When Cindy passed away, I tried in vain to fill the empty void in my life with stuff. I bought autographs for my collection, jewelry, clothes, decorative items, and other assorted stuff. Oh, and let’s not forget championship belts. My championship belt binge is legendary!
Given the fact that Cindy and I had been addicted to stuff when she was here, and it had gotten worse when she passed and it’s easy to see why my house bears a striking resemblance to a warehouse or a storage shed. It’s packed! TV executives could use this place to film a remake of “Sanford and Son” if I cleared it out a little bit first.
The clutter was not only causing hazards when walking around the house, it was starting to weigh heavily on my emotions. Clutter drives me crazy and here I was living in it.
THE BREAKING POINT
A few weeks ago, I started noticing that my tolerance for the clutter had reached an all-time low. Even things I loved, like my championship belts, were not bringing me joy. It really is true that sometimes “less is more.” When I had a few championship belts, I loved them all greatly. Now, I have many, most of which are exquisite and top-of-the-line, but they don’t mean as much as they used to. I go days without even looking at them other than passing glances as I walk by.
Then there are the TVs. Two people live in my house right now, but we have four televisions (not counting the ones that are just sitting in a spare bedroom collecting dust). How foolish and wasteful is that? I bet I don’t even watch three hours of television a week, so why do I need so many sets?
Don’t even get me started on clothes. My closet is packed with clothes. First, there are Cindy’s clothes that I have not been able to bring myself to get rid of, then there are my clothes. I have clothes that I have literally not worn once in the nine years I’ve lived in this house.
The fact of the matter is that the clutter is really getting on my nerves. It is robbing my of my ability to relax in my favorite place in the world: my home. That’s when I knew I needed to do something. The fact that Deborah and I are planning to combine our homes in less than a year meant that something had to be done QUICKLY! But how?
DISCOVERING THE HOW
Eliminating clutter is a fine idea in theory, but it’s not something with which I have much experience. I am mush better at acquiring than divesting. I am an accumulator of things, not a disposer. I tend to form emotional bonds with inanimate objects and find joy and pleasure, albeit quite temporary, from the acquiring of new things. How am I going to ever be able to part with my stuff?
I am a book junkie, just like Cindy was, except she read fiction for pleasure and I read non-fiction to learn things. Well, it would be more accurate to say that I listen to books. My Audible audiobook account gets quite a workout. I listen to audiobooks while I’m in the car or otherwise occupied.
Recently, I picked up an audiobook called “The More of Less” by Joshua Becker. I’ve attached an affiliate link to it with this article. The book contains a lot of good information on becoming minimalist and reducing clutter.
The author does go on quite a few tangents and, after listening to the first five chapters, I found myself asking, “Will he ever get on with it?!” Eventually, he does “get on with it,” and the information is well worth the wait.
If you have trouble reducing the amount of clutter in your home, I strongly recommend this book.
MY PLAN OF ACTION
I have decided to just jump in and get started. I am making an effort to sell my car and just keep Cindy’s. Her car (which is now mine, I guess) is 7 years newer and a hybrid that gets amazing mileage. My car just sits in the garage. I’ve sold one of the TVs and a few of my championship belts.
This weekend, I will be packing up a load of clothes to go to Goodwill. Once that’s done, I will reevaluate everything in this house and pare it down to just what is needed and important. I will be choosing quality over quantity. I know it will not be easy and I fully expect to “grieve” as some of these things go, but it is an important step in reclaiming my home from the evil clutches of clutter and chaos.
I will keep you posted on how the “declutterization” of the house is going over the months ahead. So far, I find it oddly liberating with everything I’ve parted with. Let’s see if that trend continues as we go down this journey.