Friday, January 09, 2015


Yup, you guessed it.  This is the time of year wherein many people make a New Year's resolution. Now, we all know there is nothing magical about making such a resolution. Many resolutions we make are utterly forgettable and within months...or weeks.. or even days, we have forgotten them.

The urge is very normal, and even commendable.  Most resolutions focus on some aspect of self-improvement.  We vow to do something to make ourselves better--lose weight, exercise more, have lunch with friends more frequently, write more, read more, etc.  The list goes on.  And all those goals we set are worthy.  

But we also know how easy it is to forget.  To say--well, just for today, I don't need to ____. (Fill in the blank.)  And, next thing you know, the resolution falls discarded by the wayside.  Give us eleven months and we will revisit the ritual.  Make resolution, implement resolution, forget resolution, regret resolution, revive resolution.  It takes about 12 months for this process to work out.

So, this year, I decided--only ONE resolution.  And the title gives it away:  de-clutter.  My solemn resolution is one drawer at a time, one closet, one corner, one room--one whatever.  Just to slowly and surely go through "things" and decide what can be given away (Freecycle), what can be donated (Goodwill or Salvation Army), what should be given to our children (heirlooms...), and what should be placed in the trash.

Considering the amount of stuff we have, this process SHOULD take me a year.  Oh, and for inspiration, I have already watched George Carlin's classic routine on STUFF.  He nails it--we get stuff, then we need a bigger place to store our stuff, then we need more stuff to fill the bigger space.  

This persistent drive toward acquisition is one of the themes I have returned to several times:  here, and here for example.  In the second link, I talk about giving items...OK, Freecycle. At the time I wrote that (2008), I counted that we had given away 140 items.  The count today stands at over 300 items.

So, de-cluttering?  You bet.  Should take me all year. 


Unknown said...

We've decluttered before, but your post is a reminder to do it again. Thanks! (And I loved the Carlin clip.)

NCmountainwoman said...

It took a move from WI to NC for us to really de-clutter. And somehow, despite our best intentions, we now have the need to do so again. We have made a good start and have several boxes ready to donate. And still more to go. It does feel good to get it done. Or at least get some of it done.

Ginnie said...

I am a great advocate of decluttering. It is so freeing and I enjoy taking clothes and other items to the Free Care Clinic where I volunteer twice a week. It is doubly pleasing to get rid of "stuff" and to know that it is going where it will be needed. Good for you !

Paddy said...

I realized that I am very good with physical de-cluttering and in fact not even accumulating. It is the DIGITAL accumulating and de-cluttering that I am so bad at!

denverdoc said...

There's a best-seller newly on the list called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by a Japanese woman who counsels people about this for a living. The book was a best-seller in Europe and Japan before it was released here. I guess everyone has a strategy that gets the moving with success down this self-help path, but her sort of wacky advice hit a positive note for me, namely examine your possessions with an idea towards 'does it spark joy?'. If not, thank it for its presence in your life (that's the goofy part) and send it on its way so someone else can use/enjoy it. By doing so, you clarify that which is important in your life, related things are easier to find and enjoy when they are not adrift in piles of rubble. Getting past the letting go of things inherited or received as gifts, also magazines I theoretically may read some day, will be my challenge, but changing my mindset seems to work better than tidying a drawer or too.
Nice to be back in touch!