Cultivate Theme

My husband and I are pretty good about clearing away clutter. A decade of moving together and making ourselves purge before every one made us good about living simply. When we bought a house, we promised each other that we would still purge often. And in the time since then, we have moved bags of no-longer-useful-to-us stuff out of the house. We hope that our son learns to purge early and often.

And yet, I still feel like there is always a way to get rid of more.

I thought about that nagging feeling - the need to declutter - as I swooped around the house with a garbage bag in hand. I got rid of old papers and broken toys and magazines no one was going to read. I tagged items for upcoming donation drop offs and recycled what I could and by the end of it...the house looked the same. But I knew what I had done, and that gave me an inner boost.

But that inner boost doesn't last very long. And after reading this article about the war on clutter, I think I know why: The goal of mastery over clutter cannot fully be reached. It is a myth. My home will never be completely clutter free...and I have to decide what percentage of clutter I can live with and still be happy.

On the one hand, I am not sentimental about a lot of stuff. Neither is my husband. I think that makes it easier on both of us. Sure, I like our stuff, but should the majority of it go up in a fire tomorrow, I know we would be OK. So, the stuff that we keep is the stuff that we like or serves a valid purpose. Otherwise: It needs to go away.

I realize that this makes me a hard person to give gifts to. Because if I don't have an apparent need for the thing you just gave me, I have a lot of feelings about bringing it into my house. Luckily for me, my husband still loves me in spite of my emotions over stuff.

I'm not sure if I have a point to this post, other than I am thankful that I know myself when it comes to stuff - I know what level of stuff I am willing to live with and have tried not to have an emotional attachment to the things in my life. People over possessions, I tell my son. Only keep what you like, I tell my son.

And I hope (I truly hope) our home reflects that.

Which room of your home do you wish you could completely declutter? Tell me in the comments.

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