Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magical Moment 350, "Out With the Old, Un-used, and Forgotten"

"The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your 
state of mind." -Wayne Dyer

When we moved from our beautiful, North Carolina, 4-bedroom home (with 2 car garage, huge backyard, and swimming pool...sniffle), into our New Jersey, teeny weeny, 2-bedroom apartment where all 3 closets equal the space of 1 regular sized closet, I knew we would have to make a lot of changes in order to fit. In preparation of the move, we had a massive garage sale and emptied a large portion of our "stuff." When we pulled up in a U-haul to this old, brick, 2nd floor apartment (with a staircase so narrow I have a hard time carrying a laundry basket through), I realized there was even less space than I anticipated. The kitchen was no bigger than a hallway. And the second "bedroom" was barely enough to cram my keyboard and desk into. Undeterred, we made the best of it and excitedly unpacked our belongings, anticipating our new life and careers in Northern New Jersey.

I concluded that if it was important enough to pack into boxes, drive a thousand miles, and unload, then I would just have to find a place for it. As a result, I used every nook and cranny for storage space. I have stuff crammed under our bed, between the couch and the wall, and beware should you open the cupboard above the refrigerator - you may come away with a concussion when the "space for misfit items" comes tumbling onto your head. But after a year and a half of dealing with the frustrating chaos, I now realize, we don't need all this stuff. When it gets to the point that you say, "Let's just go buy a new cooler because it's a dangerous game of Jenga to retrieve our own from the closet," then maybe it's time to do a little de-cluttering.

Today I began the daunting task of going through every single thing we own and making a decision, to keep or to toss. In one day, I managed to sort every single item of clothing Eddie and I own (down to each mis-matched sock and decade old baseball cap), every book that sits on our never used bookshelf (which includes how-to manuals of appliances we no longer own), and extra linens that includes bedding for 2  guest bedrooms. Our 2 guest bedrooms now consists of a fold out couch, and recommendations to nearby hotels.

I sit now in my living room, surrounded by several cardboard boxes and 6 large, black, heavy-duty garbage bags. In the morning the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America), will come to my apartment, pick this stuff up, and take it somewhere where it can be used again.

I know I have a long way to go, this was only 1 room! Being surrounded by dust-bunnies and out-of-date, high water jeans may not sound like a day of magic, but it feels good to make progress. I already feel lighter, more productive, less materialistic, more like myself. My dream of one day using the kitchen cupboards efficiently, and not tempting injury when getting into the front closet may soon become a reality!