Today I am grateful for my pursuit of cleansing my overflow of possessions. I know everyone has been touting the value of Marie Kondo. A friend reminded me of her presence. I knew snippets of her techniques. I love the idea of getting rid of things. “Creating A Space That Sparks Joy” is her motto. I can’t say that has been my focus. My focus has more been I don’t want to have a home so overwhelmed with stuff that I don’t need. I do like the idea of finding joy though. Last year my focus for life was survival. This year my focus is JOY. So maybe I am ready now.
I have been doing a lot of decluttering on my own for the last two years. It is not a coincidence that my real goals began after having to empty my mother’s house once she passed. My older brother wanted me out of her house so he could have the entire house dumped in the trash. My mother and I spoke before her passing and she wanted many of her things to go to specific charities. I am grateful that I stood up for myself and her and worked non-stop to fulfill her desires. I had a short period of time to get done what was needed.
While cleaning out her house, I cried more tears than I knew were possible. Then I remembered many items that held memories of times together. I giggled at some things she coveted. I out and out laughed at some “collections” she had. My mother had a hard upbringing, a difficult life, but I feel she was more at ease in retirement than any other time in her life. I am so grateful that she had a time of peace. I am grateful that I was able to share time with her each month. I am joyous that when possible we would bring my grand kids out to see her.
I am filled with joy that when my step-father passed away she moved to a retirement village where her best friend since she was 12 or 14, growing up lived. They had both traveled across the country from the east coast to the west coast and both ended up in the desert. When they had their “lunches” it made my mom happy. I am grateful she had a friend for so long.
Whenever I clean things out it makes me happy. I do want to keep focused on the joy part now. I began cleaning and purging in my classroom. I spent over a year slowly cleaning out items. But the truth is, summer time is when I went bat-s**t crazy dumping items. I had boxes of items I had stored for over 25 years since I taught elementary school. I had so many things that had not seen the light of day for more than a decade. Every trash can I filled brought me joy without knowing that that is what I was looking for. I admit I made piles and piles of books that I later sent to some family who had friends home schooling their children. I sent a multitude of books to family with young children. Sending books brought me joy. It makes me smile to know that I had reached a goal I didn’t know I had.
Last summer I did a huge purge of toys and books from my garage. I blogged about that before. My garage is carpeted for grand kids and dogs. No cars have ever ventured in to my garage. It has furniture and supplies to do art, play games, play with toys, and read. There were two huge storage cabinets filled with toys. Now that the garage was no longer filled with another person’s home contents I was able to see what was there. So I sent off toys of really good quality to nieces and cousins. I then sent an email to my staff with photos of items to see if anyone wanted anything.
So now my garage is cleaned out, my attic is cleaned out, and my classroom is mostly cleaned out. I went through all my DVDs, my linen closet, and all my books these last few months. I cleaned out my fabrics and notions. I am grateful for all the material things I have given away and donated. I am sad about the multiple things that were removed without my permission. The more I cleaned the more I realized what had been taken. I did not do the procedure of touching things before keeping them or giving them away. Maybe I would have purged more if I had done that step. I know that I still need to go through my bedroom closet. There are many things that I don’t wear and that don’t bring me joy.
I have cleaned my kitchen cabinets but still need to go through them once again. I also need to go through the bathroom cabinets. They are a mess for sure. So my goal is now to find joy by decluttering the rest of my spaces that need it. By June I hope to be freer and lighter in my spaces. I know while the process may be difficult the result will bring me joy.