Now I’m Getting Somewhere

I’m so close to the end of a very, very long journey at home.

I have always maintained, as have others, that the home does reflect who we are and where we’re at. Mine has been chaos for a while. I’ve kept making improvements, but there’s always another area that’s remained undone, and it spreads, like a fungus or something.

Creative Commons image by Christolakis on Flickr, "Light".

I’ve had a vision, but neither the time nor the money, and possibly not even the inclination, to make it happen.

Now, though, I finally came up with a few disposable dollars and put money into a “treat”: Finishing my bedroom. For $115, I’ve completely transformed the space. I awoke this morning and felt like I’d stayed the night at a spa. That’s how a bedroom should feel. Now my room is a room I feel I need to live up to, rather than a place I simply go to sleep in.

As for the rest of my home, over the last 10 days, I’ve been getting rid of some more “stuff” around the house, little things that all add up to something big, like a couple shopping carts full of crap. Gone. Or, well, donated, as the case largely is. This is a little place, that’s a mighty big impact.

But beyond creating space, I’ve also created structure. I’m organizing things as I go, subtle changes here and there that just make sense, and make it more likely to have order as an ongoing status quo. For instance, now my ironing board, iron, and laundry basket all in  my bedroom clothes closet, rather than scattered over 3 separate closets.*

By deciding I don’t emotionally need to have my giant 1840 camelback armchair in my living room anymore (since I already have a gorgeous modern leather one with great back support that’s the same size), I’ve cleared up 16 square feet of formerly-consumed space in my living room, and given my 600-or-so squarefoot home, that’s a hell of a lot of floorspace to reveal.

I even had the strength to get rid of something I’ve been hanging onto for emotional reasons, and not because it’s something I’ve ever even used in 11 years: My mother’s leather briefcase. I just put it out back and it was gone within the hour, and so too the remembrances of how broke she was as a realtor at the end of her life, and how that briefcase was something she bought for confidence. I don’t need that connection in my life. I’m done, Henry, movin’ on.

So, I’ve been applying that sort of thought process to just about everything I’ve looked at lately. Someone said, if it doesn’t prove itself useful, or actively beautify your space, it should go. Period. So, yes.

I’ve now probably pared back the clutter in my life by about 35% in the last two years. I tell you, my soul sure feels like it.

Some of those things were remembrances of bad times, connections to negative vibes. It’s hard to ditch those pieces when you perceive them as a connection to someone you love who’s gone, but it’s so soul-saving when you do. Wow.

I’m not done. I think as we grow and evolve, we move out of more and more things, and I’ll probably fine-tune this over the next five years or so, as I get closer to where I want to be… wherever that takes me.

But I’m closer than I’ve ever been.

I’m not a materialistic person in that I covet new things all the time — I don’t. I don’t want to go buy this or that. I just want my space around me to reflect who I am — and that I’m finally find calm and peace both inside me and around me is a really nice development. It’s taken a long time of continuing to pare through things to get to here.

I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the last week, that much I can say.

I’m also really excited to see where this takes me creatively. If you don’t think your environment affects your writing, you’re cuckoo for cocoa puffs, friends. I feel less constrained, more open, more free to move around in this little home of mine, and I’ll be surprised if that doesn’t find its way into my words, too. And spring’s here — always my most creative season.

Boy, oh, boy. Good times. I have more cleaning to do, but I’ll post some photos tomorrow morning. Enjoy your Sunday, world.

*I know, it seems like you’d just put all that stuff together anyhow; but before I had the stupid idea of using shoe racks and keeping all my t-shirts, shorts, etc. on the racks, which was the dumbest idea EVER. Don’t do it!  I also had a little drawer unit that stuck and was impossible to open/close, with all my underwear, bras, and socks in an ungodly jumble. My clothes have been ridiculous for forever. My new highboy that holds everything and even Grammy’s blanket and my old comforter sewn by Mom [with every blanket I’ve ever had since I was 2 sewn into it!] — which now don’t have to be unseen and stored in deep dark corners in plastic bags. Yay!