Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Clearing out

The first thing I need to do this year, or at least the one that's on my mind the most, is clearing out my apartment. Between stuff from relatives, things I already owned, and my thrift store love, I have rather a lot of stuff. My apartment doesn't tend to get overwhelming, but it is rather full, and does tend towards surface messiness. As a result, I spend more time than I want to cleaning and even working to get rid of stuff.

My hope for clearing out a bunch of stuff is that it'll mean less time cleaning, sorting, and purging. With any luck, my apartment will stay cleaner longer, freeing up more time and energy for the other things on my list that I want to get into balance - work, health, relationships, and so on. In addition, since cleaning is one of my favourite forms of procrastination is cleaning, I'm also hoping that removes one easy sorce of work-avoidance. While it does get messy now, it really isn't all that hard to clean up. It's just difficult to keep clean over time because of all the stuff.

While I don't think I can do this all in one fell swoop, I'd like to get rid of a fair amount of stuff right off the bat this year. However, I know that with my teaching and other work responsibilities, the process will have to be somewhat slow.

But, this isn't the easiest thing in the world for me. I tend to become attached to my things, especially those with happy memories or those given to me by people that I care about. Logically, I know stuff is just stuff, but that doesn't make it all that much easier when facing down a purge.

In addition, I worry about getting rid of stuff because I might want it later. This isn't so much a simple "I might need this someday," but more a fear that I might regret getting rid of something for more complicated emotional reasons (not that I'm necessarily clear on what these reasons might be). I think that perhaps Shari at The Glass Doorknob said it best, in her 248: Thoughts on Clearing Out post.

Go take a look if you want. I'll wait.

In any case, part of the problem is that my apartment gets cleaned when people come over, so no one ever sees the mess. I'm not really accountable to anyone for it's state on a regular basis and, when I am, it's brief. So, here's the plan. When I get home (I'm away for a few more days yet) I'm going to take uncleaned photos of my apartment, and will post them here. It's entirely possible this will be hugely embarassing, but I suppose I can deal, so long as something good comes from it. As I clear out, I'll also take and post photos of how much stuff I'm getting rid of, and the end result. My hope is that with visible doumentation and hopefully people following along, I'll be even more motivated for this project as well as more able to see and track my results as I go.


Bitterbetty said...

I have been doing this too... And taking before pics... I just slowed down.. But maybe if we work together I can drag my hording carcass back on the bandwagon.

what do you say?

Jenn said...

I would be absolutely in for some working together - my self-accountability is...well...pretty well non-existant, and I find other people's efforts incredibly motivating. My photos are going up soon, once I'm home and in reach of my camera again. Do you have any plans for posting pics?

And, while I'm on topic, anyone else interested?