Cleaning House is not House Cleaning

I just threw out a dozen sweaters, all of them too large for me. I recently lost weight, and I’ve had to change my wardrobe. Those sweaters were some of the last things to go.

I don’t even wear sweaters that often but over the years I acquired them. Most of them were gifts from either my mother or my wife. The rest were purchases made by my wife for whatever reason. I probably didn’t wear them for precisely the fact that I didn’t buy them, and thus was not invested in them. Thirteen sweaters and I didn’t buy a single one of them. What am I, a four year old?

So I’ve been cleaning house. It has accelerated since my weight loss, but had actually started a couple of years before, after my father died.

When he passed, and my mother left to go live with one of my brothers, my other brother and I cleaned out their home. Most of that was brutal, because there was so little left that was of significant value to be salvaged. We trashed great deal. I was shocked about how much miscellaneous stuff a closet can hold

After that ordeal, I was intent on not living with miscellaneous stuff any longer. I had many, many useless things in the basement, and I began a process of throwing away a bag of stuff every week. I did leave a few things that I intend on selling on eBay, but I haven’t gotten around to that, either, and now I’m thinking I just need to trash that stuff too.

My daughter did a good thing this weekend in cleaning out her room. The one problem is that she piled the stuff she didn’t want in the hallway, and it actually spread so far and wide that it blocked our doorway. So tonight I spent a few minutes putting all that stuff in a trash bag. My wife still wants to sort through it, but I’m all for trashing it.

More than once the past couple of years I have had the thought that what I need to do, that what would make me happy, is to throw away all the old stuff. I’m surrounded by clutter and chaos (still!) and it really bothers me.

At work I’ve been better about spending a little time each week cleaning off the piles of stuff and filing what is important and then trashing that which is not important.

At the moment I have no joy in this. I really want to look forward to when all the stuff (I don’t want) is gone, and I can live an uncluttered life. In fact, at the moment, I’m just exhausted and falling asleep at the keyboard. With luck, I’ll dream of that uncluttered life.