Although I really missed my little family while I was away in Sydney, I admit I also really enjoyed the peace and quiet for a couple of days. When I was alone, I didn't watch TV. I didn't listen to my iPod. I didn't use the internet. I didn't even watch movies on the plane. I read and I walked and I slowly started to de-clutter my over-cluttered brain. Having that time made me aware of how my clutter at home (and oh, there is so much clutter!) is causing me stress. I came back prepared to tackle it, mindful that I need to take it in manageable steps to ensure I'll follow through. I really am a hopeless pack-rat and pile-maker. Entropy could be my middle name, and fighting one's nature is tough!
My baby step today was a surface clean of the living room while Wee One was happily zoned into watching Die Maus. Although I have always loved photographs and am a big believer in displaying them to make my house a home, today was the first day I realized how cluttered all those frames seem. We also have a huge passion for books. We've gotten rid of hundreds (yes, you read that correctly), but even our heavily-weeded remaining collection seems hefty. One day, we hope to have a home with full walls of built-in bookshelves, but until then, what to do? And what dust magnets! I'm not sure what I'm going to do to rectify this book/photo sticking point, but I had to smile as I worked, thanking Grandmary for the quote:
"I don't mind if you write your name in my dust,
but for Pete's sake, please don't date it."
Today, I've gotten as far as dusting and vacuuming the living room, which made me start decluttering things in there (rediscovering the coffee table was a huge bonus!). I moved a lot of things out, but that means those things are now in a pile somewhere else (waiting to be moved, sorted, ignored?).
I realize that I've been letting myself live in limbo in this house since the mushrooms grew out of the carpet in the study just over a year ago. We waited for almost a year for the owner to fix that room, and then we realized even "fixed" it was still not useable. Then, we started looking for other houses and I stopped thinking about how to live in this one. Despite its myriad issues, this is still the nicest (and biggest!) house I have ever lived in. There is so much I could do with it that I'm just not doing. The biggest (and currently missed) opportunity is having my own craft room. We actually have the space, but I hesitate to make the changes I want/need to make because that will make it harder to move when that time comes; on the other hand, the alternative is this limbo living that is oh-so-unsatisfactory.
Of course, now that it's written down, the answer seems pretty obvious. I have my work cut out for me.