Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Edit, Edit, Edit

I am sitting here in our new condo that we are renting from my mother-in-law. Last night was the first night here. Most of our stuff is still at our old house waiting to be packed and moved. I am feeling very Zen right now because we have done such a great job with "editing" our stuff for the move. My husband and I have turned into pack rats. We have way too much stuff. On a recent trip to Arizona to see my mom, I was really inspired. Her house is so welcoming and calm. It is free of clutter and everything is organized. I could tell that she had thought about the "presentation" of everything down to even bath towels. It felt amazing to be in an environment like this. For years, my mom has encouraged me to "edit" my stuff. The problem is that I am a perfectionist. If I can't complete a task all the way and perfectly the first time, I just don't do it. This is pretty common with some perfectionists, which leads them to be some of the messiest people. Organizing is tough for me also because I am a very creative, right brained person. When confronted with disorganized space, I actually feel a mental block and don't know what to do...which leads to avoidance.

My husband and I are turning over a new leaf. We want to have more discipline in our lives. We want more than anything to get our finances in order and to stick to a budget. We want to bring order to our lives. Moving has given us the perfect excuse to finally do some of the things we really needed to do. We went through our closet first. My husband and I each donated probably 75% of our wardrobe to Goodwill. We knew that it is unlikely to make much money through a garage sale, so we just donated it. We filled my Explorer with nine huge trash bags filled to the max with clothes. We also donated some household items. We also gathered most of our furniture into one room and it is waiting to be carried away by an auction company. We bought our furniture while still in college and it has been through a lot. It seems extreme to most people to just all of a sudden get rid of a ton of furniture, but sometimes you just have to be extreme! No, we do not have the money to refurnish our house. That is okay. Less is more sometimes. We will gradually buy some furniture with proceeds from the auction. The auction company said we had enough stuff to have an actual on-site auction (if that gives you any idea about the amount of stuff we are talking about). We will not have an onsite auction because we don't have the yard space or parking available that would be required. Guess what? We also trashed a lot of stuff. Yep...just threw it away. Between the throw aways, donations, and auction items, our life is starting to feel much more Zen-like, which is what we so desperately needed. We aren't downsizing because we have to or because we are under some unforeseen financial struggle. This isn't about getting money for our old stuff. This is a lifestyle choice.

I found a great article last night. Number 19 really applies to us right at this moment because it says to "edit, edit, edit." The article also says to treat organization like a lifestyle change instead of a one time thing. Here is a link to the article. http://lifestyle.msn.com/your-home/cleaning-organizing/staticslideshowrb.aspx?cp-documentid=29329062>1=32026&imageindex=11&OCID=LIKE
This article seriously could have been written by my mom, who has sold her stuff at auction a total of three times in her life, and swears by it!

I am doing the same thing in my classroom, which just got moved as well. I threw out tons of stuff and did a complete overhaul. I organized all the supplies that my students use everyday.

We aren't done with this process. It feels too good to stop just yet. As I type this, I am sitting at a card table because we are most likely sending our kitchen table to auction. It is very damaged, but someone who has the time to refinish it and stain it, would love it! I have no idea when we will get a new one, and the funny thing is that I just don't really care.

Who knew that a card table could feel so Zen-like?
As En Vogue sang in the early nineties, "Free your mind, and the rest will follow!"

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I am so inspired by this! I am SUCH a perfectionist and feel the exact same way. I have been trying to secretly give away things since we have moved so that Jason and the girls don't see it go, but it needs to go! Great post!

Lindsay said...

Oh, I am so glad! I should send you a pic of our huge pile of stuff that we are sending to auction. People get so bogged down with stuff. It is like a breath of fresh air to free yourself of "stuff."

Amber said...

I can't wait to see your new place with your stuff in it!

Mom said...

It feels amazing to just let it go. Items do not hold memmories, people do. The more organized your life is the more time you have for pleasure. No more panicked cleaning for guests, packing every last space. Plus clutter is not just physical it is emotional. Avoidance of the future and hanging on to the past. Life is forward motion. Keep moving!