Let me clarify one very important point. I am not a scientist. Nor am I an analyst and I would not translate statistics even if you tried to make me. I bring this up because over the years I've heard the same comment that usually goes something like "A cluttered home translates into a cluttered life." I have seen no data to prove this, yet, I am a firm believer in it's truthfulness.
I also want to clarify the point that I think 'clutter' is a whole lot more than way too many clothes and tripping over old pizza boxes. My friends laugh at me when I say my clutter talks to me. It isn't a matter of I Hear Dishes. It's more like if I sit down to relax and there's a pile of work to be done, I will become increasingly agitated until I handle it. I know if I don't take care of it now, it will pile up until I get to it later. Now that kind of clutter has morphed into the mental kind, which means I now have twice the clutter.
I think this happens to most of us. We turn on the news and get bombarded with miserable, sad headlines about increasing food prices, war, hungry babies, natural disasters, the list is endless. It's enough to make you want to hide under the covers. Once that gets in our heads, it just spins around until we get to work and we all know that work isn't the most fun place to be. By the end of the day, we are just too drained to think about anything. We just go home, decompress by turning the tv on and now we start the circle going around all over again.
If we could only pigeon-hole these things into individual spaces; pulling them out one at a time to handle it before going on to the next one, we would be okay. There is the problem. The world doesn't work that way.
I think we can come close. I usually feel better about everything if I can just get a handle on one thing. Since everything seems to have been running amok lately in Evangeline's World, I've decided to try leaning toward a minimalist life. I'm not interested in a monochromatic world with only one knife, one fork, one spoon, you get the idea. I'm interested in pursuing a scaled -down lifestyle at home that will hopefully bring a little serenity and more free time to the other parts of my world.
First, I only listen to the news long enough to keep up with the basics. If I need to decompress with the t.v. on then I just find something else. Fifteen minutes with a news anchor and you've covered the basics and it is time for me to move on. The same goes for the weekly newspaper. It is the exact same information the nightly news provides, so why take up space in my head with duplicitous information?
Second, I've perused through my closet and eliminated an embarrassing amount of crap. Yes, crap. Nobody in their right mind needs as many black shirts as I had. I've whittled the entire wardrobe down to what fits well, feels good and makes me feel comfortable and attractive. As a friend once told me, "I would rather have 2 tops and 2 bottoms that fit beautifully and feel amazing than 10 of a wretched assortment that I will never wear." Now when I step in the closet every morning, it's a snap to find something. Everything fits and it all goes together. I did the same thing with the childrens' closet. Hubby is on his own.
Third, I tackled the kitchen. Odd bits and pieces (bunny cake pan, anyone?) were removed and now is there actual open space. It is pleasing to my eye and reads like a clean slate rather than a cluttered- up command center for my family.
There are tons of nooks and crannies I am cleaning out a little at a time. I just keep asking myself, "Do I want this? Am I willing to dust/clean/maintain it?" Currently I want more free time and less clutter. That peace of mind is priceless to me and I'm willing to eliminate the above-mentioned crap in order to appreciate the open space and the serenity it brings. I intend to keep weeding out what is cumbersome, time consuming, irritating and unnecessary. Do you know what? The more I do this, the more space I have and the more peaceful my home and I become.