The Santas have been gently placed in their appointed bins. The lights have been carefully rolled up. The ornaments and angels are now in boxes patiently waiting for next year. Christmas has been put away and the house is now simple and austere, ready for the new year.
Some people spring clean; we new year cleaned. A natural disaster forced our hand in this endeavor, but it was long overdue. Our garage is now full of items that will either be tossed, sold, or donated.
Getting rid of crap is similar to baptism. It is a cleansing of the soul. I glanced at boxes of junk I had moved from house to house that had never even seen the upstairs. Toss! Old dishes we never use? Sell! Bins of old children’s books? Donate! With every quick decision I felt lighter, almost as though I had washed away baggage from the past.
De-cluttering is an ongoing process. Since I retired, I have given away most of my work clothes, and my closet is beginning to look bare. I like it. Just last week I placed four bags, including at least a dozen pairs of shoes, in the local charity bins, and I never looked back.
That’s the thing about simplifying. You rarely have regrets. Once it’s gone, you don’t miss it.
Why was I hanging onto those old pair of boots? I hadn’t worn them in over three years. Gone. No one wants old, musty stuffed animals full of dust. Gone. What was I going to do with these paperback books? Recycle and gone.
After everything was boxed up or placed in a pile, I washed and vacuumed the floors, dusted the furniture, and rearranged a few items. The only thing remaining from the holidays is strand of twinkle lights on the mantel. I love to keep these through the winter to light up the nights and remind me that even in the darkest of times, life is full of sweetness and joy.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify.”
Henry David Thoreau