I’ve been swearing – for years now, it seems – that I need to do a big clean out of the apartment. Living here for over eight years and frequenting thrift stores as I do has led to the accumulation of a lot of stuff – piles of books, clothing, cookware, dishes, and all manner of other bits and pieces. Since the apartment isn’t huge, this has meant that not everything really has a place of its own, and things get messy and disorganized really quickly.
Although I’m going slowly, I’ve already started the purging process. At the end of April, I took 14 bags of donations to the thrift store – two of clothes, two of housewares, and ten of books. (I didn’t think to take pictures, which I now kind of regret – the pile was impressive.) While I’m a little embarrassed to have had so much to get rid of and that it barely made a dent in the stuff around here, I’m also really pleased to have it gone and moved on to a charity that will benefit from it and other people who will use it.
This is, however, just the start of the process. One of my summer goals is to do a good bit of the decluttering that I keep saying that I need and want to do, but never really get around to. My starting goal is to get rid of a quarter of what I own. It feels a bit ambitious, particularly for someone who has a tendency to hang onto things, but I suspect that aiming high is the best bet. Even if I fall short, I still get something accomplished. On top of that, I find that as I get going the process becomes a good deal easier.
The other side of the coin is that I’m also bringing in less. I got into a bit of a thrift store habit last year and I’m consciously avoiding that now. Being out on my bike a lot meant that I was passing thrift stores pretty regularly. Stopping for a bit of a browse became a common thing. Admittedly, I got some pretty lovely and useful stuff – handmade pottery, wool blankets, a tomato sauce maker, and many great books – but I have enough and I certainly don’t need any more right now. While I haven’t stopped going entirely – there are still a few specific things on my wish list – I’m being a lot more selective about what I choose to spend money on and bring home.
My ideal is simply to have a home that is a good deal tidier and more organized and that functions better, particularly in light of some of the projects I’d like to work on this summer. I have a lot of things that I want to get to work on and having a space where there’s actually some room to work and that’s easy to tidy up would be a real boon. On top of that, the nicer home is to be, the more time I spend here and the more relaxed and productive I am. I spend so much time here that putting the time and effort into making it a good place to live is very well-spent.