Clearing Out

Back from 3 days away, and in the count-down to having a new baby around, M & I are stepping up our decluttering. Our goal is to create space for a new baby – physical and emotional – and free ourselves from the burden of extra STUFF that will absorb our energy. More things = more time to sort, more effort to clean, more to move around, and more in the way when we move.
The afternoon I returned I started by pulling another stack of books from my shelves that I don’t want or need. I also put in one section most of the books I haven’t read yet so I’ll have a consistent place to go when I want something new. The two additional bonuses here are that that section will likely thin as I a) realize that I will never read a particular title, and b) read and get rid of those books.

We also sorted through a lot of things in the shed – some are going to M’s sister, who has a 2nd hand store; some to give away; some to use in the rest of the reno (but now clearly designated so, and put in the attic for easy access) and some for other people/projects. Then M took pictures of the new things we’ve found to sell, which I’m going to upload and advertise today.

My mom brought over some additional glass canning jars, which we’re using to store all our pantry goods (we are working to get plastic out of our house as much as possible). As we get things into jars, it becomes clearer which jars and goods are excess, so we’re also producing a more streamlined pantry with easier access. Yay!

I also did another clothes sort today – some clothes to get rid of, a box of maternity clothes I was given which didn’t fit, for give-away and some others which I bought but which never worked for me to sell. I also piled my “to sell” books in a sturdy bag and will bring them by a bookstore tomorrow for appraisal. We also passed on some caffeinated tea to my mom, as we don’t really drink or serve much that has caffeine in it.

Finally, we had a phone call when we were in the middle of Fame about the couch & chair we’d listed for sale. A young couple came by about 15 minutes later and bought them. It was a big of a shock at first – no couch?! were we too hasty with this one? – but now we’re very glad about it. The cushions were shrunken, and though it was smelling okay, we had to air it out a lot last summer to get rid of a cigarette smoke smell (yech – the worst!). Now we don’t have to think about it again, we have more space, and it feels good.

I can see that this trajectory will be hard to stop. Eliminating and streamlining is addictive. Less = freedom, focus, prioritizing our time and attention. Less also = a bit more cash, which is currently going into the baby’s long-term savings/investment account. And as we buy less, too, less money flows out of the house each month – important, since my monthly income will drop in half as I go on EI.

Overall, I don’t know how much of it is my personality and how much hormone-induced nesting instinct, but clearing out and organizing what is left is creating a more peaceful environment for me to welcome our child and spend the first few months with him or her in this space.

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