The calendar may say December but my mind is on spring today…spring cleaning to be more specific. Every year, as the holiday season approaches, I find myself feeling smothered by all the miscellaneous “stuff” in our lives. The urge to purge becomes overwhelming! I usually find myself on a de-cluttering rampage this time of year. One would think that with my regular purging routines our house would be bare. Amazingly, the “stuff” continues to creep and sneak its way into our lives. With the gift-giving season drawing near, I sense a desperate need to sort through our current belongings, removing unwanted, useless, dirty and broken items to make room for the new “stuff”. (Hubby, if you are reading this, you might want to hide away some of your precious possessions because nothing is sacred around here!) Hubby thinks I sometimes go overboard, but I can honestly only think of one or two things I ever regretted sending off to the goodwill shop.
Of course, avoiding the acquisition of “stuff” is truly the answer to all of my frustrations. This year, my husband and I are not exchanging Christmas gifts….nothing, zero, zip! We made a pact and I hope he lives up to his end of the bargain. I have absolutely nothing hiding in the back of my closet to pull out at the last minute! The little ones are getting a few special things, all of which are well thought out and made to last. I’ve been sorting through their current belongings, setting aside items they have outgrown or completely destroyed (!!) in order to make room for their gifts.
Last January, our family’s new year’s resolution was to question every purchase. Our plan was to achieve three goals: reduce spending, reduce clutter and limit environmentally damaging consumerism. I’m a pretty frugal and self-disciplined person, but it is so easy to fall prey to the limitless temptations. I have good months and bad months with this one! I have a weakness for wool, evidenced by my ever-growing yarn stash. The best defense against my consumer cravings is to steer clear of the stores. As soon as I walk into a shop, I inevitably discover all sorts of wonderful things I didn’t even know I desperately needed and wanted!!
With Chi-Chi and Muffy underfoot 99.99% of the time, my cleaning efforts are moving at a snail’s pace. The old me could conquer every nook and cranny of the house in a day. The new mommy me is approaching the task with baby steps. My goal is to declutter one cupboard a day! It may not sound very ambitious, but my little Tasmanian devil certainly makes the process a bit of a challenge.
“Question every purchase” will be back on the list for 2009. Yikes! There is certainly room for improvement!