Stuff and Things and Hello Spring

Even though the air is still crisp, there’s a warmth in the sun that wasn’t there a few weeks ago. Spring. I adore Winter but it’s always nice to welcome back the sun and watch new growth unfurl in the garden.

Over here we are slowly rolling our way through our things. Packing boxes labelled “study” and “memorabilia” and “books”. Bag upon bag of things we no longer need going to family, friends and the op shop. As a last resort when things are in no condition to donate or sell, they are going in the bin.

We are a family of five. We have lived in this house for ten years. Eight of those years have included small children.

We have a lot of stuff.

I always knew we had lots of things. For years I’ve talked about my efforts to declutter, to clear, to minimise. I’ve read books like this and this and this (although she lost me when she said my handbag has feelings). But at the end of the day, I honestly don’t know how to stop the flow of stuff coming into our house. I can’t throw things out fast enough to keep up with it, and even when I am getting rid of things I can’t help but feel helpless at the mere fact that that thing even exists in the first place. If it’s not at my place, it’s somewhere else on the planet. I’m already feeling nervous about Christmas… The neverending cycle of stuff is certainly something I want to work on when we are in our new home. The thought of having to go through this process again at some point in the future is terrifying.

Nevertheless with all this shedding of clutter, the change in the air is palpable; we are between seasons both metaphorically in our life, and environmentally. I was given this quote the other day by a friend who I respect deeply:

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. 

This is true of so many things. The quote was given to me during a discussion about change, and my reluctance to let go of the home we have lived in for ten years. Of the tortuous way in which I trail through memories and lose myself in clouds of nostalgia for days at a time. Change does not come easily to me, but this quote has made me think of change, in this instance at least, as necessary in order to allow the next phase of our lives together to blossom.

So I will slowly continue the sorting and the cleaning and the shedding of layers (and layers and layers) of our belongings, and as I move through the motions it feels like I’m also shedding layers (and layers and layers) of mental clutter too. I love the lightness this creates in our home and in my mind; the space, the clarity.

For there is some sense of clarity to be found in times of upheaval. You just have to know where to look.

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