When I stated my goals for 2019 I did not talk about organizing or curating. Yet as January unfolded, and Marie Kondo graced Netflix, I began a whole purge process.  (Blog friend Chrissy set a goal to get rid of I think 150 things, and if I remember correctly, she reached that goal.) And I will tell you- I feel so much better. Letting things go really helped my whole mindset.

I began this year worrying about my Dad and his cancer treatments- which is going very well.  He’s a champ in all ways and proceeding as expected, if not better. I also had the worry of my daughter and the whole college thing, which is also going better than expected. But the thing these two have in common is that the results are out of my control. I can not do anything to make either situation better: I can read, advise, but in the end, the decisions are not mine to make.

You all know that I hate being out of control.

So I began eliminating things from my closet. I now have an incredibly manageable number of clothes so I spend less time choosing what I am going to wear. But here’s the funny thing: I feel better in my clothes. Everything I own I love. There is never a day that I don’t feel confident in my dress. I met up with my writing friend G the other day and she said “Wow you look great.  What did you do?” And I jokingly replied that my kid getting into a school she really liked helped. But it was also because I actually loved what I was wearing. If you love what you put on, you have a greater shot at feeling happy.

The outfit you love doesn’t have to be expensive- I was wearing a moderately priced sweater and pants, and a pair of sneakers. It was not fancy or crazy, but just pieces that I feel comfortable in and make me feel good. And obviously, I don’t have much anymore, so you really don’t need clothes to fit in one of those oversized walk in closets. Does anyone need that many clothes? Do we really need walk in closets?

I also began going through personal items. I slowly went through every drawer and every shelf. I took the items out and did a Kondo dump: everything on the floor. And then I held each item (though I did not thank anything- sorry- I just can’t thank my old mugs and such even though Marie looks so cute when she does it) and decided if it held a purpose in my life. If it did, was it a memory, or a useful item? And then I seriously determined where it should be kept so that it was either accessible, or could be stored as a personal treasure. I found I was getting rid of at least an item a day. I just kept a box under my dining room table and once a week I drop things off to be donated.

I have not missed one item yet. And I can find things easier- which is saying a lot because I was reasonably organized to begin with. I began thinking of how I stored things and putting the most used items in accessible spots.  I curl my hair with curlers about once a month, yet I had the curlers in a prime spot for a short person, and I had purses (bags, pocketbooks, what term are we using this year?) which I use weekly on a high shelf. Duh. How had I not thought to put things in better spots.  I have a very small bedroom which is totally function over form, yet I rearranged some things so that I now have things that are aesthetically pleasing to me in sight. It is not fancy or expensive or a sanctuary, but it does make me feel good, and that’s all that matters. I set it up to please myself, because happiness comes from inside. Sure, outside things effect you. Your parent has to go through radiation, your kid is stressed, your husband has a work situation which is ugly, your taxes went up. But you have to figure out from the inside how to be strong- you can’t control life, but you can work on how you feel.

By getting rid of material distractions I am finding I can focus on things better. My rewrites are getting better because I have the mental energy to think about what I want to happen in the book. Less stuff means less cleaning.  Is there anyone who wants to clean more? More focus, less triviality means more time to enjoy life.

I want to enjoy life.


29 thoughts on “An Unexpected Goal

    1. Thanks! I had no idea how much stuff was stressing me out. It doesn’t mean we can’t have nice things, it just means we should surround ourselves with stuff we love

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I had about five mugs that we never use, and I was always complaint about how there’s not enough room to store mugs, and I thought seriously…I can get rid of them!! It’s so simple and straightforward, yet it took me so long to realize it

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, love this. I think I need to watch that on Netflix and do the same for my house lol. I’ve been getting better at “de-cluttering,” but there’s always stuff I put away thinking I’ll need it in the future or it means something when in reality, I don’t need it. And also…. less cleaning?? I think we ALL need that! 🙌🏼

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    1. Exactly! And I still love to look at pretty things, but it doesn’t mean I need them in the way! And seriously…less cleaning. Such an unexpected bonus!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I am a periodic purger from way back…never thought of it as a form of ‘control’ but you know, I think you’re right! It is one thing I/we can control and often (for myself) it helps to purge while in the midst of life’s many uncontrollable situations!
    So sorry to hear of your father’s cancer –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. So far he’s responding well! I never realized it was a form of control until I was doing it this year, and my whole mindful goal jumped in, and I realized why I’m a compulsive organizer…because I can control it entirely!

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  3. That’s exactly how I feel. Yes I did get rid of 150 tems and I’m 43 items into my next 150. I’m so glad I took the time. I feel better. My writing is better. I feel great when I look at the things I organized. I’m really proud of myself (and you). I really didn’t think it would make a difference but it did. Good for you! Ting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can relate. Definitely a form of regaining control. Last weekend I was really a mess mentally because of Grace being sick and I decided to clean up my office area, which is in my dining room. I felt so much better! I emptied out a rolling 3 drawer filing thingy and threw out most of it, old computer related stuff that is just obsolete. I feel bad throwing out items that used to be useful but I am pretty sure we will never use those 3.5 inch floppy disks or old printer cables or that old TI adding machine. hahahah! As for clothes, I do that fairly regularly but I think it’s time again. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better and happier. BTW, my sister is in NYC today visiting. 🙂 And, wait , are you writing a book??

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    1. Alas, a little wet in nyc today, but only mildly chilly! Yes, working on a novel, slowly but surely. There’s something about organizing that makes it so much easier to think and get in the right mindset

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I couldn’t thank each item for before getting rid of it either. I keep some boxes in my bedroom for things I don’t want anymore and when it is full, I donate it. It is helpful if your partner is on board with these purges. Clothes is one thing but the minute I try to get rid of something I don’t think is necessary, my hubby says it’s something he uses all the time. What’s a girl to do?

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  6. Yeah, we were moving at the time that Kondo cutie tidied up Netflix. Which didn’t seem to help SNZ at all. Purses. Boxes and boxes of purses. Seems her Mom, a woman of taste and means, springs for the current and costly, then decides Susan (SNZ) would be better served with whichever clutch, tote, or signature knapsack vogueing. How can you say “thanks” but adios to Mom gifting. As for a multitude of coffee mugs, that same SNZ took to pottery about three years ago…need I say more.

    Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting post. I’ve never thought of decluttering as a form of being in control. I think of it as something creative that brings more space and clarity into my life. Different motivation, same result, of course.

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    1. I only thought about it as control when I went on my recent purge. I realized that I alone decide what to keep and what to give away, where to store it, how to store it. It’s a small piece of the world I can master

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  8. So glad you are feeling good about letting go of things. I watched the first episode and haven’t watched any since. I know I need to purge but can’t bring myself to thank every item. I might get there, just not there yet. Congrats on the school acceptances for your daughter, and thoughts and prayers for your Dad. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I love Marie Kondo though. It’s funny, her show was much more about the psychological than I thought it would be. She is motivating though!

      Liked by 1 person

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