Thursday, February 5, 2015

Clearing a House Full

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Photo courtesy of my toddler

With our big move coming later this year, my husband and I have already begun looking at our stuff. What do we want to take with us? What don’t we want to take?

Our house is too full right now and neither one of us wants to go into the new house just as cramped. We want to clear things away, save only what we use and love.

We agree we want to get rid of a lot and I am pretty good at being ruthless with my things. The problem for me is that I find it harder to purge with a family.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it isn’t just me to consider when getting rid of something. Just because I don’t use and love something doesn’t mean they don’t.

The second is that as much as my husband says to get rid of things, he panics when he sees me getting rid of things. Many times he has seen a clothing item that I am donating and he has pulled it back out of the bag and said, “But I like you in this!” One time I tried to get rid of duplicate kitchen tools (ladles and spatulas and such) and he thought it was “okay to have more than one. Besides, they’re small.”

I don’t mean to pick on my husband. He is a wonderful person. And when he is ready to get rid of things, he is pretty darn good at it.

The point is we live in an overstuffed house with a family of four. As much as I would be perfectly happy going room-to-room and purging everyone’s stuff, I think I might make some enemies. So for now, I am going to keep purging the things that I feel are in my domain.

I am reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Her method, dubbed KonMari (a variation of her name), entails decluttering majorly in one fell swoop, category by category, then putting away what’s left, making for a change so profound you are likely to keep your home in good order moving forward.

Last night I KonMaried (can you verb that?) my sweaters, my old office work clothes, and my pants. That filled two bags. This morning, my husband saw those two bags sitting in my closet. His eyes grew wide, his jaw slacked a little.

“What are those?” he asked.

“Things I’m getting rid of. Don’t worry about it,” I said.

“But what if there is something I like in there?”

I gestured around my closet. “There are things you like everywhere. It will be okay.” Then I gently pushed him out of my closet and told him we were doing his closet next.

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