Amy: As the day began, anxiety over jumping fairly blindly into this thing, was still flying pretty high. I have a very difficult time parting with anything that has a story tied to it. Maybe that’s because I am notoriously forgetful and distracted, and I fear that the memory attached will be gone with the possession. I’m that way with photos, too. I get queasy when I think of all my thousands of pictures. Yet, deleting a photo of my kids with a variation of facial expression that they may never show me again, is so sad for me. I know it is a bit crazy and a lot obsessive…and if you know me well, that’s no big surprise. I know it is time to stop holding so tightly to stuff and to what is past. It will free up my hands to grab more of life…and more of right now. It is time.
Niki: I must admit, I’m the one hiding away from my emotions about all of this. I think I am struggling because they are all over the place, and I can’t wrap my brain around it. On one hand, I am terribly excited: so excited for the feeling of having clear horizontal surfaces that are easy to dust, excited for closets where sheets and towels don’t fall out onto my head, excited for a husband who will be much happier when he can actually get to what he wants in the garage. But on the other hand, I realize that to get to that point of clear horizontal surfaces, organized (not over-stuffed) closets and an uncluttered garage, I must get rid of things. Not just my husband’s and my kids’ things, but MY things. Things I have held on to for so long hoping that if I just kept them around a little longer they might come in handy OR they might come back into style. I realize this is going to be hard. As you’ve heard us say before, the hard moments are going to be the ones that help us grow the most. I have to keep telling myself that I will not get to experience that feeling of a no-clutter home (and a no-clutter life) until I make those hard choices and let go of some things…or many things, in my case. Here we go. Wish me luck.
Amy: So, Niki and I have decided to tackle this beast somewhat systematically and we are starting with our ground floors and working our way up. Today we tackled our downstairs mudroom/closets. While the photos may look a little overwhelming, in the end, Day 1 wasn’t bad. Admittedly, there was nothing today that tugged at my heart strings. Most of the coats, shoes, and gear were things that are either needed or easy to let go of. Here are my before and after photos (and yes, that’s a shower in my closet):
Learn more about Amy’s Smackdown why here.
Niki: I realized this was not going to be the hardest closet to tackle because it is not one where I tend to keep sentimental items, nor is it a quicksand closet: one that sucks in anything within a ten foot radius. Fortunately for my first day, it is a closet with only shoes, adult jackets, gloves, scarves and winter hats.
While the “Before” and “After” pictures don’t look drastically different from one another in terms of amount of stuff, the piles of items that didn’t make the cut tell a different story. I pulled aside a pile for Goodwill. That pile had some fleeces I’ve been hanging onto for years even though the sizes are entirely too large for me. What was I hoping? That I would someday grow into them? Golly…out they go! Then comes the pile for Baby Kate. Kate is my pseudo niece who gets all girl hand-me-downs. The Recycle pile is my fave! The broken practice putter machine will be taken to the electronic recycling station while the shoes (which are too beat up to see another pair of feet) will go to Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program and find a new life as a track, playground or tennis court. The hardest pile for me to accept is the Trash pile. Trust me when I say those shoes have no life left in them. While I can’t bear to send things to the landfill, I’ve yet to find some way to recycle non-tennis shoe, non-wearable shoes. In the end, I think it’s safe to say I made a dent in that closet. More importantly, it was so gratifying and I can’t wait for tomorrow’s victim…the infamous junk drawer!
Learn more about Niki’s Smackdown Why here.