Friday, July 11, 2008

american clutter

There are days when I want to get rid of 80% of the stuff I own. I go through this purging process, weeding out--trash, goodwill, yardsale, ebay--but I feel like I only actually rid myself of about 5%. It's especially bad recently and has brought on a new level of anxiety. I don't know if that's because of the opening of boxes and the realization of how much we actually have, or if it's b/c I haven't gotten everything organized so there's not yet a place for everything. It makes straightening up difficult, and I find when I'm done there are all these little piles of things that don't have a place to go. I wonder, if I just swept them up and dumped them in the trash, if I would miss any of it.

Then sometimes I accept that this issue w/ stuff is an ailment particular to my station in life: I am american, I am middle class, I have kids. The last has certainly changed my relationship w/ clutter. Before kids there was less, certainly, and I also had more time to manage it. I haven't yet figured out how to quell the onslaught of toys that enters this house. Sometimes I want to give away half of them and suspect my daughter wouldn't notice, and the rest of the time I just contend with it and wait for the day when the kids have outgrown them and I can pass them on. This goes for kids clothes too, but they seem to be more manageable as they fold and pack away. My clothes are another issue that I do not know how to address. I have pre-pregnancy clothes, maternity clothes, transition clothes. It makes me tired.

Will I one day have the strength to get rid of the vast vast majority of it and live a simpler life? I hope so. But, honestly, it's doubtful. I'm trying to lean into the reality of my life, give in to the tide and relax. Maybe the answer is to not let it get me so anxious.

No comments: