Inspiration · Life Changes · Month 1

Month 1, Days 6 and 7

Day 6: Today I cleaned my vacuum cleaner. You didn’t really need to know that but my day unfolded very much like an “If you give a mouse a cookie” plot. Having your vacuum fail at its one job {vacuuming} leads to cleaning your vacuum, cleaning your vacuum leads to scrubbing the vacuum debris from your sink, cleaning your sink leads to washing the dishes piled up, washing dishes leads to freeing up your large 12 quart pot for boiling water to deep clean your cloth diapers, pouring the large pot of boiling water into your washing machine leads to exhaustion and thirst so you get a drink, getting a drink leads to realizing you have some ick in the shelves in your fridge, actually looking in your fridge leads to pulling out all contents of the fridge to clean and disinfect everything, etc. By 5pm I realized that I hadn’t actually sorted through an area of my house to purge anything {expired condiments from the fridge don’t count} so after Charlotte went to bed I dug around in the coat closet {where my day had originally started from when I pulled out my vacuum cleaner}. I discovered 11 tote bags, 5 unmatched gloves, 4 bags of old bubble gum {???}, and 2 wraps/carriers for what seems like long ago baby Charlotte, and several other odds and ends.

Today’s totals: 7 tote bags, 3 scarves, 2 hats, and 1 infant carrier {which will be going to a friend who is due with baby #2 soon} = 13. I’m not counting the bubble gum {again…????} or the unmatched gloves because I think that’s cheating.

Day 7: Today I tackled Charlotte’s bathroom and the linen closet. I pretty much threw away anything from under the sink in her bathroom. What is left now are a few dog grooming supplies, cleaning supplies for that bathroom, and a fire extinguisher. After a bit of emotional/mental wrestling I ended up putting a soap dispenser and a ceramic tissue box cover in the donate pile as well. I haven’t used them in over a year but it was difficult to get rid of them because my Nana gave them to us for a wedding present. In the end, though, I made a mental list of all the things I have from her/that remind me of her and prioritized them {The Christmas dishes that she hunted down for me and the Maine tourmaline she had re-set for me in a necklace that I wore on my wedding day right after she passed are at the top of the list… bathroom decor didn’t make the cut}.  The memories of her are more important to savor than any object… so I let them go.

The linen closet wasn’t so bad either, since I had only recently gone on a rampage through the medicine bins {my kidney doctor had originally speculated that it was a possibility that my kidney failure was due to use of Excedrine during my college years. Of course we now know differently, but I have purged almost all pain killers and medicines from our house as a result of doing more research in that area}.

Today’s totals: a lot of trash {mostly old cleaning supplies: I’ve recently simplified and green-ified our cleaning to eliminate chemicals}, 1 set of twin sheets, 1 muscle heating/cooling pack, 2 pillowcases, 1 tissue box cover and 1 soap dispenser, 2 hand towels = 8

This concludes week 1 of Month 1: Possessions. I knew it would be easier at the beginning because I have so many things to choose, it’s easy to pick 7 things to send packing {and most days so far I have purged more}. I’m exhausted, though. The first few days occurred while Chris and I were both off of work for the holidays. Easy peasy going through bins when your better half is keeping the grabby and destructive 16 month old occupied. Now that we are both back to work I have run into 2 problems: 1) time to sit and focus on purging each day is hard to come by, 2) more than once my purge piles and my keep piles have been re-arranged while my back is turned. “Was this to be donated? Did I decide to keep this? I should probably keep it just in case.” I have no willpower.

Just a note for all you folks out there who are joining me in this or keeping up with this just so you can see all of the wretched hoarding that is taking place in my home and then feel better about your own home: I have decided {as Jen did in her book 7} to restrict clothing purges to week 1. Let’s face it, I have so many clothes I could purge 7 items each day for a year and not run out of clothing. That may be slightly exaggerated, I did the math and that would be 2,548 pieces of clothing. I doubt if even altogether Chris, Charlotte, and I have over 2,000 items and accessories, but let’s just say that we do and run with that feeling of guilt deep in the pit of our stomachs.  The clothing issue needs to be dealt with, clearly, but this month is not just about beating my need for fashion awesomeness into submission. These next 7 months will be about battling excess in all areas of my life, with this month’s focus being on purging excess possessions. Not just clothing, a few nicknacks here and there or the usual ‘yard sale’ purge, but truly looking at the items I choose to surround myself with and making those things few, meaningful, purposeful.

Few. Meaningful. Purposeful.


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