Now that we are nearly two months into creating these new habits, we are finding that we have a lot more time and since our daily chores are fewer, we also have the time and energy to tackle some bigger projects. In line with two of the concepts we have been trying to adopt (below), this weekend we tackled our two main storage areas. The two concepts that we tried to keep in mind were:
- One drawer, one shelf at a time (or one room): Everything out, clean the area, organize/thin down the contents before putting only what matters back. Recycle, donate, discard the rest.
- Minimize the need for storage containers: Curb your surplus. Don't have so many possessions that you now also have to possess storage containers.
This weekend we pulled out all of the items in our storage closets (we have a bungalow, so no walk up attic, just a couple of storage areas on the second floor). I had over a half dozen bins of old baby clothes (my daughters', my mother's, my own), old papers from college, a mountain of photos, and even crazy things like coupons that expired in 1994!
Short story here is that we thinned down everything to the point that my main 'memory' possessions fit into one container, with all clothes in another. My daughters' school work is a different story, but our plan is to go through those containers when they get back from a week with grandma up north.
The longer, and more important story, was the joy, humor, and sometimes tears this process brought us. Joe and I both doubled over in teary laughter after he found a very interesting bit of art he made in elementary school. An apple and a worm, and the worm looked like...well, I'll leave that up to your imagination. I laughed when I found those horribly expired coupons, pictures of my dear childhood friends (some of whom were just a text message away as I shared some of the crazy photos and items), and read some of my high school poetry (it won't be shared here, trust me). I cried when I found my grandmother's sweater which I had kept after she passed away just to hold on to her smell. I cried when I found my grandfather's obituary, yellowed and fragile I was afraid to even touch it. The whole experience was cathartic and beautiful. Our storage areas are on their way to being immaculate and organized...but our hearts and minds are full of beautiful memories because of it.