My out-with-leather epiphany was merely the start of a chain reaction in our shift towards minimalism. As I removed all the leather shoes, coats, belts, handbags and gloves from my closets, I couldn’t help but notice the sad, cluttered state of affairs that remained in my drawers, closets and cupboards. On the face of things, with the closet doors shut and cabinet drawers closed, things didn’t look too bad. But hiding behind these closed doors was a surprising amount of useless and/or unnecessary stuff.
And beyond the closets, I took notice of the abundant furniture that filled every room. And the artwork covering nearly every wall. And the open shelves and bookcases that were filled to capacity.
We moved into our current home in 2000. We had gotten rid of a lot of stuff prior to that move and had begun life in our new home with a fairly clean slate. But, our current home is twice as large as the old home, and, as the boys grew and hobbies blossomed, we slowly began to fill the open spaces with a variety of toys, electronics, furniture, art work, books, and other ‘stuff.’ It was a gradual, almost imperceptible, filling of the available space.
As I began to look around our house with fresh eyes, a dawning realization began to creep its way into my awareness. To my surprise, we were effectively living in a state of clutter overload!
Honestly, as I surveyed our home, I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. And what I saw filled me with a sense of both hope and dread. The dread came from realizing how much work lay ahead, and the hope came with the awareness that I couldn’t wait to get started!
The time had come for some good, old-fashioned clutter-busting…