The good stuff….

I have been lightening my load.

There is something about springtime that always makes me want to de-clutter and de-junkify my surroundings.  By early March, I always feel claustrophobic enough without excess stuff around to make things seem even more crowded. I’ve been on a mission to figure out what to keep and what to toss or give away. Maybe you have, too.

After all, there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned purge to make a woman feel ten pounds lighter in the soul.  Last week, I picked up a glossy magazine that drew me in with a cover story about getting organized.  In fact, I think the actual title of the story was “Get Organized!!” in big red letters.  Hey, I thought, this is just what you need! A step by step process for clearing things out! So naturally, I bought the magazine.

I started with my closet.  The magazine told me to get rid of anything I hadn’t worn in the past two years so I started by making piles.  Then, I rearranged the piles.  I argued with myself about the author’s two-year rule, rationalizing that just because I hadn’t worn something in two years, it didn’t mean that I might not NEED that something as soon as I put it in the Goodwill bag and took it to town. After all, that’s happened to me more than once.   I came up with rules I could live with instead. First, if it wasn’t comfortable, it was history.  Life is too short to wear uncomfortable clothing, after all.  This made sticking things in the bag a whole lot easier.  Next, I decided that if I didn’t like the color or pattern of an item, it was going in the bag. Piece of cake. Finally, I had to go back to my first rule about comfort and make peace with the fact that if something was shot, no matter how comfortable it is, it had to go.  I gave myself a little wiggle room with this rule and kept a few old sweatshirts and t-shirts to take up to the lake.

Once I was done, I put all the things that had passed the comfort and color test back in the closet and discovered that there was actually space around the hangers!  Progress!  Then, because I was feeling particularly optimistic, I packed away every single wool sweater and pair of long johns I own.   It is the middle of March, after all.

I have to say that getting rid of the stuff I don’t need feels pretty darn good.  I figure that by the time I’m done going through each room and closet in the house, I’ll have exactly one month to enjoy it before we start moving both of our college kids back home for the summer.  Since September, we’ve  had a leaning tower of empty bins stacked against the back wall of the garage.  By the end of May those bins will be stuffed full of you guessed it, more stuff.  THEIR stuff.

But that’s just fine with me.  When you’re a mom of a certain age, it’s a good feeling to get your stuff in order even if you know that the order won’t last.  We have one more summer with both of our kids and their stuff coming home.  There will be more cooking, and cleaning and chaos around here. More noise and late nights and love.

And looking forward to that?  Well, that’s the best stuff of all.

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