One thing I’ve talked about time and again as I work on my home is this strange dual perception – first, that I have a lot of something, and then that it actually doesn’t take up much room…or the opposite, that I think I have very little of something only to find that I have boxes of it. It’s happened on both large and small scales. The other day I realized that my beads, while I have a lot of them, didn’t actually fill five bins and a toolbox. On the other hand, my yarn takes up much more room than I thought.
I believe that a messy or cluttered person tends to filter things out. As a crafter, I focus on my hands. This is a very narrow field of vision. When I look up after hours of work, I am startled at the mess surrounding me. It doesn’t take long for things to accumulate. When those things are moved, they disappear into the living room or dining room or wherever I was working on them. Then when I clean, they end up in random boxes.
Half of my declutter project has involved sorting things over and over. After the initial clear-out, where I sorted things into the rooms they belonged to, I’ve had to go through finer and finer sorting passes. A bag for the studio might contain crafting, sewing, spinning, and stationery supplies. Those then had to be sorted into their respective categories, and now I’m going through the sewing supplies alone. This is where I have to face how much I have.
It astounds me. I haven’t even found my two favorite pairs of sewing scissors (this tells me they’re in a project bag somewhere), but I have already come across six pairs of sewing shears, including two pairs of pinking shears. I have at least ten measuring tapes. I haven’t counted the packs of sewing machine needles, but suffice to say that it’s a very tall stack. How much money have I spent to replace these things? How much time have I wasted trying to find something I knew I had, without success?
Honestly, though, I’ve never taken the time to go through everything like this. No box goes unopened, no basket is left unsearched. I’m finding projects I started ten years ago, things that went into a box and got shoved into a closet, then moved from place to place. Those projects have contributed to my baggage, both physical and emotional. They carry guilt with them, just like the boxes of unopened mail I tackled a couple of weeks ago. But by opening each one, by emptying them, I absolve myself of that guilt. I can finally shed the things that I don’t love, that no longer mean something to me.
This is the end of the original schedule of cleaning, but there’s still more to do. Because my plan had to be pushed back in places, I can’t stop yet. But I am going to reach my birthday on Tuesday with a deep sense of accomplishment. I can look into my closet and see the floor. I can find every plate and fork in my kitchen. I can have friends visit – and give them a place to sit. I have a gorgeous studio that’s just begging to be decorated and used. My bathrooms are clean, and my bedroom is once again a cozy retreat. I’ve cleared the dining room table, and even gotten a huge start on the man cave. The only thing I didn’t get to do was the basement proper, but I’ve got it scheduled.
I plan to continue the blog as I work, though you may see more of my usual topics creeping in as well. I love blogging every day. It’s been a great focus, and you – my readers – have been a huge help and source of support. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, and especially for cheering me on. I hope you stick around as I finish off the main project and transition into the finer points and maintenance. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the way ahead. And instead of the usual resource recommendation from me, I’d like to hear from you! Do you know of a great resource that I haven’t mentioned yet? Talk about it in the comments and I’ll collect them in a static page for you to access anytime.
Thanks again, everyone. I almost can’t believe I’ve gotten this far.
And since this post has been so serious, here’s something fun. This is photographic proof that my cat actually sat on Lilith’s lap. Yin NEVER goes near people and actually hisses at pretty much anyone who isn’t Dashing or me. But she insisted on climbing onto Lilith that day. I think Lilith’s expression says it all: “HELP!”
Tomorrow, watch for my list of what needs to be done, and maybe a little more about the Studio! Talk to you soon!