That’s how I feel right now.
In preparation for moving (our lease is up on August 14th, as I’ve mentioned more than a few times!), I’ve been cleaning out various areas of “clutter” in our home. Little by little, I’ve been tackling all the big ones: clothes, cosmetics, baby stuff, guest closet, garage, office desk…
I’ve only actually packed a measly 5 boxes (we still have 6 weeks), but I’ve already taken 2 huge trips to Goodwill and filled 4 bags of clothes to give to two teenage girls at church. I also have around 15 items for sale on Ebay (how long have they been running this “list for free” special? I never knew!).
The project tonight? Our grad school and Biola papers.
We should probably take it a little easier on ourselves. Combined, there’s a total of 12 years of post-high school education between us! Naturally, we have a lot of papers, especially since we’ve loved 98% of our education and feel a desire to preserve every moment, every handout, every syllabus, every worksheet….
Yes, the task was daunting.
But we did it together, which made the work somewhat more enjoyable. We discovered some old photos, some cute lovey dovey cards that we wrote each other in college, even *gasp* our marriage license! Hooray!
All in all, these little “cleaning out” projects feel oh so good. In the past, we’ve made the mistake of trying to pack too much all at once. This results in brain overload, which results in lots of unsorted junk and papers getting shoved into boxes, only to be shoved in some dark corner at our new place. I’m absolutely determined that we aren’t going to take a single item that we don’t LOVE into our new place. In other words, it’s gonna have to be pretty special to survive the cut. Why should we waste time and effort lugging around stuff that we could live without?
I may have turned a corner on this front. I used to be a total packrat. Every time I tried to get rid of something, I would start to tell myself why I should want it, even if I didn’t. I guilted myself into keeping all sorts of knickknacks.
Now, however, I am committed to ushering in at least a few minimalistic lifestyle changes. I’m hoping that I can learn to live with less clutter, focusing on simplicity, displaying just a few choice and prized possessions. Because there’s nothing worse than sitting in someone’s living room, surrounded by tons of junk, every available surface covered with some item. No matter how it’s arranged, no matter how nice the items, it feels suffocating. I don’t want that for my guests, and I especially don’t want that for myself, day in and out!
On a related note: I’ve taken this approach to furniture as well. Now that we have an active crawler/almost toddler on our hands, I want as much floor space for him as possible, so I’ve taken to selling every unnecessary piece of furniture on Craigslist. So far, I’ve made us over $400!!! As Jesse would say, that’s a lot of tacos (his currency is how many tacos you could buy with the money…thank God for husbands with simple taste!). Sadly, the money is going to cover moving expenses and bills, but it feels good to have so much open space now!