I've heard it said that the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. What actually sounds more appealing to me is this quote by J. K. Rowling: "Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery." I understand that I am not a hoarder, nor am I lazy. What I accept is that I am a collector of stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. There. I said it.
I recently embarked upon the 30-Day Declutter Challenge, which I found in a blog post on the PBS NextAvenue.org website. The challenge is to eliminate unnecessary items from your home that have become more like useless clutter than valuable possessions. The deal "is to throw out or give away one item on Day 1, two on Day 2, three on Day 3 and so on for 30 days, at which point you will have jettisoned 465 items." Four Hundred Sixty Five items! That's a lot of items.
Feeling disorganized, overwhelmed and just plain cranky over drowning in all the stuff I've collected over the years, I decided this might be worth a try. So, to hold myself completely accountable I posted my mission to declutter my habitat on my Facebook page a couple days ago, and I rallied for fellow participants. I got one, maybe two, so far. When I told my boyfriend about the challenge I knew he would be completely supportive of my mission but, wasn't prepared for his daily reminders. "It's day #3 and you forgot to get rid of two things yesterday so you HAVE to get rid of five things today," he said with sheer excitement in his voice. OMG! This is not good. What started out as my personal challenge has now become something and someone I have to answer to. He's made himself my Collectors Anonymous Sponsor!
On day #1 I got a little overzealous and got rid of not only one item of clothing but and entire bag full of clothing. Yeah me! In my mind I was banking items for those days when I might be too busy to purge. But "NO," he says, "that's not how it works!"
This might be more of a challenge than I had bargained for but, in the end I hope with his "support" and my will-power (not to kill him) it will render us a clutter-free home. I sure hope he lives to appreciate it. ;) Stay tuned for the results of my 30-Day Declutter Challenge.
These 'before' photos are the only spaces in my home I'm not too embarrassed to go public with: