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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Clean-Up

This fall, in addition to cleaning up fallen leaves and sticks in my yard, I am doing some interior clean-up. And unlike the never-ending chore of raking leaves, interior clean-ups actually have a conclusion and a visible result.

Recently I gave away a really nice glider chair. It had belonged to my parents, who rarely used it, and then to my dad. After he died, I agreed to have it shipped to my house because it was a nice chair and nobody else wanted it. Unfortunately, I never had a good place to put it, and it ended up in a corner of my bedroom. So I finally decided it needed to find a new home.

I also took a car full of miscellaneous 'stuff' to a local thrift shop run by an animal rescue group. There were clothes, a pair of Russian crystal candlesticks, a dream catcher, jewelry, a set of matching coffee cups and saucers, and a variety of other things. And I still have a stack of books to donate to the local library book shop.

I like to get rid of things, to declutter, although it never seems to make my house look any less full. But I've been giving some serious thought to moving to another state, perhaps as early as next year, so I am motivated to lighten the load. After all, why pay to have things moved, only to get rid of them in my new town?

I like to know that my no-longer-wanted items are given to organizations or people that can use them, so anything that is usable goes to a non-profit thrift shop, coat or shoe collection for the homeless, etc. Knowing that my things are helping someone else is a good feeling. I have never missed anything that I gave away, nor have I regretted disposing of something. Once it's gone, it's gone. I feel mentally 'lighter' after unloading items. I guess it's similar to the feeling I get after having my teeth cleaned every six months. 

 I know that spring is the traditional time for cleaning and decluttering, but this fall is an opportune time for me. Next on the list to be decluttered is the pantry, which is stocked with a dozen or more boxes of cereal waiting to be donated to the next food drive. Not much will be thrown away, but a general reorganization definitely is in order.

An added incentive for me to get rid of things is a possible relocation, perhaps as early as next year. No decisions have been made, but I am doing research, talking to people who live in the state I am considering, and checking out housing prices. There is no need to pay to have stuff moved, only to dispose of it in my new location.

Even if I decide not to move, it's always a good feeling to have a house and garage that are less cluttered. I believe that we need to declutter our lives from time to time, getting rid of surplus or unneeded possessions, and getting rid of people in our lives who aren't there for us, or who behavior or words bring us down. I try to surround myself with upbeat, supportive people, and have ended a friendship that caused me more stress than enjoyment.

We don't need people who are a hazard to our health (physical and emotional), attitude and happiness. My daughter learned this lesson the hard way. After several years of dealing with a friend's drama and jealousy, she ended the friendship. She, and I, are much happier with this constant source of irritation and frustration in her life. Similarly, I ended a relationship with a woman who verbally abused me and many other people, and who manipulated and took advantage of me. Again, am I much happier without this constant source of irritation in my life.

So don't limit your clean-ups to merely getting rid of old clothes an d shoes. Sometimes the best clean-up we can give ourselves is removing negative people from our lives.