We live cluttered lives. It seems to be an inherently American thing, that there is just always so much stuff around.
We are forever trying to get rid of the extra stuff in our house, and yet as soon as one bag goes out, another seems to come in. And even when we finally get a handle on the physical trappings, our minds are always moving, never slowing down.
The other day I spent a few glorious hours at the spa. As I sat in the sauna, reveling in the quiet surrounding me, I attempted to create a quiet in my mind as well. But I couldn’t clear out the thoughts, as one task after the other popped into my brain, just as soon as I was able to quash the previous thread.
Maybe this is the curse of a busy person, of one who thrives best when they have multiple projects pulling them in every direction. As much as we say calm, calm, calm when we close our eyes, the fact is that most of us can’t keep our ideas at a low enough simmer that we can get to sleep easily. This may or may not be why I tend to fall into a blissful nap when the baby goes down for his.
Over the years I’ve become an extremely organized person, writing down lists upon lists and obsessing over organizational furniture. (I am an IKEA pro.) I use Google Calendar and a paper calendar, the latter of which I write tasks into each day. And then sometimes write those same tasks onto the next day. And the next, until they get done.
Writing everything down helps me keep my mind a little less cluttered. More Zen. Just like when I empty a dozen hangers in the closet, or clear off a section of the bookshelf.
Have nothing that you do not believe to be useful or beautiful or both.
The way I tackle clutter, I try to apply to my whole life. Filtering. Removing what agitates me. Leaving room for growth.
It’s hard letting go of some of those things. I’ve let go of some extremely personal things to make way for my family to bloom, to grow into its own. Every day it’s hard, and yet we can’t go running back to what we’ve removed from our lives. There’s a reason it had to leave in the first place. A single sheet of paper becomes a mountain if left unchecked.
Those little boxes on the to-do list are more than just boxes. Sometimes, they’re what keep us afloat.