Monday, October 12, 2009

Creating a Moment of Zen

You may find this hard to believe, but I used to be one well put together cookie. Before kids, even before marriage, I was organized, sharp and well rested. Now I’m as organized as the city dump, as sharp as a spoon and I might as well blame it on the fact that I haven’t slept in five years. My life is chaotic and I feel like I’m grasping at something, anything, that will help keep it all in check. Or at the very least, give me a few moments of Zen.

Some may call me a control freak, but if I don’t have control over my life, then who has the reigns if I don’t? So, in an effort to get things back on track, I’m trying to lose weight to be in control of my body, sorting through the clutter to keep the house under control and get back into doing the things that I love so that the part that makes me me is not on the back burner. I’m more than a wife and a mother, I’m still me. And that person likes to be fit, organized and in control of her life.

I’ve started to sort through all of our belongings and have begun to purge. And I must say that once something leaves this house, never to return, it is incredibly satisfying and I feel like I’ve accomplished a great feat. Also, now it’s someone else’s clutter and not mine. Neener neener. :oP If you haven’t discovered it yet, you should check out It’s a Yahoo Group and you sign up for specific to your county. Members list items they are getting rid of, need or want. Just email the person and schedule a pick up. And since it’s free, you can always leave the items on your porch and not even be disturbed when someone comes to claim the item(s). I’ve found quite a few things I wanted/needed and have gotten rid of plenty. It’s a wonderful resource. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.

I’m also participating in a huge children’s consignment sale, starting next weekend. Take all of your old, good used condition baby items, tag them with a price and take them over. Do NOT hold onto baby items unless you’re planning to have another one in a year or two. Of course, keep the staples like the crib and primo stroller you love, but get rid of those baby clothes! If you do decide to have another child a few years from now, the odds are, the clothing you currently have you either won’t like or it’s out of style. So Freecycle the items that are stained or not worth selling and make a few dollars to add to your rainy day fund with the rest. Think of all of the extra storage space you’ll free up.

If you’re house looks anything like mine, you’ve “binged” on things for years and never purged and now it appears to be a daunting task. But it’s not hopeless, I promise. Pick something small, like the hall closet, the tote of baby things or the junk drawer in the kitchen. Spend an hour going through it and getting rid of the things you no longer use/need then organizing it so that the things you are keeping are easy to find. If you don’t remember the last time you used it, you don’t need it. Then don’t wait to get rid of the things you don’t need, just list them, take them to Salvation Army, whatever. You haven’t accomplished anything until they’re gone and you’re missing out on the gratifying Zen moment.

It doesn’t sound like much, but do the closet today, the bathroom tomorrow, the pantry the next day, etc. Eventually, you’ll have cleared out so much stuff, it will almost feel metaphoric. You’ll weed out the clutter from your life, so that all that’s left is the necessities, organization and maybe a hint of your former, put together, self. And that’s definitely worth the effort.

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