Thursday, January 31, 2013


Almost there
It's the final day of the Apartment Therapy January Cure. I'm looking back on a month of riding twin rails: cleaning out used spaces and shedding things no longer used. In the middle of the tracks, I laid a month-long commitment to purchase nothing I don't eat or use up. The month shaped up as fun and worth the effort.
  • Today someone came to buy our unused Robomower. I had hopes of a nicely cut lawn at the back when I bought it 10 years ago. My husband still weed-whacks the wild area bordering the forest two or three times a year. Goodbye mower! (and lawn idea)
  • Someone picked up sewing supplies and asked for more. Their homeschool coop teaches students to sew. (Look, Mom! We're found a home for the stuff we'll clear from your sewing room!)
  • A CL-er is coming for the K-NEX boxes our boys outgrew 2 decades ago.
  • We donated bags of clothing, books, and unused household goods ... three times since New Year's Day.
  • We Freecycled at least one item each day in January.
  • Our adult kids claimed some family treasures we no longer use.
  • I bundled up collectables ("Just the Right Shoe" and Hummels) for resale. The British teapots are next.
A focused being that knows its purpose
So, am I cured? Nope, but I feel like I've ripped off a bandage of storing things I'll never use. I am beginning to heal. Internally, I feel more space for considering new directions of work and play.

Lessons I've learned about tackling excess? How we can reevaluate our life and spaces?
  1. Notice what you have. One minimalist challenged me to name every item in a room and say aloud what its purpose was. "No utility? No beauty? Not adding value to our lives? OUT!" I'm not quite there but I'm looking around. 
  2. Be grateful for every opportunity represented in the stuff. Just don't feel obligated to be everything and do everything you thought you could or should when you brought it home!
  3. Imagine the life you're called to and designed for. Go outside your room (office / house / garage, etc.), take some deep breaths, and maybe go for a walk. Dream about the life you'd ideally be living. Then walk back in your door as a "stranger." Ask, "What parts of my collected life reflects the life I want to live?"
  4. Take out everything and refocus. Remove the contents of a box, a closet, a desktop, a room. Put back only things you really like or need. Trash, repurpose, or rehome the rest.
  5. Focus, through a doorway
    at Cambridge
  6. Rejoice. With each decluttering accomplishment, enjoy the space, energy, and the time you've gained. (You'll need less energy and time for maintenance, cleaning, or rooting through piles of stuff.) Keep looking for ways to pare down. Follow through on giving away stuff ... without regrets. If one day you need that 10th extension cord, borrow one from your neighbor or run to the shop on the corner.
Quoted in Real Simple Magazine
This process works for life as well as spaces: notice with gratitude where you are. Pray for direction and focus.

Serve well. Many routines are imposed at work and home. Beyond that, schedule only things that align with your calling and strengthen your relationships.

Let the rest go. We know that you're not superhuman, but we'd love to see you less frazzled!

Read more:
*It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him. 1 Samuel 3:18

*And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:25-2 

*Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Lord, you promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us when we become anxious about life’s issues. You know what is best for us; please strengthen our faith and trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen 

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