultimately brought him enough sand for souvenirs for ourselves, our children, my mother, and Walter. Ha.

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Three years ago we moved to a small house in a small town. “Will I die without this?” I asked myself as I prepared to move. I didn’t die, but I did spend a year mourning some of the stuff I gave up in the move. We have only 2 closets in the entire house, which means everything is out in the open. Visual clutter.

I don’t want to want more closets. I’m a systems girl – I love the convenience of having things I need within reach. And besides: out of sight, out of mind.

I want less.

And I want to be happy with less.

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Now it’s true that some things bring me comfort and some things enkindle memories that make me laugh and tingle with love. But still.

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I want the space – the orderly space – to breathe and create and think. I want space for possibilities. Too much clutter – physical or visual – causes me to spin aimlessly.

This morning I found a big bag and wondered what if I fill it each week and get rid of that much stuff. Palpitations started. Most of the stuff I’ve needed and might need again some day, and it will be hard to find as remotely located as we are. I make excuses. Parting is such stressful sorrow.

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My mother is moving soon, downsizing. You know what that means: more palpitations. Will I opt to keep things in the family? Will I choose space instead? Will I be able to live with the guilt if I say “No, thank you” because really, around here we have a tendency to hand those things we’re not quite ready to let go of off to children (and daughters-in-law, my MIL did it, too) as a way of holding on less tightly.

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This needs to be the year I finish the projects I’ve started. The year I use what I have on hand. The year I trust myself and my creative abilities.

I will get there . . . I just don’t yet know how.

3 Comments

  1. Faye

    There must be something in the air because several bloggers I read ,myself and a few friends are all decluttering this year.
    firstly I trust that what I need will appear when I need it,have all my life and not just craft stuff.
    I pass onto friends as well as family,then I look for some one who would treasure the item ,we also have lots of small historical museums .The one in the town where mum grew up has received bags full of stuff .

  2. Tracy Mangold

    I’m working on this myself. What I’m doing is one little area at a time – be it a nightstand, bookshelf, dresser etc… One little section at a time. Friday I went through my handbags and now there is a garbage bag filled with them in the back of my car ready to go to Goodwill. I love handbags and am always trying to find the “perfect” one. Some people collect shoes, for me it is handbags. I am sorting through papers and working on it a little bit at a time otherwise it is overwhelming. I’m right there with you. Hugs!

  3. judy martin

    I’ve been trying to reduce clutter since August – and am succeeding little bit by little bit. It feels great to have more space and more light – that’s how I think of it. Less stuff but more light. happy new year, friend.xx

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