Friday, February 4, 2011

“If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.” ~Lao Tzu

I love the show Hoarders on A&E TV. I love it for a variety of reasons. Whenever I watch it, I am compelled to clean my house during the commercials. That is one reason I love it. My house is not the neatest or the cleanest house. Watching Hoarders makes me feel better about myself because I can see that, while I'd love to have a neater, less cluttered house, it is not as bad as it could be.

And I really do fight an almost losing battle, because as much as I try to keep things in order, my husband is a hoarder. I don't think he's as bad as many of the people featured on the show, but without me around, I know he'd be much worse. And now that he has become self-employed and is working from home, it is getting worse. He's selling on E-bay and though I gave him the built in desks in the front room to use for this purpose, his packaging spills over to the dining room table. And stays there. And stays there. And stays there. You get the picture.

One of the items he sells is fishing lures. So there is a box of lures being prepared for the living room. His paperwork has absolutely no organization. I bought a cabinet for him to file paperwork and keep his records in some semblance of order. But it spills out of his cabinet and slowly creeps along the living room floor like an iceberg. He's also doing small engine and boat repair. So my laundry room has engine parts ALL over it. And oil. Lots of oil. His hoarding has also led to a yard full of boats and boat trailers, old cars, and various other pieces of equipment.

All this mess and clutter is driving me to look at becoming minimalist. I would love to strip us down to the bare minimum of belongings. Yesterday I began cleaning the basement. I got rid of two big trash bags of junk to the dumpster. I have a giant bag of crafting items to take to school for kids to use there. And I have a giant stack of items to take to Good Will. Cleaning and de-cluttering always makes me feel like a weight is lifting off me. I hate feeling like I am buried under meaningless junk. Clearing it away gives me a sense of freedom and power. I don't need stuff to rule my life.

I know that my husband understands that this mess and clutter bothers me. I don't know if he realizes how high on my scale of unhappiness it ranks, but he has been trying to clean things up. Sometimes it seems that this just means moving mess and clutter from one place to another. But he's trying, and I do appreciate that.

Now, I think I should go find more clutter to get rid of.

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