Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Creating Space, Part 5: Paring Down


It's hit that season again: when the sun comes out and casts light on all the dark corners around your house you've been passing by, thoughtlessly, all winter. When you look at your overflowing closet and the little bits of yarn strewn about the house and the books stacked carelessly on the floor, and you think, dammit, I'm going to put this into order!

Two days of cleaning and sorting later, sitting on the floor of your living room at midnight surrounded by a flurry of bank records and receipts for rat antibiotics and doodles drawn on tiny scraps of paper, you start to think that maybe this won't be so simple after all.

You think of the box of ten-year-old cards and school papers in the attic. You think of the garage full of camping gear and electronics. Then you look around at the mess you're embroiled in, and you start to have a mini panic attack at the center of this little volcano of your own making, the detritus of your silly, irresponsible life strewn around you like confetti.

But you forge on, that night and the ones that follow. It's not a pretty kind of forging on, either: the corners of your house, newly lit and dusted, become piled with boxes of papers to shred, bags of old shoes to go to Goodwill. The pack rat in you has a near-constant temper tantrum as you discard books you'll never read, clothes that never fit right, gift yarn that doesn't suit your coloring. (You feed it donuts with sprinkles to make it shut up.)

And at the end of each day, the house still looks like crap - but there begins to emerge a pattern of order and brightness, too: small pockets of color and space, where your newly unencumbered belongings can stretch out their legs and breathe a little.

And each night, you think of that cheerful and almost infuriatingly useful book with less resentment and more gratitude, and you plan another trip to Half Price Books, and you let it be okay that it's not done yet.

Because the journey is part of the experience... or some shit like that.

Happy Wednesday, friends! (Guess what I'm doing tonight?)


Kat Riddell said...

I don't envy you right now. I'm really overdue for some serious cleaning out and organizing, and it all feels so overwhelming right now. I'm glad you're starting to see corners of brightness in your home-it's so important that we make our surroundings conductive to our lives. Good luck, and I hope you find a way to enjoy the journey!

Hannah said...

Cory I know exactly what you are talking about! This post made me smile... we are about to embark on the same thing. The 'not pretty' aspect of getting our stuff together since we will be moving soon. I'm ready to get rid of stuff too!

Good luck and I hope the rest goes well. I'm rooting for you!