Clean Sweep

I’ve been on a cleaning binge for the last couple weeks. I’ve purged closets, storage rooms, my backyard shed. Everything. Well, almost everything – I have half a storage room, my spare room closet and under the kitchen sink to go.

I had too much unused, unusable stuff. I don’t consider myself a neat person. My tables get cluttered with bills and empty envelopes and my counters get stacked full of dirty plates and empty cracker boxes on a regular basis. I’ve found that the trick is not to have stuff hanging around to clutter the tables and counters. Apparently, I hit a wall in July and decided I was getting rid of anything that could possibly be seen as clutter.

That suit in the closet that I haven’t fit into for two years? By the time I lose the weight it will be four years out of date. Gone. The blender I got from my mother-in-law that’s sat on the shelf in the storage room for 2 years? Gone. The kitchen table and four chairs in the basement that I have no idea why we moved in the first place? Gone. Boxes of tax returns going back to 1989? (Yes, 1989 – I have kept every tax return I have EVER filed. And I’ve carted them from house to house since I left home which is… at least 6 moves. This is what a pack-rat does. I can’t tell you how much enjoyment I’ve gotten out of my new shredder.) Gone.

Granted, all of this did cost me a little money, mostly in wardrobe replacement. But for the sake of my wallet, I’m counting that more as an investment in clothes that fit and are stylish so I don’t embarrass myself when I got out in public. The shredder was a necessity when getting rid of so many papers with personal information on them. And I may, down the road, realize that I do need a blender. However, since I’ve gone without using one this long, it’s unlikely.

So what is the benefit of this binge?  My house feels much lighter. I don’t need to paw through things I don’t use or need to get to the things I do use or need. Everything inside these wall has a purpose. Either a practical function I use often or a decorative one I actively seek out or admire. The twenty-four cups and saucers I got from my mom (who got them at a cup-and-saucer shower when she got married 40+ years ago) all get used on regular basis AND they look nice on display in my china cabinet. It’s easier to clean. And to balance the cost of the new clothes and the shredder, I’m getting tax receipts for the bigger items.

Now I just have to keep from filling the house with new stuff.

Are you packrat? A minimalist? Or in between?