Today, I spent almost an hour going through clothes, organizing, folding, and putting them away into a dresser, etc., as well as going through four boxes of books and organizing them better and putting them onto a bookshelf. I have two new small sections of floor visible in my room.
That’s a message I just sent to my brother. Tomorrow onward, I have to spend at least 15 minutes each day, doing cleanup/clean-out in my bedroom and/or bathroom, six days a week. I am reporting the completed tasks to one of my brothers each day.
This has been one of the most difficult things in my life, moving to a near-minimalist lifestyle. We have this bit in our DNA, in our blood, that has us sit as though we need hoarding in our lives. My brothers and I have been intent on freeing ourselves from its grasp. I am the youngest, and have spent the most time with the family who exudes the gene so obviously, so I am the last to reach my own breaking point – I will live free of this. Now, I am simply dealing with my own laziness and exhaustion after a full day of work.
For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to get rid of things. I had clothing, among other things, that I did not want to wear. And yet, I could not get rid of it. Today, I noticed that, if the cashier girl had complemented my bracelet, I would have offered it to her willingly. And this isn’t just any bracelet – it’s one of the natural stone bracelets that I made. I love these bracelets. It is as though I am two different people in these two scenarios. The difference was what happened one day in my apartment.
I was looking around at my colorful explosion of clothing all over my wall bedroom floor. I enjoyed the color and the explosion at first, but I’d wanted it to go away after, at most, an hour…, and it hadn’t, and I knew it wouldn’t. I didn’t even have enough space to store all of the clothes around me, so putting them away just wasn’t an actual option. After some amount of time, I found myself crying, sobbing, really. I don’t want this stuff, I cried to myself passionately, so why can’t I get rid of it? And then the revelation hit me: I would be wasting my mom’s hard-earned money.
My mom was a mom initially, once she started having children. After she and my dad split up, she had to take on a more full-time work schedule, on top of being a mom. And she was a massage therapist, so her work was physical labor. I grew up knowing that the money she earned took a good amount of effort. It kind of was “hard-earned money”. And, for me, if I ever were to get rid of something, I felt to my core that I was wasting my mom’s efforts. And it applied to just about anything I had, whether it had come from her or not. I just couldn’t get rid of anything, because I subconsciously saw it as a sort of slap to my mom’s face, theoretically, of course. That very day, when I found myself sobbing on the floor amongst my clothing, and I discovered this simple fact, I was able to begin getting rid of things. By the end of only a few days, I had two or three huge trash bags of clothing ready for donation. (My cousin went through them first, just to pull out whatever she would use gladly from it all, because we always do that, anyway, and then she dropped them off at the place by where she lived.)
After that week, my struggle has just been laziness. I have a couple decades worth of things that have been living at my mom’s house. I have gone through about 15 years’ worth of boxes and bags so far, and things are really looking up. I have accumulated less and less these past several years, and so I really only have about 7 years’ worth of things left to clear out. I know of, I believe, two boxes in the attic, and an unknown number hiding somewhere in the garage. Otherwise, I only have two and a half small boxes remaining in my room from childhood. The rest of the boxes are from my apartment, and I don’t exactly have a need to be unpacking kitchen supplies, nor getting rid of them, when I’ll just need them all again in another couple months. I do, however, want to verify that I don’t have any excesses in those boxes, though that will wait until I finish getting rid of all of the other stuff, and possibly until I am actually moving, depending on the timeframe.
My plan is to finish things with my bedroom by the 30th of December at 11:00p.m. Then, I’ll have January and February (and hopefully cool weather) to do whatever needs to be done with the garage and attic. After that, I can move to helping my mom with whatever I can around the rest of the house. And then, possibly, grad school begins, and I decide where I will reside.
Anyway, that’s just what’s on my mind right now. I feel good about what I accomplished tonight, though I know I need to take things slowly, which stresses me. If I spend too much time on it all, two things will happen. I will get burnt out quickly, and stop doing things altogether to clean up/out, and I will get too little sleep, and suffer for it. So, as much as I dislike taking so long on all of this, the task moves from daunting to doable, when I split it to 15 minutes a day, six days a week. And that means that I can have it all be happening while I’m still working over full=time. I’m looking for a beautiful and easy transition to January, and that includes a clean, clear, and organized room, with an easy place to work. So, I’m hopping to it, and I have my brother helping me to stay accountable, in spite of my laziness.