Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lightening the Load: A Bit of Housekeeping for the New Year

so much space. and it's all mine. 
Since moving into the house I've realized that I have a lot of stuff. At times all of it (most of it) has held some value to me, and plenty of it continues to hold value. But a lot of stuff I've held on to "in case I need it." And "in case" hasn't happened yet. Of course, now that I have a house, a tiny part of me is trying to reason that I have all this space - I may as well spread things out! But I don't necessarily need to have to spread out - I like having the space.

But it's also the new year, and I'm feeling a bit like I need to lighten the loads that make up parts my life. That and I like a good method of procrastination from things that should be done, like cleaning, or lesson plans or grading.

A part of the hoarding tendency comes from my reluctance to throw things away that still have some use, or reuse to them. And the fact that I hate spending money unnecessarily. The money part is a big thing now that I have the house although I have always been good with saving money - just ask my parents, and as evidenced by exhibit A (below). While going through a random tub of stuff that had been in storage for several years, I found $20 I'd squirreled away from a long-passed Great Grandmother. And yes, it's still in the envelope.
yes. I received that cash back in the 80s.
there is no shame in saving $20 for a rainy day.
I've slowly been finding ways to make things go away. It's the little things: going through old photos and sorting out the fuzzy ones and duplicates and "what the?" ones (which of course I haven't gotten rid of yet because maybe I could use them for something crafty. . . ), paring down my facebook friends, sorting through web bookmarks, sorting through papers that have been filed away and stored away for many years (do I really need to keep the almost-10-year-old paperwork from taking the guy I sublet a room from to court to get my deposit back?). Next up? Sorting and culling out the clothing collection, and the digital photo collection.

One of my current tasks (read: procrastination at the end of vacation technique) is cleaning up my bookmarks. Going through the bookmarked webpages is a little like going through old photos in that you really have no idea what is there. Some of them I have no clue why I bookmarked - at the rate content is updated, the article I had read or the crafting idea I liked has long since disappeared into the abyss of the archives. A number of them are blogs, some of which haven't been updated in several years. I have saved some bookmarks, pinned others, and deleted a lot - it feels a bit liberating to see the list get shorter.

I particularly liked this post that popped up on a bookmarked blog:
A craft mission to get rid of materials! I certainly have enough craft stuff to weed out, and it fits nicely with my current state of mind. I don't have an etsy account, although it's an idea that I consider sporadically since it's nice to have some extra cash (and I miss the twice-yearly artisan craft show I participated in when I lived on the island). Or maybe I'll get into random acts of crafting, and start surprising people and mail them crafted treasures. We'll put this on the to-do list for 2014.

I have realized how quickly I accumulate things, and I enjoy letting things (not everything, but a lot of things) go. And I need to make a bigger habit of it.

This is not so much a resolution (it is the new year, after all), but a goal nonetheless. We'll see how it goes.


  1. I have found cash in my stash too (usually tucked in the birthday card it came in). Trying to pick one area of my life a month and clean it out. (This month, my wallet. Next month: my office file year the world!) Keep blogging Meg, love watching you from here.

    1. Thanks Nicole! And, sometime we need to do a skype craft date! I like the idea of picking one area of your life each month - seems manageable and easy to accomplish. I found an article/blog elsewhere that recommended finding a space that accumulates "stuff" and decommission it by packing away all the non-essentials in a tub. After a few months, if the tub is unopened or if you've only selected a few "necessary" items out of it, send everything else to a new home - trash, recycling, charity, etc.