Out with the old: doing some spring cleaning

John went to visit an old friend for part of the Memorial Day weekend, so I’ve spent some of my solo time combating my clutter.

I tend to be something of a pack rat, but ironically, I also really enjoy having a clean, uncluttered home, so I’m always a little at war with myself.

I have some of my dad’s “But I might need that some day!” frugality. Even if the odds that I ever will need that thing are low, I feel guilty casting it off. Similarly, if something is broken and I will almost certainly not fix it, my inclination is to keep it because I could fix it.

I’m also a bit sentimental. Items of clothing remind me of times I wore them, gifts remind me of the people who gave them, souvenirs remind of the places I bought them.

Several years ago, I read a great book called Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui. The author wisely observed that you can keep your memories without holding on to the physical item. If you’re the kind of person who likes to flip through scrapbooks (I’m not), maybe you can put some goodies in a box to reminisce over, but it doesn’t mean I love my mom less because I got rid of the little satin angel she bought us 10 years ago.

In a New York apartment, we can’t just pile up our crap in the basement or garage — we have to live in and around it. It’s a great motivation to realize how little physical stuff I really need.

How do you deal with clutter?

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Categories: home and family, lifestyle

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1 reply

  1. I loved that book. It didn’t really have much to do with Feng Shui per se, and more to do with the mental fog of clutter. Great read.

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