Monday, November 19, 2012

Minimalism = Maximum Effort

I'm in the beginning stages of cleaning house. I'm not just talking about sweeping, vacuuming and wiping counters. I'm talking about the pull-everything-out-of-nooks-and-corners-and-get-rid-of-clutter kind of cleaning.

We've been in our house for about 15 years and all of us are keepers. We don't let go of things easily, especially books. I've been feeling like the walls are closing in on me for months, maybe years.

"Clutter is a state of mind. It can be the things we haven't done which prey on our minds, like unreturned telephone calls and appointments not made. . . Everything we do not use or wear, or which we are keeping in case it comes in handy one day. . . For one reason or another. . . we hang on to situations and ideas which do not let us move on. . . All these attitudes clutter our thought processes but by clearing out our physical clutter we see the benefits of 'letting go', which will help us to clear out the mental clutter restricting our development." Excerpt from the book FENG SHUI: Mind & Body; Spirit & Home, by Hale & Evans, page 82.

I love clean, open spaces. They make me feel like my spirit can soar. And I know that if my hands are empty, God can fill them. But it seems to take so much time to keep up with the clutter, to throw or give things away as soon as they enter the house. I feel guilty because something was a gift or it holds a certain memory, or I'm just not sure what to do with it, so I set it aside and put off deciding what to do with it for later. Yet holding on to all these things becomes oppressive and later the task is bigger.

FENG SHUI tells me not to try to tackle the whole house at once, but it's weighing on my mind. I try to do one room at a time, but that leads to another because if I move something from the bedroom to the family room, I must make room in the family room for it.

Another question I have is--Where do I keep all the stuff I want to give away until I have time to take it someplace? Oh and--Where do I take it?

Here's a before & after picture I found on the internet. 
Which one invites clear thought and enjoyable play? 

So today I struggle with this elephantine task. I hope to report success by the end of the year.

How do you tackle cleaning out? Or how do you stay on top of it every day?
I'd love to hear your experiences and tricks.

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