The Purge

I have a confession to make. I am a hoarder.

I wish I could say, “it’s not like those TV shows, like I have stuff piled up everywhere and you can barely walk through the house” but if I’m being honest, I have to admit that there have been occasions and sometimes whole months during which certain rooms of my house were so filled with things that you couldn’t walk through them at all. Did you see my 12 weeks post? It’s bad. I am somewhat embarrassed to tell you that I have gifts that I originally bought for people years ago and never shipped them, so they’re sitting in a box at the bottom of a closet. Until recently I owned a collection of over 50 VHS tapes just because I still really liked those movies and “What if I want to watch them one day? They still work fine!” I keep books that I’ve already read and didn’t even like, because the bookshelf in our master bedroom is organized by color and I didn’t have enough blue ones. And who needs a basket full of hotel-sized shampoo and conditioner bottles? Me, apparently.

Yes, it’s ridiculous. And if I’m also being honest I have to admit that it would probably be much worse except for the fact that  I am married to a very clean, orderly, and minimalist type of man who takes the reins and holds me accountable to at least keeping the living room in a somewhat acceptable state. That’s not to say that the living room is free of my hoard. You’ll still see my bags from last weekend dropped on the floor by the couch, a pile of clothes in the foyer waiting to go to the thrift store or dry cleaners, and an endless stack of mail that I still haven’t gone through.

I am tired of the constant messiness I’ve created in our home. I’m tired of the clutter. The stacks of items that need to go upstairs, mail that needs to be opened, bills that need to be paid. I’m tired of constantly feeling this weight of stuff. In reality, I do realize that I have illogical emotional bonds with stuff but it’s still so hard to say goodbye. I have a hard time watching Blake go through a closet to find items to donate even though the candles he pulled out have been sitting there for five years and those frames in the corner never had and probably never will hold any photos. Writing it out now makes me feel so ridiculous because it’s just stuff. Most of it has absolutely no sentimental connection to any meaningful event in my life. It means nothing. But for some reason, it’s still a struggle for me to get rid of it.

What I’m also realizing is how much of an impact it may be having on my husband. This man, who works two jobs, cooks, cleans, does the laundry, takes care of the yard work, AND shops for the groceries, lives in a home which is just not conducive to relaxing and escaping the pressures and stresses of his very exhausting and stressful career as a firefighter. As much as he does for me and as constantly as he is thinking of how he can make my life better, I have failed to do everything I can to make our home a sanctuary for him where he can come home from work, spend time with his family, and find much needed rest.

So I’ve decided to begin a purging project. Every day, every week, for as long as necessary, I will go through our house systematically – one drawer, one box, one shelf, at a time – and purge until I can purge no more. It’s just stuff. Things. Objects. And it will no longer rule our home.

Why? Because:

1. I want my husband to have a home where he can find peace and rest.

2. I am tired of the time spent and stress of maintaining, straightening up, organizing, and re-organizing the clutter.

3. I want my home to be centered around my family, love, and memories. Not things.

4. As I eliminate the clutter, my hope and prayer is that God would also change my heart, change my emotional bond to these meaningless objects, and decrease my internal need to have more meaningless objects.

Throwing away perfectly good notecards will be hard. Donating shoes I haven’t worn in three years will be hard. As silly as it may sound to you, this whole process is going to be really hard for me. But I’m going to do it anyway.

For myself. For my husband. For my family.

 

Updates to come…

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Comments

  1. Good for you! 🙂

    Mysimplerlife.com has a very handy declutter calendar 🙂

  2. I love that you are doing it because you want your husband to have a peaceful sanctuary to come home to. That’s love, to put the the other’s need above your own.

Trackbacks

  1. […] this week, we completed the biggest portion of “The Purge.” I kept my promise and although I didn’t quite make it through every single box, […]

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