I’ve been cleaning house lately. And I don’t mean cleaning up, I mean cleaning OUT.
This is a picture of an empty hallway, which is usually teeming with coats, boots, mittens, backpacks, etc. It didn’t stay this empty for long, but it has a fresh coat of paint and it’s a little more orderly.
I went into my laundry room the other day and in 20 minutes filled up a giant contractor size trash bag, big enough to hold multiple bodies but in this case, just holding junk. I had to stop myself before it got too heavy to drag outside. I’ve got about six shopping bags of clothes sorted out to give away. I’ve jettisoned books that I never wanted to read in the first place. I’m trying giving away furniture. I’m admitting the truth about the projects that I’m never actually going to finish anyway and they’ll be relocating to the curb.
I have started a pile in my garage, which will eventually need to get sorted into trash, recycling, and transfer station stuff, and then my trash guy, Louie, will come with his truck and roll his eyes at me because this is not the first time he’s removed piles from my garage. I think he wonders how I manage to build up this volume of unwanted, unneeded stuff in my house. I wonder about that, too.
After a clean-out I never miss the the things that are discarded. I don’t have pangs of regret for a sweater that I never wanted to wear anyway, or a book that wasn’t worth finishing. I wish I could get into the habit of culling things down all the time, rather than just giant annual purges. It would make it much easier to take out the trash.
I love the feeling of clean and tidy spaces, with nothing more than what’s necessary hanging around. (Matt disagrees, but that’s a post for another time.) My friend Shannon is the master of clean spaces and actually has empty cabinets and closets at her house. Empty cabinets! So jealous. She saves one or two favorite toys or books, for example, instead of the myriad boxes and bins that I somehow fill up. I’ll think about her later this summer when I actually have order. For about two weeks.