The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Way back at the beginning of the year, I mentioned an idea a friend had to help get rid of the extraneous stuff that accumulates in life. She suggested that we take on getting rid of five things every day. That’s all. Just five things.
This is the time of year when I start sorting through the goals I made for this year to see how far along I made it in terms of actual accomplishments. I know many others will be doing the same as this week goes by and there will, no doubt, be lots of blog posts about resolutions, goals, and commitments.
One of the things I started doing a few years ago was establishing a theme for the year. One or two (or three, if necessary) words to define what I hope to accomplish over the year. For 2010 the theme was: Simplify.
I have not outwardly done as well as I hoped to when I set out to simplify my life. The past two years have brought a lot of transitions (birth, death, marriage) and it occurs to me that 2010 brought an inward kind of simplicity that will help me along the way in 2011 when my theme will continue along the simplicity path: Declutter.
There are some things I can and have easily removed from my life. “Fat clothes,” because I don’t want to go back. The kitchen gadget that seemed like a good idea when I purchased it but was only used once or twice because I found that doing things by hand is quicker and simpler. Items that are worn out and need replaced. Getting rid of that sort of stuff is uncomplicated and relatively effortless. Donate, recycle, or throw away.
There are other things I have had to learn to release. Books are a good example. I have been known to hoard books. This past year I’ve given away a lot of books, and plan to keep giving them away in the coming year. I finally realized that most of the books I’ve kept over the years, carried around from move to move, are not books I will be reading again. There are millions of books I haven’t yet read and life seems to be getting shorter as I get older. It’s time to read and enjoy new stories, and even new ways of telling stories, while allowing others to enjoy the stories I’ve already read.
Not as easy
This year, I think, will be about learning how to let go of the sentimental. There are things I cling to because they represent people and/or or events from the past. If I make use of these items, they are part of my present and there is no reason not to keep them. Many items, however, are tucked away and ignored until I start sorting and decluttering. The tablecloth my mother crocheted. Craft projects made by my sons when they were children. Cards my husband gave me over the years.
Some of those things can be given away to family, friends, or even strangers who might want and use them. Others I have plans for in terms of my own art. Repurposing. It will be both fun and interesting. The key is to make sure I do use them in some manner. Otherwise, I may end up back at start with boxes of stuff I’m saving for a future day. In other words, hoarding. Not on a horrific scale but still, it’s hoarding.