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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Simplicity has Layers

    I joined a cyber-class a few weeks ago on decluttering and minimalism.  It's led by Joshua Becker and the primary theme is eliminating things that are useless and distracting from your life so you can focus on what is truly important.

    So, I'm going through my house again looking for more items to get rid of.  I will soon have to rename my book - The Journey of 200 Bags.  As I revisit each room emptying every cabinet and drawer and physically touching all of my possessions, I still find a few things I don't even remember owning.  I also find things I bought to try out but they no longer serve me. (I'm talking about you, corn stripper.)  These easily go in the donate pile.  I also find various collections of items that I set aside last time when I was not quite ready to let them go.  Many of these now hold no emotional value or usability now.  Time has proved I am ready to let them go.  Some other items have been set aside again, put on probation a second time.  I am beginning to see that this is a journey.  Each time I go through the process I peal back another layer.  I dig a little deeper and find new value in the process. 

    The other day my husband, seeing me fill up another bag from the kitchen, asked if I was giving more things away.  It was sort of like the time my child asked me when I would be done organizing the house.  The answer is yes, I am still finding things in my home that hold no value for me but might serve someone else quite well.  I am still finding great joy in giving away my excess to help others.  I am still learning to let go.  I am still finding peace in the space and order that is created.  I am still moving forward. 


  1. Your post intrigued me & I just read your whole blog in one sitting! Your "Journey of 100 Bags" is currently the same journey I'm on! After my Mom passed away, I started trying to clean up a little of the clothes as I was the only one who wore around the same size as her & could use them for work. I filled around 6 bags to donate. I returned home to Santa Fe & came back to Alamogordo 3 weeks later for one week. I got busy in the bedroom sorting through the mounds of clothing. I'm completely overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" everywhere. I can now see why mom let it get this way. It's exhausting & quite frankly, why would anyone want to tackle this after a long day at work. We both shared a love of thrift stores & bargain shopping so at least a good number of these were purchased at a discount! I ended up cleaning out the closet completely & a large area of the bedroom. I donated around 30 trash bags to the thrift store & numerous bags to trash. At first I was angry having to go through it all. Mad that my mom was taken so soon. Mad that I had to get rid of so much good things, some even with tags on because either I couldn't fit in anything or I didn't like it. But then I'd discover the tiny crocheted dresses she made us girls, the notes we would secretly leave her to say I Love you or to tattle on the other sibling, her wedding dress she wore 42 years ago, our favorite baby dolls she made us that looked like Cabbage Patch dolls when we couldn't afford the store bought ones. The artwork & stories from school filled bags. I found her cap & gown from her college graduation-a step that helped her & our family. At that moment I was happy I had a momma who saved. All these memories she felt were important to her or us. Most would have discarded. I think part of the saving comes from her growing up in a big military family-always moving & having to share. I did what I could in the week I was home, but it was only a dent. I ended up filling my trunk with bags to resort through & actually try on. I'm now spending my days off trying to organize & go through my own things to try to make room for anything I brought in my small one bedroom apartment. It's hard not to keep things that are sentimental. I wish I could sell some, but that would slow the process & I don't have the time to meet people. From now on, I have to love things before I buy it. It must have a purpose before it comes into the cart & must fit perfectly before I purchase it. I'm like my mom, it's hard to get rid of things, but I'm trying to work on it & it does feel good to give away so much to others. Thanks for posting some wonderful tips on decluttering & it's nice to know others sometimes struggle in this area, too :)

  2. Wow. You are the first person I know of to read my entire blog. Thanks!!

  3. My mom passed away 7 years ago and sorting her stuff has been an ongoing project. It definately fits the layers metaphor. Some things were easy to give away right away. Others took years and many things I will keep forever. It took me four years to be ready to deal with her shed full of art supplies. (She couldn't pass up a sale.) However, when I was ready I found great joy in sending her treasures off to new homes where they would be used and enjoyed. (Biggest art supply yard sale ever.) When it came to her creations I decided to give some away to people who loved her and I kept the rest. Eventually I pared down to just my favorites. I did not need every item in order to remember how amazing she was but this realization took years. For now, keep anything that brings you comfort and happy memories. Your heart will lead you in the letting go process. Blessings and peace to you.