SUMMER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER HERE ON THE EAST COAST
The rain has backed off a bit, and the heat is reminding us all how grateful we are to live in a time of air conditioning. School is behind us, except for those like myself that experienced the horrors of having to attend Summer School, or those that do homeschool year round. Even so, Summer just paints a wonderful picture of laying on the beach enjoying the peace and freedom of the sun, surf, and sand. Especially if you were able to stick to your diet and workout regimen you planned for yourself. As DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince once said:
“Summer, Summer, Summertime… Time to Sit Back & Unwind.”
The truth to summertime is that unless you’re a teacher, life continues on pretty much as usual for those of us not in school anymore. We still have to get up and get the kids ready for daycare or Grandma’s, work, cook, clean, and a hundred other things that need to be done everyday. Don’t forget that with summer comes yard work. Some live for the lawn and some, like myself, would happily pay others to make it pretty. I know that soon my kids will be old enough, and strong enough, to take care of the yard work for me. It will be during this realization that I will never go outside every again, and the mosquitos that seem to only be attracted to me in a crowd will die without my life nourishing blood in their freaky little bodies.
The only thing that seems to be different for those in the world of the 9-5 working family is that with summer, comes vacation. I don’t know about your family, but the tradition for my family growing up was a trip to the beach on milepost 9 in Nags Head, NC. My grandparents on my mother’s side owned a converted mobile home about a mile from the ocean, and it was pure bliss. No phone, cable tv (this was the 80’s & 90’s), and usually a handful of cousins to just go crazy and have fun. The hardest part of it all was the packing and unpacking, yet, I didn’t fully understand that chore until I grew up, had 7 kids of my own, and decided to go to a closer beach for the day. Between the packing, food, towels, toys, setting up, monitoring 7 children like a hawk, and finally packing up and driving home, only to have a tire blowout halfway there, your hard earned vacation becomes harder than your normal day-to-day. Still, you do it for them.
But that’s only what… 2 weeks?
Maybe 3 if you’re lucky. What about the other 8-9 weeks that go on as usual? How about you use that time to dig yourself out of clutter? Now, you might be thinking, “I just went through the nightmare of spring cleaning! What’s left?” In fact, you may have done it twice already. Once just after Christmas, when you stored away your Christmas decorations, dusted for the first time in months, and placed all of your original decorations back in their normal place. Then again during Spring Cleaning when you pulled out the summer clothes and put away the winter clothes. What’s left?
Well, unless your house is exactly like you want it, everything else.
Most of us have an image or idea of what we want for our house, and it just depends on where you are in your journey as to where you are in your dream home. A young family with 5 kids may be more worried about the constant cleaning up of the breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, than they are a new coat of paint or minor repairs. That same couple 30-40 years down the road may have a perfectly organized house but are dealing with constant repairs due to the age of their home. The mindframe that I’m trying to install is that while we will forever be cleaning and repairing that which gets dirty or broken, we don’t have to live a life that is constantly dealing with clutter.
Let me say that again.
WE DON'T HAVE TO LIVE A LIFE THAT IS CONSTANTLY DEALING WITH CLUTTER!
The eternal problem that comes with trying to process through all of our clutter is in the emotional ties we have with our material possessions. Getting rid of things that you don’t want or has expired is easy. Milk that’s old. Boom! Thrown away.
The top that was given to you by a gossiping ex-best friend. Gone! But what about your only child’s baby clothes that you’ve held onto with a mind to make them into a quilt 5 years ago? What about the dishes from your grandmother that you never use but are taking up all of your precious cabinet space? She wouldn’t want you to get rid of them, would she? Books you think you want to read but don’t. Projects you think you want to work on but don’t. All of these things, and many more like them, are the foundational stones for clutter and they can have a hold on you that’s far greater than you would ever expect. You love them, but they cause you stress just by being there. What do you do to get past all of this stuff?
To get past this, and into a clutter-free home, it’s best to bring in help of someone that can bring a third-party perspective to the things holding you back. Imagine having someone there that believes in you, motivates you, encourages you, and holds you accountable in getting your home to where you want it to be? Most are shocked when they find out they could have their home clutter-free in anywhere from a week to a month, but it’s true! Many, have such a hard time thinking they can get rid of the stuff they cherish, but it can become a reality with the push that a coach can provide. It’s that space between “enough” and “enough is enough” that you admit that you want your house to be like the ones you see on Pinterest!!! That takes time, that takes work, and it takes someone to support your through it all.
Why not use this summer to dig yourself out of clutter? Set up times to sell things online (we love facebook classifieds), hold a neighborhood yard sale to have a bigger spread to attract more customers, donate the things that are good, throw away the things that you’ve wanted to repair for a long time but haven’t. You would be surprised at the options your local waste and recycling service offers. My particular area allows me to call before pickup day and they will come and pick up to a truckload of bulk items for me. Many where I live don’t even realize this is available to them!
All-in-all, whether you take the time to sell it, or just donate what you can and trash what you can’t, it’s not about what’s going, but what’s staying. Focus on what you want, not what you want to hold onto, and come Fall, you could have a home that you want to enjoy for the rest of your life. We’ll drink to that!
Till next time, and as always, sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, is greatly appreciated. I hope you were able to take something away, and I know that there are more that would enjoy this article, as well. It is my heart's desire to see you living a life that's not only clutter-free, but filled with family, friends, and fun. If you find that your belongings are beginning to bring you more stress than joy, and you live in the Richmond, Virginia, and Tri-Cities area, then I would be honored to come to you for a free consultation. You can find out more at declutterplanning.com or check us out at Facebook or Pinterest.
Stay for a spell.