Monday, July 19, 2010

Decluttering

I've been working on physical decluttering of our home for nearly three years now, but it's just been a vicious cycle of me getting something I think we need or could use, then getting rid of something else, then getting something new (or reclaimed), then getting rid of stuff...and on and on it goes. We've been bringing in a lot of stuff for our daughter, mostly stuff we do need, and I've reached the point where I really need a ton of other stuff to leave. A good amount of things we own can be donated, some can be sold, and others need to be returned to their rightful owners (*cough*cough*futon in the garage*cough*). Even more stuff simply needs to be recycled or tossed into the garbage. My goal is to donate first, recycle second, send to landfill as a last resort. We will fill a small dumpster with things that cannot be salvaged or recycled for anyone else's benefit, and that's just a sad fact of our lives as consumers. We are trying to be better about this. I feel like we are both making strides towards consuming less and eliminating more. Still, at the end of the day, I always wish I could have gotten more crap out of our house.

But the problem isn't just the crap stuff; I've come to realize that it's also the crap commitments and obligations. And, honestly, the crap schedule that I've managed to arrange for myself. I read this, and it really hit home. All the things that I do in my life are valuable, but I can't sustain all those commitments and obligations and still manage our household. My life as it stands is incredibly cluttered with obligations I don't need to keep, to the detriment of the ones I do need to keep. As we move closer to the day we bring home our daughter, I am intent on creating the kind of space in our home life that will allow us to keep a regular schedule and a peaceful space.

For me, this means a change in the way I work. The truth is that I need to work less and I need to work more predictable hours. I am failing at a lot of the things at which I'd like to succeed, and I know without a doubt this is due to my lack of predictable schedule. The major changes will not come until we leave for Ethiopia and eventually bring home our daughter, but they are coming. While I can stupidly subject both myself and my husband to the type of scheduling that leaves me little energy or brain space for basic things like making dinner and cleaning up the house, I cannot, or rather will not be that kind of mother for my daughter. Frankly, I shouldn't be that kind of wife for my husband, nor should I be that kind of person for my own self.

So I'll be decluttering everything.

You know, once I have the time.

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