Outer Order. Inner Calm.

From Gretchen Rubin

I feel like I’m seeing references to shopping bans, decluttering, and minimalism everywhere (see here, here, here, here, and here).  Well, you know what they say.  If you’re seeing the signs, you should probably pay attention to them.

If you ask Renaissance Man, I’m a hoarder.  That’s not 100% true.  I just have a habit of gathering items for a specific purpose, and then never letting those items actually fulfill their purpose.  I’m great at starting new projects and hobbies, but I kind of suck at finishing them.

For example, I have no less that 10 books in my house that I’ve purchased to read but haven’t.  An unfinished puzzle sits on my dining room table.  I’ve been working on the same cross stitch pattern since I was pregnant.  There is a pile of decluttered items in the spare bedroom that I haven’t decided if I should sell, donate, or trash.  A unopened box of kitchen storage containers, extra pitcher, and spare toddler food are stacked on top of my refrigerator.  I have a box of college t-shirts that I’m saving to make a quilt.  I think you get the idea.

So what?  Why does it matter?

Because I’m starting to realize these things cause minor stresses in my life.  And these minor stresses culminate to form a constant buzz.

The stack of books gives me anxiety because they make me feel like I’m not spending enough time on myself.  The dining room table is the first thing I see when I enter the house, immediately reminding me of tasks to be done.  The unfinished cross stitch pattern is preventing me from moving onto to a hobby-business idea I have.  The “decluttered” items in the spare bedroom are preventing me from having the carpet in that room replaced.  The items on top of the fridge are a sign that I’ve run out of cabinet space, which leads to a lot of frustration when preparing or cleaning up from dinner.  The stack of t-shirts represent fond memories relegated to a shelf.

My goal for May is to focus on completing just a few nagging tasks.  My hope is that by wrapping up these unfinished projects, some of my minor anxieties will start to disappear.  And since I want to make sure not to induce even more stress by creating a lengthy list, I’m keeping it short and interjecting a task that’s just for fun.  These are my goals:

  1. Declutter my kitchen cabinets, KonMari-style
  2. Hang the outdoor baby swing (currently sitting in my dining room floor)
  3. Get all of the “decluttered” items out of the house
  4. Read 1 fiction book (no learning, just fun)

I’ll check back mid-month to let you know how I’m doing, then do a wrap-up at the end of May.

Continue the conversation…

Have you also noticed the deculttering/minimalism/shopping ban trend?  If so, how has it affected you?  Are you good at finishing projects that you start?  What are your goals for May?



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