Saturday, 24 September 2011

Four weeks: Looking back; moving along.

Yes, I abandoned my Four Week de-clutter project. I wasn't inclined to write another post explaining why I didn't de-clutter that day. More importantly, I was spending more time blogging about de-cluttering than actually doing it. I decided that a Four Week project didn't necessarily require daily posts, but when I stopped posting daily, my motivation dropped too. So no, I didn't completely de-clutter our home in four weeks!
I did, however, do some more active de-cluttering during the Four Week period. More on that in future posts. 
In the meantime, I've noticed a change in me. De-cluttering is becoming instinctive. 
When I wear something that's uncomfortable or worn-out, it doesn't go back into the cupboard. My donation pile keeps growing, as does our garbage. It feels wasteful to get rid of usable things but it's a relief to be wearing clothes that fit, without holes or stains. I'm also less likely to bring home unsuitable things.
I keep spotting housewares that we aren't using or enjoying, and adding them to the give-away pile too. Some of these objects are sentimental. I tell myself that the memories will survive without the objects, but I wonder if that de-cluttering tenet is valid. Even if my memories remain, will I access them as frequently without these reminders? Does that matter? 
Case in point: my Pillsbury Doughboy cookie jar. Strike one: I rarely bake cookies. Strike two: it's not airtight, so I don't use it even when I do have cookies. Strike three: my kitchen counter is tiny and this is taking up valuable real estate. On the other hand, it's charming to me, and I smile when I remember that I won it in a Knights of Columbus Father-Son Golf Tournament. I'm not a father or son; I'm not even Catholic! But my father-in-law injured his shoulder and invited me to golf in his place, along with his two sons and his nephew. It was so nice to be included. And I was delighted to bring home the Doughboy cookie jar. I don't feel ready to part with it after all! Oh, dear. This is so not the purpose of my clutterbuster blog. :-)
On the other hand, it could make someone else happy, and I could add it to my 100 things we no longer have page...maybe even with a photo... How sad is it that I'm devoting this much thought to a cookie jar? 
What this thought tells me is that the cookie jar is special to me as a symbol, not an object. 
First, it's a nostalgic reminder of my childhood -- of my mother baking Pillsbury Crescent Rolls with us! How happy that made me. I feel so totally loved in that memory. (And no, I actually don't think that feeling was created by Pillsbury marketing.) Well, I don't need the jar to preserve that memory. 
Second, it reminds me how much my father-in-law matters to me. How much I want to feel included in my husband's family. That being the case, I should act accordingly. I don't need the cookie jar for that either.  


  1. Hi, I read your comment on my blog - thank you. Your post is one of the reasons I decided to start writing again. Thank you:)
    Please stop by the blog sometime, meanwhile, I will look forward to reading about the de-cluttering!

  2. Lol to spending a fair amount of time thinking and examining decluttering. I am in the same position as you in that I have improved my habits to getting rid of things on a daily basis. Clothes are fairly easy for me now, the cookie jar would be hard for me too though. Truth be told the hardest thing for me to get rid of is toys. Lots of associations and guilt there.

  3. I love it. I could feel the ride of your cookie jar thought-waves. ;) That's how some clutter has always been for me, and probably always will be. I'm planning on moving again and wanting to downsize just a tiny bit. It's been funny how little has actually left though. :)