Decluttering books are all the rage right now. Without much thought you could probably list off at minimum 5 books focused around this hot topic. Some of these books do a sweep of all at once get rid of everything you are not using, other books walk you through steps to clear out the extra a little at a time. One thing these books all seem to have in common is that they are all about the stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, I have found many of these books to be extremely helpful when I am feeling on the brink of never throwing anything away, but I always seem to get back into a funk. I even read through a “magical” book but honestly didn’t find much inspiration in the long run, the methods just didn’t flow with me. I think my needs ran deeper that just the physical stuff I would see laying around.
I came across a book that was due to come out from a blogger that I had been reading a lot from recently. I wasn’t entirely too sure on what to expect to get from the book but I loved her previous work (Living Well Spending Less 12 Secrets of the Good Life), I immediately put the new book, Unstuffed, on pre-order and waited. Well honestly I am still waiting right now because it is due out on April 5th. Ruth Soukup has provided me with a lot of inspiration on her blog as well as in her books. You may recall I took her Spend Zero Challenge in October (not the best success for me but I learned a lot!). I was so excited when the opportunity arose to apply to be a part of the book launch team, even more thrilled when I found out I was actually chosen! I received an early released advanced reader copy and I dove straight into it.
Clutter is more than the physical stuff that lays in piles and heaps on the floor. This book walks through not just the decluttering in your home and cleaning the excess (Unstuffed Weekend Challenge, anyone?). In a second section you walk through what is cluttering your mind. Too much to get done, yup checking this box on my list as well. The third and final section is for your soul. Friendships and wellness. End of book, I am refreshed and ready to go. Actually I worked through a bit as I read. I cleared my email in box of all those articles I thought I would get to, pulled clothes out of the closet I am just not loving anymore, and working more on the relationships that mean the most to me and fill me up with happiness.
One of my biggest takeaways from this book is that you are in constant work on maintenance when you are “stuffed”. As I work towards unstuffing my home, mind and soul I am finding so much peace with letting go. From the very first page I felt that Ruth was writing so close to my heart that I wasn’t sure how I would get through this book without tears. I read the first page, a short poem about stuff, and then stopped read it again then handed the book to my husband. His response, ‘Yup, that is you!’. I love stuff, my stuff, I can find a personal connection to anything it seems. This makes it hard to let go of. I am working on that, trying to see stuff as stuff and the connections in my heart rather than to stuff.
I decided to let this journey of unstuffing take its sweet time. We always have a large community garage sale over the summer so I have slowly been adding to my pile of things to sell. I do not feel tempted by the things kept in my garage set to be sold. My kids have a harder time when they see a few items but overall it is a great place to set things aside. Normally I do not just pack up and send the un-purchased items to donation center after the weekend is over but I have already told myself and my husband (accountability) that I will be sending a load off this year. We have a goal to clear the clutter by the end of the summer and reclaim the garage for garage things and the basement room will become more of a play room for the boys. Setting this goal has already relieved a lot of stress in trying to fit it all in some place and now I look at the stuff much more in a do I need this, will I use this way.
I have also been working on clearing the clutter digitally and virtually. I have worked on cleaning up my e-mail and now my inbox is under 10 items and they are all to-do items that should be completed within the week. New emails are addressed as quickly as possible and I try very hard to keep that number under 10 by the end of the day. I have set times where I allow myself to scan through the emails and take care of them, and I now find I am unsubscribing to even more than before.
As in introvert I do not find that I say yes to too many events in general, so I am instead concentrating on focusing more on the relationships that mean the most to me. I am finding new ways to have special time with each of my children, and I am working on making sure that my husband and I get a chance to have a date night more often. We are often overlooking the time we need to be able to just be with each other.
I am so excited for this unstuffing journey.
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