What You Can Learn From Your Trash And Mess

Cleaning up is so exhausting. The worst part of it is that it never ends. A week passes by and the mess just bursts forth like a weed, and making me remember vividly, how I made it disappear last week, and the week before that, and the week before that… There’s one good thing about it: repetition can provide valuable information that can also free me from further cleaning and even organizing.

First, lets talk trash. What you continually toss is what you continually use. Knowing this will help you keep a more targeted grocery list. Have you ever thought of it that way? It makes the process more tolerable. At the same time, it will show you what does not work for you and yours. You might continually throw out leftovers, or produce, or moldy croissants because you could not use them all up on time. Finally consider that if a lot of your trash does not naturally degrade, you might be wasting a lot of money through convenience products like paper towels or food wrapping.

Secondly, the mess! Those things that you are constantly picking up, are either used regularly or don’t have an appropriate place to live in. My sweet baby uses many of her books and I constantly have to put them back in their basket. She has a second basket with trinkets that she doesn’t play much with. I can add those to a rotation and if she doesn’t use them when they come back, give them to someone else or donate them. In the same manner, those things that rarely see the light of day, should be reconsidered. I learned from a manager that if it has not been used in six months or it’s not seasonal/sentimental, it needs to go. It truly got to me. How many corners do I have unvisited for weeks, or even months? Being open to bless others with my possessions has opened other great opportunities for me (you can see in this decluttering post).

Finally, your dirty laundry. It doesn’t matter how voluminous your closet looks, it is only as big as your laundry basket. Only those items that visit the washing machine on rotation are the clothes that you should keep. It is a hard realization! I love shopping and fine-tuning my closet. I am constantly removing items from it, and have challenged myself to go further and perform a simple experiment. I have turned my hangers around, and anything that is not turned back/used by the end of the year needs to go. It will be harder during this time because I don’t leave home much, but there is a silver lining: a newly gained perspective of what my life really is, and not what I think it is.

I don’t believe in collecting as a hobby, even though I married a collector so I have to be flexible around it. Many times collections turn into small museums that get dusty and are rarely visited. I have encouraged my husband to not collect in series but to bring home those things he will really enjoy and revisit often. What we use is what we should have. It is so easy to say, and hard to achieve in a society that rewards you for accumulating material possessions. Less is more. Take note of what your regularly activity is telling you and follow it. Everything else is extra.

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