Conquering Clutter – An Exercise in Itself

April 16th, 2010 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

My definition of exercise is quite extensive and includes any activity I’m off my duff and moving around. When I was younger my definition was so narrow – the activity, the time, the duration. I moved up the expectations over time so when I couldn’t find an hour or 90 minutes that’d be my excuse not to even start. Don’t they say with age comes wisdom?? I don’t always like to admit it but it’s true. In my mind 15 minutes of doing something is better than 60 minutes of good intentions.

It’s springtime and my latest activity is de-cluttering. Besides tulips and daffodils popping up around the neighbourhood so are real estate “for sale” signs. It donned on me that I’ve been at my home since 1992 and we are staying here for good, God willing. That’s 18 great years of great memories and dusty accumulation. How better an activity to use up even the smallest amount of  idle time! Break it down and work it out people.

I’m a big believer in breaking anything down into manageable parts – be it a project at work or an item on my “to do” list at home – the same concept applies. Let’s face it, life is a work in progress so chunk it down and just get started. A few weekends ago when the weather was crummy I turned up the tunes for an hour or two and began tackling organizing a corner of my basement – not the whole thing, just part of it. Last weekend, it was the crawl-space, then my home office, then my closet. After separating out items to recycle, give away, send away and discard makes me realize how much stuff we don’t need, when often we think the opposite is true. How much of the stuff in your cupboards, closets, garage and shed do you actually use regularly?? Ok I don’t want to really admit it, but beginning my spring de-cluttering exercise makes me more mindful of this. And it makes me happy to put things into recycling (like old paint) or giving used clothes and housewares away that other people can use.

The de-cluttering guru Peter Walsh’s book Does this clutter make my butt look fat? has a lot of wisdom on this. Our stuff is a metaphor for our life. Your goal for conquering your clutter is one as well and is about taking charge, cleansing and feeling in control of your physical environment. Now each week I aim to remove at least one of those old dusty boxes from the basement. When it’s all said and done, the space would make an awesome exercise cum games room :-) Yes, there’s a method in my madness AND I’ve burned my share of calories in the process!!

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