I’ve been doing some serious decluttering in our house. I mean, we’re talking I’m deep in the throws here. I’ll get started and if I’m really into the task at hand, I won’t come up for air for hours. For each item, I either: a) keep it (I’ll have to figure out its permanent location later); b) trash bag it; or c) Goodwill bag it. I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I am attempting to follow her method, albeit her encouragement of speaking to inanimate objects is a little strange.
The decluttering I’ve done so far has resulted in bags and bags of trash at the curb, and multiple trips to the donation center. But I still have a long way to go before I can declare this house of ours to be clean.
After so many years, I can honestly say, wow, we sure have collected a lot of shit. And the items unburied run the gambit from plain boring (I found some insurance claim letters from 1997! BOR-ING!), all the way to fun memory jogging (I found Gerald’s and my YMCA membership ID cards, complete with pictures, from before we were married, but we had fibbed to the Y and claimed we were already husband and wife so we could get a cheaper rate! FUN!).
I happened upon a bundle of mailed Vegas wedding fliers/pamphlets. After Gerald and I became engaged, we toyed with the idea of having a Vegas wedding. We didn’t know if we wanted a big costly to-do and thought maybe it would be fun to run away to Vegas and get married by Elvis or something. This was before standard household internet access so I had sent inquiries to all the wedding chapels the old fashioned way. For any of you youngsters out there, this means I sent mailed inquiries through the United States Postal Service, and then I got responses through the United States Postal Service. And boy did I get responses. Some were simple and plain, and one included a sprinkle of confetti. That one was my favorite.
Now when I came across some old diaries, oh ewww is all I got to say about that! It’s a good thing I didn’t already die before I started this decluttering project. I would NOT have wanted any of my family members to run across my old diaries. Oh, just imagine it, high school girl drama all the way. And then he said, and then I said. And she’s such a bitch and oh my life is so horrible and hard and nobody understands my problems. Oh woe is me! Ya know, that kind of drama. Throw in some shameful teenager/young adult behavior, and that’s just NOT something I need my kids reading about their mom.
Something else that’s happened since I started sifting through all this “past” clutter – How different I am, how much I’ve grown as a person, is more obvious to me now more than ever. I’m so thankful to have matured into this woman who is a pretty decent wife, if I do say so myself. And how cool it is to be a mom. Every once in a while, when I’m hanging out with my sister, she looks at me and laughs, “I can’t believe someone married you!” No worries, I know she says this in sisterly love. And it is funny. If you look at the person my sister used to know 20 something years ago, I can’t believe someone married me either!
I had no idea what awaited me when I first embarked on my journey to a clutter-free house. I can only imagine what else is lurking in that cedar chest, and the other closets and cabinets I have yet to tackle. Guess I’ll soon find out.